DOA and PSC Urge Utility Customers to Seek Assistance Before Heating Season Begins

Energy-saving Tips Help Consumers Lower Energy Bills

MADISON – The Department of Administration’s (DOA) Division of Energy Services and the

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) are urging energy customers to contact their

local utility if their heat is currently disconnected. The agencies are also encouraging residents

to take advantage of energy-efficiency programs and the state’s low-income bill payment

assistance programs to reduce the burden of their utility bills this winter.

Wisconsin law states that consumers cannot be disconnected during the heating moratorium

period from November 1 to April 15, if they are connected at the start of the moratorium.

Customers who are currently disconnected must make arrangements with their local utility to pay

outstanding bills in order to have their service restored. If a consumer has not made

arrangements to pay an outstanding bill, the utility is not required to provide heat until a payment

schedule has been established.

Payment Agreements

Consumers who need to schedule a payment agreement should call their local utility. The phone

numbers for the largest utilities in Wisconsin are listed below. If a customer cannot reach an

agreement with their utility, they may contact the PSC at 608-266-2001 or 1-800-225-7729.

Alliant Energy, 1-800-862-6222 Madison Gas & Electric, 608-252-7144

Superior Water, Light & Power, 715-395-6201 We Energies 1-800-842-4565

Wisconsin Public Service, 1-800-450-7260 Xcel Energy, 1-800-895-4999

Energy Assistance

There is financial assistance available for eligible households who cannot pay their heat or

electric bills this winter. The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)

administers low-income and energy assistance programs for the state. WHEAP is part of the

state’s comprehensive Home Energy Plus program which also provides assistance with

emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, and weatherization and conservation services.

Eligibility is based on income and family size. For example, a family of four which earns

$7,743.75 or less in the three months prior to applying for assistance is potentially eligible. For a

two-person family the earnings must be $5,133.75 or less. Benefits are based on income levels

and energy bills. Consumers do not have to be behind in their energy bill payments to qualify.

For information about WHEAP, including contact information for local energy assistance

offices, please call 1-866-HEATWIS (1-866-432-8947) or visit

Energy-saving Tips

Focus on Energy is the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program. Focus on

Energy can help customers make changes around the home so they can stay warm and

comfortable this winter without spending more on their utility bills. By having a home energy

evaluation conducted, Focus on Energy can help consumers identify ways to make their homes

more efficient, which reduces their utility bills. Customers may also be eligible for Cash-Back

Rewards if they implement the recommendations from the evaluation.

There are also simple steps consumers can take around the home to save energy during the

winter months. These include:

• Open window coverings such as drapes, shades and blinds to use the natural sunlight to

heat your home or office, especially on the west and south. Close drapes and shades in

the evening to prevent the heat from escaping.

• Close storm windows.

• Use plastic window coverings to reduce drafts through the window seals.

• Caulk and seal leaky window and door frames.

• Use furnaces and appliances that are ENERGY STAR® qualified.

• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs; they are 75% more efficient and last up to seven


• Use a programmable thermostat and set the temperature lower when you are away from

home and warmer just before you return.

• Check that no objects are blocking the heating vents, preventing heat flow.

• Clean or replace filters on central air units, furnaces and air handlers frequently, monthly

during heating and cooling seasons.

• Close the damper in fireplaces when not in use.

• Close the doors and shut off registers in rooms not being used.

• Use cold water for doing laundry and washing dishes.

• Use the dishwasher only when it is fully loaded.

• Regularly clean the lint out of the dryer.

For more information about Focus on Energy, home energy audits and for more tips on saving

energy around the home, please call 1-800-762-7077 or visit