“I need help with my utility bills, who do I contact?”
If you find yourself asking this question, you are not alone. Energy is a basic necessity of modern life. The heat and electricity that we pump through our homes keep us safe, healthy, and comfortable. Heat and electricity allow us to cook, bathe, learn, sleep, and grow. Without them, we are unable to safely store food, wash our clothes, heat our homes, and a dozen other essential daily tasks we take for granted. Energy is the lifeblood of our economy, and some families are making decisions between paying for their energy and paying for their food. Grand Valley Power strives to provide this information to help our members when they need it most.
The following is a brief overview of agencies that offer help and services:
- LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) – LEAP is a federally funded program administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services and is designed to assist with your winter heating costs. LEAP is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating. If you are applying for LEAP assistance you should continue to pay your home heating bill. The LEAP eligibility period runs from November 1st through April 30th. To pick up an application stop by the Mesa County Department of Human Services located at 510 29 ½ Road in Grand Junction or for more information call (970) 241-8480.
- Grand Valley Catholic Outreach – Grand Valley Catholic Outreach offers financial aid for utility bills to those who are denied assistance by the LEAP program. You may apply to their utility assistance program, which is primarily funded by the Energy Outreach Colorado Foundation. Assistance is awarded on a case by case basis according to Grand Valley Catholic Outreach policies and guidelines. For more information on this program please stop by Catholic Outreach’s Central Location at 245 South 1st Street in Grand Junction and apply in person between the hours of 9:00 and 11:30 A.M., Monday through Friday.
- Housing Resources of Western Colorado – Housing Resources of Western Colorado is a private non-profit corporation providing affordable housing and promoting the wise and sustainable use of resources. For people who are struggling with their energy costs, Housing Resources offers the Weatherization program. This program works with the Colorado Energy Office to improve the energy efficiency of all residential structures. The Weatherization program provides energy upgrades to income-qualified homes to help keep energy costs low. For more information on this program, stop by Housing Resources of Western Colorado’s office located at 524 30 Road, Suite 3 in Grand Junction or call (970) 241-2871.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – The USDA has a Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program which provides funding to very low income families that need to make improvements on their existing house. These funds can be used to bring the home up to minimum standards and/or remove health and safety hazards. Eligible applicants for this program must reside in unincorporated rural areas with populations of 10,000 or less. The rates and terms (subject to change) for the loans are as low as 1% up to 20 years. Loan assistance may not exceed $20,000 and grants are available to those who are 62 years or older with a limited income and the maximum lifetime grant amount is $7,500. For more information please contact the regional USDA office located in Delta at (970) 874-5735 ext. 4.
- Budget Billing - Grand Valley Power offers a free program that makes it easier to budget your expenses in a given month. We spread your payments evenly throughout the year over an 11- month period, and on the 12th month we detemine a debit or credit, based on your actual usage. Budget Billing lessens the impact on your budget during the winter and summer months when utility use is high. So despite unpredictable swings in the weather and your usage, your utilities bills are still predictable.
Please contact the organizations listed above if you have any questions about the programs or your qualifications.
If you find yourself on the other side of this information, please feel free to make a tax-deductible donation to Energy Outreach Colorado. This donation can be made through Grand Valley Power at the bottom of your monthly bill. Just select what amount you would like to donate monthly and this amount will be automatically added to your monthly bill until you choose to discontinue your donation by calling our office at (970) 242-0040. You may also donate to those less fortunate through Grand Valley Catholic Outreach by contacting Grand Valley Catholic Outreach at (970) 241-3658.