More Wisconsin households are receiving money from the government to help heat their homes this winter.
State records show nearly 83,000 households have received about $31 million from a federally-funded heating assistance program through last Wednesday.
That's nearly 14 percent more households and 37 percent more money compared with the same time last season.
Steven Tryon runs the state's home energy assistance program. He says the reasons for the increase are rising utility payments, a cold winter and the slow economy.
Households with income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level typically qualify for help.
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