An expected increase of 12 to 18 percent to heat Wisconsin homes during the winter could translate to $100 or more in excess cost. For people who are already struggling to make ends meet, that's a big chunk of change.
Families seeking help may be eligible for Wisconsin's Energy Assistance Program. A partial payment is sent directly to a customer's fuel provider if their income and home size meets the state's criteria.
"They need to have an energy burden which means they are responsible for that payment," said Vicki Shawd, the Economic Resource Supervisor in Eau Claire County.
"If the heat and electricity is included in their rent, they wouldn't be eligible."
People can apply until the home heating season ends on May 15. For more information on the program, call toll free (866)432-8947.
Eau Claire County applications are handled at the Job Center this year, not the Eau Claire County Courthouse like in years past. People living in Eau Claire County can call (715) 831-5788 for more information on the program.