Before the thermometer drops, eligible residents might want to take time to apply for heating assistance. The state of Wisconsin has a moratorium on turning off the heat during the cold winter months.

“From November 1st through April 15th there is a winter utility shutoff moratorium in the state in which we would not disconnect any customers after that point.” We Energies spokesperson Brian Manthey says for those who qualify for energy assistance, “do it sooner rather than later.” He says, in addition to providing help heating homes in the winter, We Energies also tries to get people on a payment plan for the rest of the year.

“The eligibility requirements have, over the last couple of years, gotten to the point where more customers are eligible for some of these dollars. Families of four who earn $46,000 a year, or thereabouts, may qualify for this assistance.”

Manthey says if you are behind on paying the bills, it’s very important to call your utility company. They’ll help set you up or at least lead you in the right direction to apply for energy assistance. Applicants must provide proper identification, including photo ID, social security cards, current energy bill, and proof of income for all household members for previous three months. The federal and state governments provide funds for energy assistance. Also, paying utility customers pitch in to cover the expense.

Funding is available starting now through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP), which provides assistance to more than 200,000 Wisconsin families annually. WHEAP assistance is administered through local agencies. Wisconsin residents are encouraged to call 866-432-8947 or visit

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:26

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