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Energy assistance available as heating bills expected to increase up to 28% more this winter


You can expect to pay a lot more to heat your home this winter.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects people to pay up 28% more this winter compared to last.

This is due to a combination of surging fuel costs and slightly colder weather predicted.

Last winter was a more expensive winter than previous years. And now, experts who watch fuel and weather trends are predicting a significant increase on top of that for this winter.

For some people, those increased heating bills will push the limits of their budget.

If you even think you might fall into that group, Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary-Designee Kathy Blumenfeld recommends reaching out now for heating assistance programs.

“I think if you’re going to end up in that situation, at least it would be good to start filling out an application, be familiar with where the resources are, and what resources are available so that when it gets a little closer that need, you’re kind of in the system and in process already,” said Blumenfeld.

Blumenfeld says Evers administration has set aside $25 million for heating and energy assistance.

She expects the state will provide assistance to more than 200,000 residents.

There’s also a wide range of the types of assistance someone get either through the state or various organizations. There are funds for emergency assistance like furnace replacement, help with heating bills, and rent assistance.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are resources. There are programs. There’s organizations and there’s the state that are willing to help. We will do everything that we can to work with energy providers to prevent shutoffs and provide emergency fills for people running out of bulk fuels,” said Blumenfeld.

To learn more about programs available and see which ones you may qualify for, you can call 1-800-506-5596.

You can also visit the WHEAP website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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