Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)

An Effective Practice


The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) uses federal and state funding to provide assistance to low income households for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. Heating or electrical assistance are provided in a one-time payment during the heating season (October 1 – May 15) to cover a portion of heating or electrical costs. The amount of these payments varies depending on household size, income, and costs, and is usually paid directly to the household energy supplier.

If a household has no heat, has received a disconnect notice, or is nearly out of fuel with no means to purchase more they may be eligible for crisis assistance. A 24-hour crisis phone number is available, and WHEAP assistance provides both emergency and proactive solutions including information to reduce fuel costs, counseling on budgeting and money management, and co-pay agreements. Furnace or boiler repairs or replacement are available if an eligible home owner’s furnace or boiler stops operating during the heating season. WHEAP services are available to households with a gross income less than or equal to 60% of the state median income.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program is to help low income households meet their home energy needs.

Results / Accomplishments

WHEAP provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations to approximately 160,000 households annually. In 2009 WHEAP paid a total of nearly $123 million in heating and electrical assistance to over 178,000 households, with an average payment of $688. More than 49,000 households were assisted by crisis payments averaging $384 and totaling nearly $19 million.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Home Energy +
PO Box 7868
Madison, WI 52707
Government & Politics / Social Services
Economy / Poverty
Economy / Government Assistance Programs
Wisconsin Division of Energy Services
Date of publication
Aug 2009
For more details
Additional Audience
low income