Contacts: Laura Smith, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162
Emily Winecke, Department of Administration, 608-266-7362
MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced he is making $10 million of Public Benefit funds available to help meet the home energy needs of low-income households in Wisconsin. These funds are in addition to the $24 million currently available through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP).
“No family should have to choose between buying groceries and paying their heating bill,” Governor Doyle said. “During this difficult economic time, I am pleased to provide this additional relief to our low-income families across the state.”
The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to eligible low-income residents who may struggle to pay utility bills this winter. WHEAP is part of the state’s comprehensive Home Energy Plus program, which provides assistance with emergency energy needs, emergency furnace repairs, conservation service and assistance weatherizing low-income homes. The additional funds are available as a result of a transfer to the energy assistance program from the weatherization program as allowed under Wisconsin Act 28.
Due to changes in program eligibility, many more households across the state may be eligible for heating assistance this winter. The income eligibility limit for WHEAP and Weatherization is based on 60 percent of the state’s median income, up from 150 percent of the federal poverty level used prior to last year.
Payments under these programs depend upon household size, income level, and home energy costs. A family of four, with an annual income of $47,245 or less, may be eligible for energy assistance.
To receive more information about how to apply for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, call the Home Energy Plus hotline at 866-432-8947, or visit http://www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov.