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Colorado Springs Utilities asks customers to help pay other customers’ past due bills

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs Utilities currently reports $8,515,717 in past due bills - a significant increase from the reported total of $4,538,162 in Aug. 2019.

The utility company is now encouraging customers to donate to Project COPE, the company's program and nonprofit aimed to help struggling customers pay their overdue bills.

"We understand that people may have fewer dollars to donate, but at the same time, more people will be requesting assistance because it's just so hard to keep up," said April Speake, the Springs Utilities Community Liaison.

The company says they are currently down $65,000 in donations from the amount they had this time last year.

It's an even greater strain for the company as federal dollars toward assistance are declining.

"We ask customers who are eligible, to apply for relief first so that we can maximize the amount of assistance that customers are eligible for," said Speake.

The company requires customers in need to check if they qualify for the federal LEAP program before applying for Project COPE, which means this decline hits close to home.

Those who do not qualify for LEAP or those who have needs that exceed the amount LEAP can provide can then turn to Project COPE, which means many more will be relying on the program this year.

"I do consider utilities a basic need for many families here," said Speake. "Especially since the pandemic there are a lot of families that are still trying to just play catch up, and then you add on to that increased costs for everything right now; It can be pretty tough for some families."

You can find more information on how to donate toward Project COPE or how to access their assistance here.

Article Topic Follows: News
Colorado Springs Utilities
Colorado Springs Utilities Foundation
COPE
Donations
Federal Funding
LEAP
Overdue Bills
Project COPE
Utilities
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Annabelle Childers

Annabelle is a reporter for KRDO

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