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A $50,000 grant from the Federal CARES Act and Larimer County Department of Human Services Office on Aging was awarded to the Energy Resource Center (ERC), a Colorado nonprofit organization.

The funds will be used to help older adults living in Larimer County to lower their utility bills through home energy efficiency services. Those services will be provided for free and will be based on income qualifications.

“The Larimer County Department of Human Services Office on Aging is proud to enhance our network of care and community partnership with ERC. These services will be tailored specifically for our older and more vulnerable residents across the county, many of whom have been directly impacted by COVID-19. The struggle to live affordably with limited resources will be eased with this expanded partnership.” stated Larimer County Human Services Director Heather O’Hayre. 

Recent studies show that many families need access to these services to increase housing affordability. Job losses and the economic distress from the COVID-19 pandemic have put people in tough situations when it comes to home budgets. As winter approaches and utility bills increase, families may be forced to make decisions between paying their utility bills or purchasing medications, turning up the thermostat, or being able to purchase groceries.

“ERC is considered an essential business, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We re-opened our doors as soon as we could after the initial stay-at-home order, and we will strive to stay open should there be another mandate this fall or winter. Low-income and at-risk families need our help,” said Don Walker, Northern Colorado Director for ERC.

ERC advances safe, healthy, and affordable housing for Colorado residents in 27 counties. The free energy efficiency work they provide helps families make ends meet to stay safe and comfortable in their homes - including single-family, multi-family, and mobile homes. In 2018-2019, ERC saved their clients $300,000 in utility bills.

Work done by ERC could include a new furnace, water heater, refrigerator, insulation in walls and attic, air sealing, weather stripping, air leakage, water-saving measures, carbon monoxide testing, new light bulbs, thermostat upgrades, and more. All services and equipment are provided at no cost to qualified families.

Through the CARES Act, the Department of Human Services is able to grant funds to help alleviate financial hardship families have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Larimer County Department of Human Services assists individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and security through public assistance programs, services, or referrals to community agencies that help provide basic needs and services to the community. The Larimer County Office on Aging provides direct service to seniors and funding to agencies that provide services for seniors in Larimer county, including congregate meals, transportation, legal assistance, caregiver support and more.

Published on: 
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 1:32pm
Contact Details:

Mike Mazzola, Development Director, Energy Resources Center, 

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