Proposed Xcel Energy assistance program in Wisconsin would lower costs for some, raise costs for others

Xcel Energy is working to create a new program in Wisconsin that would expand assistance to lower-earning households who need help paying their energy bills.

The program aims to lower bills for eligible customers in Wisconsin to no greater than 4% of their annual income for each utility service from Xcel, with a maximum reduction of $600 a year.

If approved, the program would be paid for by other residential customers at a cost of a dollar a month added onto their bills.

Officials estimate roughly 10,000 customers could qualify for the help.