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Colorado LEAP and EOC Service Delivery Evaluation Jackie Berger February 25, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Colorado LEAP and EOC Service Delivery Evaluation Jackie Berger February 25, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Colorado LEAP and EOC Service Delivery Evaluation Jackie Berger February 25, 2009

2 Introduction House Bill Required the Colorado Governor’s Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance to: “Make recommendations to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate regarding any necessary legislative changes to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the state’s low- income energy assistance services…” 2

3 Introduction Commission was directed to: –Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current delivery system. –Review service delivery models from other states. –Make recommendations regarding the best way to: Target energy assistance resources. Coordinate public and private energy assistance activities. Streamline administrative processes. Suggest changes to statutes, rules, or policies affecting low-income energy consumers in the state. 3

4 APPRISE Nonprofit research institute Located in Princeton, NJ Research areas: –Low-income energy bill payment assistance programs –Low-income energy efficiency programs –Energy efficiency market transformation programs Clients: Federal LIHEAP, Federal WAP, State LIHEAP offices, State Energy Efficiency offices, utility companies 4

5 Presentation Outline Study Design Alternative Program Models Key Findings and Recommendations Summary 5 LEAP Administration LEAP CIP LEAP Outreach and Targeting EOC Administration LEAP Application EOC Outreach and Targeting LEAP Application Processing LEAP/EOC Coordination LEAP Benefits LEAP/Efficiency Coordination

6 Study Design 6

7 Program Design and Implementation Research Low-Income Energy Needs Assessment and Program Analysis 7

8 Program Design and Implementation Research Document review –Program plans –Program rules –Training materials –Budgets –Contracts –Agency monitoring reports Goal: –Develop understanding of program details. 8

9 Program Design and Implementation Research State program manager interviews –LEAP director –Director of CO’s Dept. of Human Services, Office of Self Sufficiency –EOC manager Goals: –Confirm understanding of programs. –Fill in gaps with respect to program operation and procedures. –Obtain statistics on program resources. –Explore ideas for program modifications. 9

10 Program Design and Implementation Research State contractor interviews –eCallogy manager: LEAP hotline –Bawmann Group: LEAP outreach Goals: –Understand contractor responsibilities and procedures. 10

11 Program Design and Implementation Research Agency manager interviews –7 LEAP agencies –4 EOC agencies Goals: –Document service delivery procedures. –Identify barriers to effective and efficient service delivery. 11

12 Program Design and Implementation Research Key informant interviews –2 county agency directors –3 utility company managers –GEO energy efficiency manager Goals: –Obtain informants’ assessment of LEAP and EOC programs. –Discuss informants’ recommendations for program improvement. 12

13 Program Design and Implementation Research Other state LIHEAP director interviews –Minnesota: new IT system –Montana: web-based system –Ohio: centralized processing Goals: –Discuss alternative program models. 13

14 Needs Assessment and Program Analysis Public use data analysis –American Community Survey data –Statewide analysis: 2007 data –Regional analysis: data Goals –Analyze energy needs of low-income households. –Document demographic characteristics of low- income households. 14

15 Needs Assessment and Program Analysis Program database analysis –FY 2008 LEAP database –FY 2008 EOC database Goals –Analyze program characteristics. Client characteristics Grant characteristics Grant processing 15

16 Needs Assessment and Program Analysis Client survey –LEAP recipients, denials, non-applicants –Low-income households Goals –Analyze client characteristics and needs. Problems meeting energy needs Need for LEAP Impact of LEAP Program awareness 16

17 Alternative Program Models 17

18 Alternative Program Models 1.Web-based LEAP application system 2.Centralized LEAP administration 3.Coordination of LEAP and EOC assistance 4.LEAP integration with other social service programs 5.12-Month LEAP application period 18

19 Web-based LEAP Application System Potential advantages –Increased program efficiency –Additional avenue for LEAP client access –Reduced client burden –Ability for vendors to check benefit status –Ability for vendors to accept/reject electronic payment –Possibility for concurrent application to several programs 19

20 Web-based LEAP Application System Potential disadvantages –Investment of time and resources –Learning curve for system users –Being the first to implement online client applications for LEAP 20

21 Web-based LEAP Application System Recommendation –Montana and Minnesota offered to share their systems. –Conduct further investigation of these systems. –Assess required level of investment. –Assess potential benefit. –Determine if one of these systems could be used in Colorado. 21

