New Garfield County program offers $150,000 in financial aid for home energy upgrades

Garfield County is funding a new program launched by the intergovernmental organization Garfield Clean Energy to help low- and moderate-income households reduce their utility bills by making energy efficiency upgrades.

ReEnergize Garfield County is set to provide $150,000 in rebates during 2022, a news release from Garfield Clean Energy states.

Maisa Metcalf is director of programs and services for Clean Energy Economy for the Region, the Carbondale-based nonprofit managing Garfield Clean Energy’s programs.

She explained that the funding will enable ReEnergize to extend benefits to higher-income earners who haven’t previously qualified, as well as to fill gaps in existing programs for low-income households.

“Many of our families in Garfield County are struggling with rising energy prices, on top of the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic,” Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said in the release. “The ReEnergize program is providing relief in a way that will keep on giving, and the county is proud to be funding it.”

ReEnergize piggybacks on existing federal and state programs that assist income-qualified residents with the funds needed to upgrade their homes to save energy and money, Metcalf said.

Families that earn less than 60% of the area median income already qualify for assistance through the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which covers home weatherization, window replacement and certain other energy-saving measures. Likewise, families earning 60-80% of the median income are able to get similar assistance through the Colorado Affordable Residential Energy program.

ReEnergize extends the assistance to Garfield County residents earning up to 120% of the median income. For a family of four, that equates to an annual income of $105,960.

The program provides financial aid to middle-income households in two tiers. Those earning 81-100% of the median are eligible for a rebate of up to $5,000 on recommended measures. And, those earning 101-120% of the median, the rebate cap is $3,000.

“If your home is cold and drafty, or it’s just costing you too much to heat and cool, ReEnergize can enable you to make some major fixes for free, or at a heavy discount,” Metcalf said in the release. “Then you’ll save money on your utility bills every month after that.”

All households enrolled in ReEnergize receive a free home energy assessment and a written report identifying specific measures that will do the most good and save the most money, along with individualized advice on how to proceed, the release states.

Recommended measures can range from inexpensive fixes like LED lights and programmable thermostats, to major upgrades such as a new heating/cooling system, hot water heater or refrigerator. ReEnergize can also fund measures that address health and safety concerns, such as mold and carbon monoxide leaks, the release states..

In addition, ReEnergize is partnering with the Weatherization Assistance Program and Colorado Affordable Residential Energy programs to provide additional funding for certain expenses that they don’t cover, like electrical upgrades, remediation of health and safety issues and conversion from propane to electric heat.

To find out if you qualify for ReEnergize Garfield County, visit, Clean Energy Economy for the Region at 970-704-9200 or attend one of the upcoming ReEnergize drop-in sessions being held at Garfield County libraries starting Feb. 28.

ReEnergize at the libraries

Residents interested in the ReEnergize Garfield County program may attend any of several drop-in sessions scheduled for the week of Feb. 28 at county branch libraries.

Program staff will be available to answer questions about home energy efficiency, financial aid and the enrollment process.

The schedule is as follows:

Carbondale – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 28

Glenwood Springs – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 1

New Castle – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 2

Silt – 2-4 p.m. March 2

Rifle – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 3

Parachute – 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 4

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