After Coloradans cranked up the heat to welcome family members for Thanksgiving dinner, many are worried about the price they will pay when their utility bill arrives. Denise Stepto with Energy Outreach Colorado, which helps struggling families meet their energy needs, says her team saw an especially high volume of calls for help after this season’s first cold snap. She says many are still behind on their utility bills, and don’t know how they will keep their homes warm this winter. The heat helpline received 11,000 calls, which is a 131% change from the last week. It tells them that people are not solid going into this winter.
After Coloradans saw bills for natural gas rise by 75-percent last winter, Governor Jared Polis issued an eight-page letter calling on state regulators to take any and all actions to lower utility bills. But Polis also warned that long-term relief would only come after the state transitions away from fossil fuels to free energy sources like wind and solar.