From an Associated Press article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

More Wisconsin residents are looking for help with their heating and electricity bills.

The state Division of Energy Services reports that the number of low-income people seeking financial assistance is up 6% this year compared with last year.

The agency administers the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Spokeswoman Susan Brown said 9,000 households have sought basic assistance with their utility bills this year, and another 3,000 households sought crisis assistance.

Brown tells Wisconsin Public Radio the numbers could be up this year because of the struggling economy, but also because more people might be aware of the program.