Steamboat Springs Routt County residents have some options to help them stay warm through the winter.
The county's Human Services Department offers a Low Income Energy Assistance Program, also known as LEAP, to low-income households.
While the program does not cover the entire costs of heating a home, it does help alleviate some of the cost.
People who are interested in receiving LEAP benefits can fill out an application at the office of the county's Human Services Department beginning Nov. 1. Applications will be accepted through April 30, 2003.
Applicants must submit a copy of their most recent heating bill and proof of income with their applications.
Most LEAP benefits will be paid directly to recipients' utility or fuel suppliers.
People whose incomes do not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible. The maximum monthly income for a one-person household is $1,371. The maximum monthly income for a four-person household is $2,790.
Residents in the county who make too much to qualify for LEAP benefits may be eligible for assistance through the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation.
Penny Lucas of LIFT-UP of Routt County said the foundation often assists households whose earnings disqualify them for LEAP but still do not provide them with the means to afford a monthly heating bill.
An unforeseen event might make it impossible for someone to pay an electric bill, and the foundation can give that person the means to cover the cost of heating, she said.
"They've had some unanticipated expense," Lucas said.
Applicants should bring in a copy of their electric bill or a notice of any shut off to one of LIFT-UP's locations in Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek or Hayden. LIFT-UP receives funding from the Colorado Energy Assistance Foundation and administers those funds to people in need of help with their heating.