Energy Assistance Program
The Black Hills Energy Assistance Program (BHEAP) provides bill-payment assistance for income-qualified customers.
Annual Program Dates
- Funding Cycles: August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014
- Benefit Cycle: Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of each year: Cycle in which BHEAP funds are distributed
To be accepted into the program, customers must meet certain eligibility requirements, including:
- Current Colorado Electric or Colorado Gas customer.
- Customers must have applied for and received a LEAP payment in the last LEAP benefit cycle for heating season, Nov. 1 through April 30 or have been income-verified by Black Hills vendor and agree to enroll in LEAP for the Phase II heating season..
- Provide LEAP household ID number and add (10 digits) at the end of the sentence.
- The customer’s household income meets the BHEAP Plan criteria relative to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines.
- Upon enrollment, the customer’s affordable bill amount will be calculated as a percent of the customer’s actual household income relative to Federal Poverty Level.
- Customer agrees to be enrolled in the company’s budget billing program.
You may also download this PDF for program details.
For electric customers, below are the income maximums to apply for BHEAP in the first year.
|Number in Household||Household Income (equivalent to 125% of 2013 FPL)|
|More than 8 people, add the following for each additional person||$5,025|
For natural gas customers, below are the income maximums to apply for BHEAP in the first year.
|Number in Household||Household Income (equivalent to 150% of 2013 FPL)|
|More than 8 people, add the following for each additional person||$6,030|
You can apply by completing the online application or by submitting a printed application. For a printed application, call our customer service department to request a copy, . In Pueblo, you can also pick up an application at our service center, 105 S. Victoria Avenue; Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Colorado Gas customers can pick up an application at local Low Income Energy Assistance Program agencies. If you lose your pre-printed return envelope, you can mail the application to: EIDEX Group LLC PO Box 1291 Buford, GA 30515-9905.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
In BHEAP, eligibility for the program is based on household income; specifically, the published Federal Poverty Level Guidelines. BHEAP will accept applications from electric customers at or below 125 percent of FPL; gas customers must be at or below 150 percent of FPL and a LEAP participant. We will prioritize all qualifying applicants with the lowest income levels enrolled first. All applications will be subject to confidential, third-party verification.
How to Apply:
- Complete the online application or submit a completed paper application.
- Provide accurate information for faster processing.
- Any incomplete applications will not be processed.
- You will be notified by mail that your application has been processed.
- Benefit enrollment is limited by the availability of BHEAP funds; therefore, applicants are not guaranteed enrollment in BHEAP (see Program Rules and Requirements).
- Please continue to pay your utility bill. Applying to the Black Hills Energy Assistance Program does not stop collection activities and non-payment could result in disconnection of service. FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ACTIVE SERVICE DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS MAY DISQUALIFY YOU FROM ACCEPTANCE TO THIS PROGRAM.
We are focused on educating and helping customers save energy and money through energy-efficiency programs and tips. As part of the program, customers also must enroll in no-cost energy efficiency and weatherization programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The program, approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on June 27, 2012, will provide bill-payment assistance to eligible residential customers who are enrolled in the program.
In September of 2012, applicants that submitted applications between July 1 and Aug 31 will be notified of their enrollment status or their placement on the waiting list.
Black Hills Energy is currently accepting applications for the program. You can submit a printed application or complete an online application. Program enrollment and distribution of funds will begin in the fall of 2012. Customers can still submit an application after the application open season ends.
A 2011 Colorado Public Utilities Commission order requires all public gas and electric utilities in Colorado to file income-based utility assistance plans. Black Hills Energy timely filed its electric and gas plans on April 18, 2012.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission rules require all customers, except gas transportation, to pay a fee to support the program. In the first year, some of the proposed fees will be:
|Gas Customer Monthly Funding Fee Schedule||Fee|
|Small Volume Firm||$1.03|
|Small Volume Interruptible||$1.03|
|Large Volume Firm||$7.73|
|Large Volume Interruptible||$7.73|
|Electric Customer Monthly Funding Fee Schedule||Fee|
|Small General Service||$0.90|
|Large General Service||$23.50|
A description of the program was included with customers' bills.
We want to help as many customers as possible. Upon further consideration of the PUC’s Safe Harbor program, we wanted to create a program that could reach more customers based on the eligibility requirements.
In BHEAP, eligibility for the program is based on household income; specifically, the published Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Guidelines. BHEAP will accept applications from electric customers at or below 125% of FPL; gas customers must be at or below 150% of FPL and a LEAP participant (Income tables are listed above under eligibility requirements). We will prioritize all applicants in a given year with the lowest income levels enrolled first, with total enrollment limited to the amount of BHEAP funds available in the current benefit cycle. All applications will be subject to confidential, third-party verification.
We will allow the customer’s Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to substitute for the Social Security Number (SSN). ITIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service and is nine digits, beginning with the number nine. ITIN should be entered into the SSN/ITIN field on the Black Hills’ application.
We are not required to provide Forms 1099 to those enrolled in the program receiving the energy assistance credits. Those enrolled are encouraged to check with a tax advisor to determine any specific income tax implications based on personal income.
We can provide customers with options such as budget billing, payment installment plans and due date extensions to accommodate pay day schedules, etc. Contacting one of our customer service representatives is the only way for a customer to ensure that their unique situation is reviewed and afforded every allowable option. Our customer service agents are available 24-hours a day at .