Demand for Wis. utility-bill aid rises this year - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Demand for Wis. utility-bill aid rises this year


MILWAUKEE (AP) -- More Wisconsin residents are looking for help with their heating and electric bills.

The state Division of Energy Services says the number of low-income people seeking financial assistance is up 6 percent this year compared to last year.

The agency administers the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Spokeswoman Susan Brown says 9,000 households have sought basic assistance with their utility bills this year, and another 3,000 households sought crisis assistance.

Brown tells Wisconsin Public Radio the numbers could be up this year because of the struggling economy, but also because more people might be aware of the program.

Wisconsin prevents utilities from disconnecting delinquent customers in the wintertime. Utilities can begin disconnecting those accounts after April 15.

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