Even with limited income, you can get through the harshest winters thanks to Wisconsin electric bill assistance programs that promise to keep the lights on. Whether you seek help from a charity, the government, your utility company or all three, you can get cash grants applied directly to your electricity account.
The Wisconsin Division of Energy Services is responsible for two programs that could help you control your electricity bills. First, the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) provides cash grants to offset the rising costs of electricity. This can be done through monthly credits that keep your winter electric bills substantially lower. It can also include emergency aid, such as when you have received a disconnect notice from your power company. Other emergencies such as furnace failure or emergency fuel needs can also be met.
The second program is the Wisconsin Weatherization Assistance Program (WisWAP). WisWAP can help you with weatherization projects that could lower your monthly light bills. Insulation and weather stripping are two examples of weatherization upgrades that could lower your electricity usage.
Both programs receive federal funding each year through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). For more information on how to apply for electric bill assistance, call 1-866-432-8947.
Grants are available from October 1 through May 15 each year. Emergency assistance or weatherization help are generally available year round. Income limits do apply, and applications from households who earn more than 60% of the state median income level may be declined. Households with multiple family members may qualify through higher thresholds. The average household award is about $500 per year, which makes this a particularly useful program for lower income households struggling to stay warm.
Your utility company also has a program that can provide assistance. While each utility company may have slightly different rules, most work in a similar manner. Donations and government grants may be used to help you keep your account in good standing. Your local Social Services agency can help you apply for benefits.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."