Income-qualified residential customers can receive financial assistance through the Black Hills Energy Affordability Program or BHEAP.
Colorado Electric customers must apply to the program and meet the eligibility requirements. Colorado gas customers who receive Leap benefits and meet eligibility requirements will be automatically enrolled in BHEAP for one year, and will receive an affordable bill. The affordable bill is calculated as a percent of actual household income relative to the Federal Poverty Level.
Black Hills Energy automatically enrolls Colorado gas customers in BHEAP who are receiving LEAP assistance or have applied to Colorado LEAP with an eligible household income.
Total BHEAP enrollment is limited to the amount of BHEAP funds available in the benefit year, which runs Nov. 1 – Oct. 31.
In order to be accepted into the program, customers must meet certain eligibility requirements.
- Must be a Black Hills Energy electric or gas customer in Colorado.
- Must participate in the Colorado Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) regardless of heating fuel type; or, must have applied to Colorado LEAP with an eligible household income.
- Must have a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Must accept Budget Billing.
Apply for BHEAP
Apply by completing the online application.
For a printed application, pick up one at a local assistance agency listed below or call Customer Service at 888-890-5554.
You’ll be notified by mail when your application has been processed.
Local assistance agencies with BHEAP applications
As a Black Hills Energy gas customer in Colorado, you can pick up energy assistance program forms at the following locations.
Elbert County Task Force
Cheyenne – Department of Health and Human Services
Energy Resource Center
God's Pantry Ministry
Walt Fortman Community Center
Lincoln – Department of Human Services
Colorado East Community Action Agency
Frequently asked questions
What is the Black Hills Energy Affordability Program (BHEAP)?
The program, approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on June 27, 2012, provides bill-payment assistance to eligible residential customers who are enrolled in the program.
When will I know if I'm accepted into the program?
Within 30-45 days applicants will receive an approval or non-acceptance letter with an explanation for approval amount or the reason for non-acceptance.
When does the program start?
Black Hills Energy is currently accepting applications for the program. You can submit a printed application or complete an online application at any time.
Why was this program created?
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.
Why do customers have to pay for this program?
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission rules require all customers, except gas transportation, to pay a fee to support the program. Electric funding effective January 13th 2021.
|Customer Class||Existing BHEAP Rate||Incremental BHEAP Rate||New BHEAP Rate|
Note: Large Power BHEAP fee is volumetric/ per kWh
How was the customer notified about the charge?
A description of the program was included with customers' bills.
Will I be eligible?
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 200% of FPL; gas customers must be at or below 200% 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.
Are my BHEAP benefits taxable?
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.
I'm having a hard time paying my bill now. What should I do?
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 can be reached at 888-890-5554.