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Help paying heating bills now available for Wisconsin families

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WISCONSIN (WQOW) – It won’t be long before it’s time to turn on the heat. For some Wisconsin families, finding the money to pay their energy bills can be a challenge.

Tuesday marked the start of this year’s Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which helps residents with heating and electricity costs. The program is available statewide and runs from October 1 to May 15 every year.

It provides people in need with a one-time payment to help keep their homes warm during the heating season.

Payments go directly to the energy supplier and eligibility depends on several factors including income, household size and energy costs.

“If they don’t have to worry about paying their heat bill, they can concentrate efforts on their rent or on medical if they need prescriptions or things like that,” Western Dairyland Energy Services Manager Kristy Sellhausen said.

Once residents are enrolled in the program, they also become eligible for weatherization services. Weatherization services will vary depending on the needs of each home, but may include insulation installation, furnace repairs, or sealing air leaks.

Sellhausen said the program helps more than 200,000 households across the state each year.. She said people who have received assistance through the program in the past need to re-apply each year.

She said residents can apply for the WHEAP program through their local Health and Human Services office. To find your county’s office, call 1-866-HEATWIS or click here.