MADISON -- Gov. Tony Evers today announced an additional $16.6 million investment to help Wisconsin families keep their energy and heat on throughout the fall and winter months. This investment will be managed by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and includes $13.6 million for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) for heating assistance and $3 million for the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund for crisis energy assistance.
In the summer of 2022, the Evers Administration also invested $8 million in the Summer Fill Program to assist the families that rely on propane and fuel oil for energy to put fuel in their tanks during the summer months. The Summer Fill Program helps families prepare for winter by purchasing fuel when prices are typically lower to help avoid an emergency situation at the beginning of the heating season. Combined, $24.6 million has been made available to help Wisconsinites stay warm this winter.
“We know that hardworking folks and families across our state are facing rising energy costs this season, in addition to the rising costs we’ve seen at the grocery store check out and gas pumps,” said Gov. Evers. “Nobody should have to worry about choosing between keeping their homes warm and their families fed, but for many, that’s the reality. These funds will help Wisconsinites make ends meet so they don’t have to choose, taking a little pressure off their household budget and a little worry off their minds.”
Energy assistance benefits are available for individuals and households through WHEAP from Oct. 1, 2022, until May 15, 2023. This heating season, the average heating benefit it expected to be $372 and the average electric benefit is expected to be $210.
“Time and again, Gov. Evers has demonstrated his commitment to making sure Wisconsin families have the tools and resources they need to stay safe in their homes—from rental and mortgage assistance to resources for homeless shelters across the state,” said DOA Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “With this additional funding from Gov. Evers, we expect to help 200,000 Wisconsin households with energy costs this season and offset some of the concerns from rising energy prices.”
Residents can apply for energy assistance through county social and human service offices, Tribal governments, and private non-profit agencies, online here, or by phone at 1-800-506-5596.
Eligibility is based on household income, household size, and the home's energy costs. Residents may be eligible if their gross household income is 60 percent or less of the state median income level. WHEAP pays benefits directly to energy providers to offset home energy costs. Crisis assistance, emergency furnace repair and replacement, and repair and replacement of leaking or otherwise malfunctioning water heaters may also be offered based on household need.