WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - The worst of winter may be over, but many families still need help staying warm. That’s where energy assistance comes in.
The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) is a federally-funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of their home heating costs. The amount of heating assistance benefit depends on the household's size, income and heating costs.
Shannon Crowell is with Energy Assistance Incorporated, which services Marathon County residents. She says there are some basic guidelines households need to meet to get help. "A family of four's gross income shouldn't exceed $3,800 per month. They have to be living in Marathon county, and citizens."
There are several types of heating help the program can help with. "Fuel oil, propane, natural gas, electric, and if heat and electric is included with the rent, we can help with that as well. We also have an emergency furnace program, so if they own the home and there's a furnace issue, it's possible we can help with the repair or replacement."
Crowell says their office is very busy, as people seek help before spring when disconnections to service pick up. "There's a lull in February, and in March it starts to pick back up and by April, we're taking many, many appointments."
The phone number for Energy Assistance Incorporated is 715-842-3111. You can also find contacts in surrounding counties at this website: