Donate to the Payment Assistance Fund#
You can help those in need with a monthly or one-time donation to Utilities’ Payment Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations assist families and individuals in our community. Every donation is matched dollar-for-dollar by Energy Outreach Colorado, so your gift goes even further. All donations, no matter the size, make a difference.
See below for additional donation methods.
Having trouble paying your bill?
Learn more about receiving payment assistance.
Hope in Turbulent Times#
Many Utilities customers struggled to keep up with incoming bills this past year, including Louisa. After losing her job at the start of the pandemic, she waited for unemployment benefits to start, but delays resulted in financial hardship.
Louisa fell behind on her utility bills, and a high balance loomed over her head. The stress and uncertainty took a toll as she tried to determine which bills to pay and how much she could afford for groceries.
Louisa found out about the Payment Assistance Fund during an event at a local community center. After applying, she called Utilities to see how much she still owed and was amazed to hear that the assistance covered her entire past-due balance, bringing her a sense of peace and stability.
You Can Help with the Unprecedented Need#
Louisa is not alone in her struggle. More families and individuals than ever are navigating turbulent times and have been unable to pay their electric and water bills. From October 2020 through August 2021, the Payment Assistance Fund helped nearly 800 Utilities customers – a 17% increase over the same period last year. The need for assistance continues to grow. We’re asking for your help so that no one gets turned away.
- Joy and David's Story
Joy and David work hard to provide a good life for themselves and their children, Maya and Marcus, but a sudden downturn in the economy resulted in reduced hours at both of their jobs. Their availability to navigate their work situations was limited even further after the kids’ school announced it was implementing 100% remote learning.
“The unexpected changes drained our savings, and we started falling behind on bills. Our utility bill was one of several we were struggling to pay,” said Joy.
In their time of need, the family turned to Fort Collins Utilities and Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC). With help from the Payment Assistance Fund, they were able to catch up on their overdue utility bill and get back on track.
“Getting our utility bill paid took a major worry off our minds. The program has allowed us to focus more on other expenses, our jobs and the kids’ schooling,” David said.
- Joe's Story
After serving in the U.S. Navy for 20 years and living around the world, Joe wanted his family to settle down in his favorite community – Fort Collins. But he didn’t anticipate the difficulty transitioning his military work experience into civilian life and the rising cost of living in Fort Collins. “After all the moving around we did, I wanted to give my kids some stability and have them go to high school someplace where I wouldn’t have to worry about them,” he said.
“When I was here as a kid Fort Collins was reasonably priced and a great place to grow up,” he added. “Now it’s so expensive. A three-bedroom, one bath apartment rents for around $1,500 a month.”
The 45-year-old single dad has an hourly job in production support at a local manufacturing plant and recently earned an associate degree in business. But he’s still “living paycheck to paycheck and working [his] way up.” Last summer, he experienced a financial setback when holiday plant closures reduced his work hours.
“I had to overcome my pride and ask for help,” he said, describing how relieved and thankful he was that Energy Outreach Colorado, in partnership with Fort Collins Utilities, helped him catch up on his utility bill. “I was in a bad place, and they really came through and helped out. I appreciate it.”
Joe plans to continue his education at Colorado State University and pursue a career in mass communications, which he enjoyed as a journalist and broadcaster in the Navy. “The civilian world doesn’t necessarily see my qualifications as the military did,” he explained.
Help those in need with a one-time or monthly donation to the Payment Assistance Fund. One hundred percent of donations assist families, senior citizens and others in our community and can help them avoid making tough decisions like whether to pay their utility bill or buy food.
- Mary's Story
When Mary, a single mother, was unexpectedly laid off, she was faced with a tough decision: whether to buy food for her family, pay rent or pay her utility bills. Because Mary lives in subsidized housing, receiving a disconnection notice also could result in eviction.
In her time of need, Mary turned to Fort Collins Utilities and Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) for help.
By receiving help from the Payment Assistance Fund, Mary and her daughter were able to stay in their home. With one less stressor, she was able to complete a job training program and obtain full-time work.
“It most definitely took some stress off my shoulders,” Mary said. “I don’t like to ask for help, and we were selling what we could [to make some extra money], but it was a reality we had to face.”
Ways to Donate#
There are several ways to donate to the Payment Assistance Fund:
- Make a one-time or recurring donation with your debit or credit card online with PayPal.
- Add a one-time or monthly donation to your utility bill by filling out and mailing in a donation form.
- Make a cash or check donation by filling out the donation form and mailing it in.
Donations may be tax deductible. We will send a year-end letter/receipt to donors in January. Consult your tax advisor. Learn more about your donation:
Did You Know?
Small leaks and drips add up. Don't drip and drive.
When it rains and as snow melts, runoff carries pollutants such as oil, antifreeze and gas down storm drains, contaminating our rivers, streams and lakes. Don't drip and drive.
Lowering the thermostat temperature on winter nights and when no one is home can save money and energy.