CARE program to help families throughout Garfield County
CARE, Colorado’s Affordable Residential Energy program, is launching this month in Garfield County and six other counties in the Colorado high country.
Through CARE, income-qualified households can sign up for a free home energy visit, and can receive free energy upgrades.
“We know many families, couples, singles and seniors are struggling to pay utility bills, especially this time of year. CARE will help reduce their utility bills and make their homes more safe and comfortable,” said Maisa Metcalf, program manager for CLEER.
For qualifying households in Garfield County, CLEER energy consultants will visit the home to identify needed energy efficiency upgrades, and talk with residents about their energy bills and home comfort. After the visit, Metcalf coordinates with local contractors to carry out the upgrades, at little to no cost to the household.
Depending on the needs of the home, energy upgrades could include a furnace or boiler tune-up and safety check, insulation and air sealing, high-efficiency refrigerator, high-efficiency water heater, CFL or LED light bulbs, storm windows, a programmable thermostat and low-flow showerheads.
“Energy efficiency upgrades are the best way to reduce your utility bills,” Metcalf said.
For rental housing, landlords will be asked to pay for up to 50 percent of the upgrades, she noted.
The CARE program is funded by Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), a statewide nonprofit that helps low-income families and seniors pay energy bills. In Garfield County, CLEER is managing the CARE program. It’s the continuation of a successful pilot program CLEER managed in 2015, which served 148 families countywide.
Funding for CARE home energy visits comes from Garfield Clean Energy, while funding for energy efficiency upgrades come from utilities serving the county: Xcel Energy, Holy Cross Energy, SourceGas and Glenwood Springs Electric. Additional funding from the Town of Carbondale will allow more households in the town to participate.
Similar CARE programs are being offered by other community organizations to households in Pitkin, Eagle, Lake, Summit, Routt and Moffat counties. The Pitkin County program is managed by CORE.
Households can be tenants or homeowners in single-family homes, condos, apartments or mobile homes, and can be families, couples, singles or seniors.
To qualify, households can be earning up to 80 percent of the area median income for their family size.
Households can get started by filling out an application form to qualify for the program. Forms are available at www.GarfieldCleanEnergy.org . Look under the “Residential” tab for “Options for Income-Qualified Households.”
If you or someone you know could be eligible, contact CLEER for more information: (970) 704-9200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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