Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Rising Utility Bills Unsustainable for Many Colorado Households


Thursday, January 12, 2023   

Experts are warning Colorado households utility bills currently making their way to mailboxes are likely to be even higher than the supersized bills people received for November's energy use.

Denise Stepto, chief communications officer for Energy Outreach Colorado, said as energy prices have remained stubbornly high, December brought an arctic blast and subzero temperatures right in time for winter holiday celebrations.

"This next bill, we think, is going to be the higher one, much higher," Stepto explained. "It was a holiday, so more people were gathered in a home, lights on, things cooking, everything going."

It is a problem, Stepto said, because many Coloradans may have already tapped one-time-only assistance through Energy Outreach Colorado and the state's Low-Income Energy Assistance Program.

Calls to Energy Outreach Colorado's Heat Help Line are up 43% compared with the same time period last year. The week ending Dec. 18, they received more than 16,000 calls, up from 9,000 the week before, which is the largest call volume in two years of tracking.

Stepto pointed to one call she fielded this week from a mother trying to get help for her veteran son with a disability who was struggling to afford his high energy bills. She pointed out there has been an increased sense of desperation, especially for fixed and low-income households.

Stepto worries higher-than-average utility bills, while not sustainable, are likely to continue through the winter months.

"People are not abusing their energy use," Stepto argued. "They're keeping their thermostat as low as they can. They're being energy wise, it's just the cost is the cost. So there's only so much that folks can do."

During the week ending Jan. 8, Energy Outreach Colorado released more than $473,000 to help 728 struggling households who applied for assistance to pay utility bills. People can still get help -- to make sure utilities are not disconnected, and connect with other programs for which they qualify -- by calling Energy Outreach Colorado's helpline: 866-432-8435.

Disclosure: Energy Outreach Colorado contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
At least 124 bills have been introduced nationwide this year targeting LGBTQ rights in schools and educational settings, freedom of speech and expression, and access to medically necessary health care for transgender people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Educators in New Hampshire say a proposed "parental bill of rights" before lawmakers discriminates against LGBTQ students. The legislation requires …

Social Issues

Leaders of the Wabanaki Nations are asking Maine lawmakers to recognize tribal sovereignty and help ensure a better economic future for their youth…

Social Issues

American democracy is in mortal danger as the 2024 election approaches, according to experts at a conference held at the University of California…

New Mexico has followed Texas' lead by passing preemptive legislation to ban the storage of high-level radioactive waste in the state. (Tiero/AdobeStock)


Like Nevada, New Mexico has rejected a proposed interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. Responding to the Federal Nuclear Regulatory …

Social Issues

New Mexico's LGBTQ community will soon have additional protections after existing language in state law was updated by the Legislature. Sen…


Thousands of lives are cut short every year because of air pollution from coal-fired power plants in Wyoming and across the United States, according …

Social Issues

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show another increase in the nation's maternal mortality rate, and a Minnesota expert …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021