22 Centralized LEAP Administration Potential Advantages –Increased efficiency and consistency –Hiring and training of more workers at the state level –Reduced burden on local agencies –Greater state control over application processing 22

23 Centralized LEAP Administration Potential Disadvantages –Counties still need staff for application support –Challenges for state office Recruit and train many temporary workers Office space and computers 23

24 Centralized LEAP Administration Recommendation –Consider a gradual move toward more centralized processing. –Examples: Process expedited applications at state office. Process CIP applications at state office. Process some applications from larger agencies at state office. –Examine impact on efficiency and consider increased centralization. 24

25 Coordination of LEAP and EOC Assistance Potential Advantages –Reduced client confusion –More equitable distribution of benefits –Reduced client burden 25

26 Coordination of LEAP and EOC Assistance Potential Disadvantages –Benefit of different types of agencies –Different benefit purpose –Two agency networks provide more client access points 26

27 Coordination of LEAP and EOC Assistance Recommendation –LEAP and EOC could work in a more coordinated fashion. Take LEAP applications at EOC offices. EOC staff contact utility to determine total payment needed. County LEAP agencies could take EOC applications. Create joint LEAP/EOC application. 27

28 Program Integration Potential Advantages –Reduced client burden –Increased number of program access points –Increased administrative efficiency 28

29 Program Integration Potential Disadvantages –Complication of joint application –Clients may unknowingly apply more than once –Unique qualifying rules 29

30 Program Integration Recommendation –Develop joint application for LEAP and energy efficiency. –Allow client to opt for joint application (with other programs) or just LEAP/energy efficiency application. 30

31 12-Month Application Potential Advantages –Reduced need for seasonal workers –Reduced staff turnover –Less need for training staff –Reduced application processing time 31

32 12-Month Application Potential Disadvantages –Older income information –Tendency to apply in the fall –Clients may move 32

33 12-Month Application Recommendation –Mail applications to seniors in August. Seniors are a more stable population. Seniors represent about 25% of caseload. –Send award or denial letters at time of application. –Send notice of award amount in November. 33

34 Alternative Models – Complimentary Approaches Examples –Increased EOC/LEAP coordination and joint online application. –12-Month application handled by state staff. –LEAP agencies doing EOC applications will smooth out the workflow and help with a 12- month application system. 34

35 Key Findings and Recommendations 35

36 Key Findings and Recommendations 36 LEAP Administration LEAP CIP LEAP Outreach and Targeting EOC Administration LEAP Application EOC Outreach and Targeting LEAP Application Processing LEAP/EOC Coordination LEAP Benefits LEAP/Efficiency Coordination

37 Key Findings and Recommendations: LEAP Administration 37

38 LEAP Administration Working Well –Program documentation –Data collection and maintenance –Vendor agreements –LEAP help line –Training –Quality Control Areas for Review –Administrative funding –LEAP help line –Seasonal workers 38

39 LEAP Administration Recommendations Administrative funding: Re-evaluate county LEAP agency distributions. Agency funding requests: Consider requests at the beginning of the season. LEAP help line: Route all client calls to the hotline first. Data analysis: Assess program performance and target areas for improvement. 39

40 LEAP Administration Recommendations Centralized application processing: Test gradual move toward more centralized approach. IT system: Examine potential for update. 40

41 Key Findings and Recommendations: LEAP Outreach and Targeting 41

42 LEAP Outreach And Targeting 42 Working Well: Reaching Households In Need LEAP RecipientLow-Income Bills >$2,00026%12% Borrowed to pay energy bills 39%14% Disconnect notice38%15% Utility shut off10%0%

43 LEAP Outreach And Targeting 43 Working Well: Targeting Seniors % of Low-Income Households in CO with Seniors % of LEAP Clients with Senior Household Members 24%28%

44 LEAP Outreach And Targeting 44 How Client Heard About LEAP RecipientDenial Mailed application50%35% Social services13%15% Friend12%17% Heating company11%14% Food stamp office11%13% Direct mailer7%5% LEAP poster6%8% Television4%5% Working Well Area for Review

45 LEAP Outreach And Targeting 45 Area for Review: Only Through Television RecipientDenial Number% % All1,8582%3412% Seniors4722%542% Disabled4872%462% Children9152%1812%

46 LEAP Outreach And Targeting 46 Area for Review: Received Application in Mail Non-Applicants Yes57% No39% Don’t Know4%

47 LEAP Outreach and Targeting Areas for Review –Agency LEAP outreach and outreach plans –Agency targeted outreach –State oversight of agency outreach 47

