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Income-Qualified Assistance Program (IQAP) FAQs
- Why is there an IQAP?
When City Council passed Time-of-Day (TOD) pricing in November 2017, they asked staff to explore ways to assist low-income customers who may be adversely impacted by the new rate structure. In May 2018, IQAP was codified into the Utilities Charter.
- Who is eligible for IQAP?
Qualifying Fort Collins Utilities electric, water and/or wastewater households that received Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assistance during the previous or current heating season (November - April) are invited to participate in the IQAP. If the household does not receive at least one of these services from Fort Collins Utilities, they will not be eligible. Non-eligible services will be identified on a case-by-case basis.
- When does the program start and finish?
The IQAP is a 12-month program October to September. You can expect to see your first rate change within one to two billing cycles (4-8 weeks) after approval. The program ends each September and requires re-application to LEAP and into IQAP. Participants can renew each year if they have been approved for LEAP during the immediate past or current season.
- What if I have not applied for LEAP yet? When do I apply for LEAP so I can be eligible for IQAP?
The LEAP application process is open November 1-April 30 each year. LEAP is not available outside of that time. If you did not participate in LEAP during the most recent application process, apply for LEAP in the next upcoming season starting November 1 and you will be eligible to apply for IQAP.
- Why do I need to receive LEAP to be eligible for IQAP?
IQAP is an income-verified program. Through this partnership, LEAP provides the income verification information for Fort Collins Utilities, allowing us to keep administrative costs down and offer this program to more limited-income customers.
LEAP brings down your utility costs, which is good for you and allows Fort Collins Utilities funding to go further for those who need it most. In the 2017-2018 season LEAP provided participants with $500-$1000 in heating assistance. Learn more about LEAP.
- When are IQAP applications accepted?
The IQAP application period is typically July-August. However, you can submit an application year-round once you have been approved to receive LEAP. You can submit online at fcgov.com/IQAP, at the 222 Laporte Ave Utilities Administration Building lobby or by mail. Applications will be processed upon receipt on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants will be notified of acceptance, denial or eligibility.
- When will I see the discount on my bill?
After you've applied and been accepted into IQAP, the rate will start within the next one to two billing cycles depending on billing cycles. You will see a line item denoting IQAP and/or a rate code of A/E150 or A/E155 for electric, W222 for water and/or Q222 for wastewater accounts. Certain rates may not be eligible for IQAP.
- What are the IQAP efficiency and conservation activities?
Throughout the year we will be in touch via email or regular mail with different ways you can potentially save energy, water and money. Activities may include reading the monthly newsletter, completing a home efficiency assessment, attending a workshop and/or completing an online course.
- How much time can I expect IQAP to take each year?
In general, you can expect to spend at least 2 hours during the year on efficiency and conservation activities. Some activities may be longer than 2 hours, or cumulatively may be more than 2 hours. The expectation is to participate in at least 2 hours through the program year. The 2 hours total for the year can be filled by reading the monthly newsletter.
- What if my income increases above the income guidelines and I no longer qualify for LEAP or I move?
If your income situation changes and you are no longer eligible for LEAP, the IQAP rate will revert to regular Time-of-Day (TOD) pricing the next billing cycle after those changes are given to Utilities by the LEAP office.
If you move but still have Fort Collins Utilities electric, water and/or wastewater accounts, the rate will move with you to the new place. Make sure to notify Utilities Customer Service that you are on IQAP when setting up the new account.
If you move out of the service territory and/or no longer pay for your utilities directly, the rate for the household will revert to regular TOD pricing.