A leading charity in Wisconsin that can help with heating bills is the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, or KWW/CF. While most of the financial aid is for helping during the cold winter months, some limited funds may be offered for paying cooling bills during a hot weather stretch during the summer.
The non-profit will provide funds to people who would be at risk if their power was disconnected. So this means that working poor families with young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and low income veterans are the main recipients. Any support is targeted at those residents who are facing some form of crisis or medical emergency.
Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund relies on donations. As a result of these generous contributions from the private, public, and local businesses, many residents are able to benefit from these preventative services. The charity can provide any number of forms of financial assistance that may be necessary to avert energy-related crisis situations or disconnections. For many low income families, the KWW/CF program is literally the only safety net that keeps their power on and keeps them safe in their homes.
The agency operates statewide. It assists low-income and working poor households who, at no fault of their own, cannot meet their basic survival needs and pay the bills on their own. The State of Wisconsin, Department of Administration, Division of Energy, also supports the charity.
Many energy companies also participate and contribute. Their donations help provide assistance to those with the lowest incomes and also the greatest unmet energy needs. Financial aid is offered for customers of Madison Gas and Electric, Alliant Energy, We Energies, Xcel Energy, and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. Other companies are supported too. Those utilities as well as Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund are committed to working closely with low-income households and those that are struggling. In addition to direct financial aid, they may also offer customers affordable payment plans, share with them ways to conserve energy, and also offer budget and credit counseling to those that need it. Most of the assistance is offered in an effort to help people avoid a life-threatening situation.
Every year thousands of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents are faced with a disconnection. Most of this is a result of the weak economy, high unemployment rates, and of course the ever sky-rocketing cost of energy. Some people have even come to the point in which they see power and heat not as a basic necessity, but an unaffordable luxury. Some people are paying even as much as fifty percent or more of their monthly income toward their winter heating bills, which is unsustainable. The charity that runs the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund (KWW/CF) provides, as a last resort, a key safety net that helps keep people safe in their homes.
In order to apply, there are a number of conditions that need to be met. They are mostly based on income levels as well as your specific need. Most of those families that participate in the KWW/CF program are those low income families that are facing a significant energy burden where other available resources are inadequate. The income limits are usually very similar to those that are set by the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, or WHEAP. They may qualify for supplemental support and financial aid from the Fund.
Proof of your hardship and income is required as well. Applicants will need to bring Social Security cards for all household members, proof of total income for all household members, and they also need copies of all current utility bills.
To learn more or get questions answered, the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund office can be reached at 1-800-891-9276.
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