48 LEAP Outreach and Targeting Recommendations Mailed applications: Send to additional groups of households. Mailed packet: Consider more noticeable package. Television advertising: Consider whether it is cost-effective. LEAP website: Make it more client-focused. Agency outreach: Increase state assistance and oversight. 48

49 Key Findings and Recommendations: LEAP Application 49

50 LEAP Application Working Well –Application information –Internet availability Areas for Review –Application issues –Incomplete applications –Affidavit –Lawful presence requirement 50

51 LEAP Application 51 Area for Review: Denials’ Need for LEAP LEAP RecipientDenials Bills >$2,00026%29% Borrowed to pay energy bills 39%52% Disconnect notice38%51% Utility shut off10%17%

52 LEAP Application 52 Area for Review: Application Types LEAP RecipientDenials Long92%96% Spanish1% OAP8%2%

53 LEAP Application Recommendations Short application: Examine impact of elimination on OAP applicants and denials. Incomplete applications: Test methods to reduce rate. Valid ID: Train agency staff to accept all forms. Revise affidavit: Make less confusing for clients. 53

54 Key Findings and Recommendations: LEAP Application Processing 54

55 LEAP Application Processing Working Well –Pending applications –Application processing review Areas for Review –Application processing requirements 55

56 LEAP Application Processing 56 Area for Review: Influx of Applications in the Fall RecipientDenialAll Applications Oct 20077%2%6% Nov %30%41% Dec %18%16% Jan %16%13% Feb 20088%12%9% Mar 20086%9%7% Apr 20087%12%8%

57 LEAP Application Processing 57 Area for Review: Date Received to First Payment LEAP Recipient <15 Days8% Days24% Days23% Days20% Days22% 90 Days or More3%

58 LEAP Application Processing 58 Area for Review: Date Received to Signature Date Days Oct 2007 Nov 2007 Dec 2007 Jan/Feb 2008 Mar/Apr 2008 <1553%27%24%43%67% %22%14%20%24% %21%17%22%7% 45+4%30%45%15%1%

59 LEAP Application Processing Recommendations Application processing requirement: Assess how to eliminate inefficient 2-step process. Application season: Mail applications to seniors in August. Centralized application processing: Process some applications at state office. 59

60 Key Findings and Recommendations: LEAP Benefits 60

61 LEAP Benefits Working Well –Benefit formula [(6-month heating cost) * (1- % reduction)] – (monthly income*household contribution) –Household contribution depends on poverty level –Reduction in heating cost for: Electric heat (use % of total electric costs) Shared living arrangement Subsidized housing 61

62 LEAP Benefits 62 Working Well: Heating Cost Data Recipients Electronic Data Transfer68% Manual Data Transfer9% No Data – Heat in Rent6% No Data – Electronic Vendor6% No Data - Other11%

63 LEAP Benefits 63 Working Well: LEAP Payments by Heat Costs Recipient Heat Costs <$250 $250- $499 $500- $749 $750- $999 $1,000 + <$25091%57%21%9%3% $250 - $4999%31%32%13%6% $500 - $749<1%11%33%25%10% $750 +<1%1%14%52%80% Mean$192$289$494$697$835

64 LEAP Benefits 64 Working Well: LEAP Payments by Heat Burden Recipient Heat Burden <=3%3%-6%6%-9%>9% <$25077%22%9%11% $250 - $49919%37%22%19% $500 - $7493%30%31%21% $750 +1%11%38%49% Mean$231$466$635$669

65 LEAP Benefits 65 Working Well: If LEAP Had Not Been Available Problems that May Have Been Faced Recipients Worried about paying energy bill81% Kept home at unsafe/unhealthy temperature70% Had electricity or heating fuel discontinued63%

66 LEAP Benefits 66 Working Well: Reduction in Heating Burden Recipients Pre-LEAP Burden Post-LEAP Burden <=3%36%91% 3% - 6%37%7% 6% - 9%14%2% >9%12%1%

67 LEAP Benefits Working Well –LEAP benefit disbursement Areas for Review –Direct client payment 67

68 LEAP Benefits 68 Area for Review: Heating Burden by Poverty Group Recipients Poverty Group <50%51%-100%101%-185% Pre- LEAP Post- LEAP Pre- LEAP Post- LEAP Pre- LEAP Post- LEAP <=3%3%69%20%91%58%96% 3% - 6%18%17%46%7%36%4% 6% - 9%22%7%23%1%6%<1% >9%57%7%11%1% <1%

