From a story in The Capital Times:

With winter approaching, Alliant Energy is urging qualified utility customers to apply for energy assistance.

The company says more households are eligible for assistance due to the economic downturn, so people are urged to apply as soon as possible through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). Residents can apply with their local county office through May 15, 2010, or until funds are exhausted.

The dollar amount of the payment varies, but the program will help households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the state median income. This means a family of four that makes about $45,000 or less per year, or a two-person household making $30,600 or less, may qualify for assistance.

Frank Galle, Alliant Energy senior manager of customer support, recommends that customers who think they may qualify apply right away.

“In these challenging economic times, it’s important that people know that they do not have to wait until they are behind on their utility bills to receive energy assistance,” said Galle. “We encourage customers to check their eligibility now and apply as soon as possible if they qualify for funds.”

Customers can find their nearest county agency by calling 1-866-432-8947 or by visiting