CBC gets 'use-it-or-lose-it' energy assistance grant

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The Community Budget Center received a $1,575 supplemental grant from Energy Outreach Colorado, but it has to be used by Nov. 1.

If the CBC has any funds remaining Nov. 1, they'll be deducted from its annual $9,000 Energy Outreach Colorado grant.

"It pretty much has to be spent," CBC board member Charlotte Craft said.

CBC combines revenues from the thrift store's sales with grants to offer assistance to Craig's needy. These funds, though, can be used only for costs associated with heating. They can be used to pay a natural gas or electric bill if a customer has received a disconnect notice, or to purchase heating oil, propane, firewood and pellets for stoves.

"We can't pay a reconnection fee, so people have to come in before service is disconnected," Craft said.

Funds are available to those who meet income guidelines, and they must have already applied to be a part of Colorado's Low-income Energy Assistance Program. Those applications will be available starting Nov. 1 at the Moffat County Department of Social Services.

Those in need are eligible for funds one time during each heating cycle -- Nov. 1 through Oct. 31 -- and EOC maintains a database to ensure the same person isn't applying for funds in different counties.

Money is paid directly to the utility provider or vendor.

Undocumented residents are not eligible.

Craft said the supplemental grant was issued in the face of rising natural gas prices and the panic that's following the announcement of that increase.

"I want to spend every penny of this grant on the people who need it," she said.

Applications for EOC funds are available at the Community Budget Center.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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