69 LEAP Benefits 69 Area for Review: Electric Diversion Recipients NumberPercent Initial55,68360% Final92,182100% Advance1,4912% CIP1,3241% Electric Diversion40<1%

70 LEAP Benefits Recommendations Benefit formula: Consider increasing benefits for clients with income below 50 percent of poverty. Electric diversion payments: Consider eliminating this benefit. Electronic card payment: Review number that are not spent and consider additional education. 70

71 Key Findings and Recommendations: Crisis Intervention Program 71

72 Crisis Intervention Program Working Well –CIP process Areas for Review –Energy conservation education 72

73 Crisis Intervention Program Recommendations CIP and energy conservation: Make sure that LEAP agency staff understand requirement and weatherization agencies fulfill the requirement. 73

74 Key Findings and Recommendations: EOC Administration 74

75 EOC Administration Working Well –Data system –Case management Areas for Review –Administrative funding –EOC agency autonomy 75 Application timesGrant amount Undocumented residentsCase management Recent paymentsRepeat grants Assistance with large bills

76 EOC Administration Recommendations Agency administrative funding: Consider additional funding for agencies that provide many clients with grants to more than one fuel vendor. Agency procedures: Consider requirements for more consistent agency procedures. Case management: Assess whether some agencies need to place additional emphasis on case management. 76

77 EOC Administration Recommendations High bills: Consider extending high bill process. Data analysis: Assess program performance and target areas for improvement. 77

78 Key Findings and Recommendations: EOC Outreach and Targeting 78

79 EOC Outreach And Targeting Working Well –EOC agency recruitment Areas for Review –EOC agency outreach –EOC assessment of agency outreach 79

80 EOC Outreach And Targeting 80 Area for Review: Statistics By Agency MeanMin Percentile Max Children60%0%39%53%63%71%76%94% Elderly8%0% 2%6%9%15%50% Disabled32%0%11%21%29%39%57%95%

81 EOC Outreach And Targeting 81 Area for Review: Awareness of Energy Outreach Colorado LEAP Recipient LEAP Denial Non- Applicant Low- Income Yes15%6%15%16% No80%94%85%81% Don’t Know5%0% 2% Survey question: Do you know that there is a program through Energy Outreach Colorado that may provide help with your energy bills if you are behind on your payments? Energy Outreach Colorado is a program that may help you with your energy bill in addition to LEAP or instead of LEAP.

82 EOC Outreach and Targeting Recommendations Senior households: EOC should recruit more agencies that focus on serving the elderly. Agency outreach: EOC should review agency outreach and work with agencies to develop more comprehensive strategies. 82

83 Key Findings and Recommendations: Coordination of LEAP and EOC 83

84 Coordination of LEAP And EOC Working Well –More comprehensive benefits –EOC grant fills gaps Areas for Review –Client confusion –Inefficiency –Equity 84 Benefit amount Denials Quick turn-around Electric benefit 12 Months Different agencies

85 Coordination of LEAP and EOC Recommendations Application availability and assistance: Ensure LEAP applications are available at EOC offices and assist clients. Joint benefit determination: EOC agency staff could contact utility to determine total of LEAP and EOC payment needed to avert shutoff. 85

86 Coordination of LEAP and EOC Recommendations County agency EOC grant processing: LEAP staff could take EOC applications for clients who need additional assistance. Joint application: LEAP and EOC could develop a joint application that would be sent to EOC if LEAP was not enough or was denied. 86

87 Key Findings and Recommendations: Coordination of LEAP and Energy Efficiency 87

88 Coordination of LEAP And Energy Efficiency Working Well –Weatherization referral Areas for Review –Weatherization requirement –Awareness of weatherization services –No direct application 88

89 Coordination of LEAP and Energy Efficiency Recommendations Joint application: Create joint application for LEAP and energy efficiency services. 89

90 Summary 90

91 Program Strengths LEAP benefit formula LEAP benefit distribution Ability of LEAP and EOC together to meet low- income needs for assistance 91

92 Areas with Greatest Potential for Improvement LEAP administrative efficiency LEAP applications approved on first submittal LEAP application processing time EOC outreach to seniors Awareness of EOC Coordination of LEAP and EOC Joint application for LEAP and energy efficiency 92

93 Contact Information Jackie Berger Director of Program Evaluation APPRISE 32 Nassau Street, Suite 200 Princeton, NJ


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