MARQUETTE — While this winter may not be as persistently cold as last year, many families still require assistance with their heating bills from time to time.

St. Vincent De Paul in Marquette is one organization working with the Michigan Energy Assistance Program to get people the funding they need.

A major difference between this year and last is the kind of assistance that is called for.

“Last year it was propane that was a problem,” said Janet Keto, a volunteer with St. Vincent De Paul. “This year it’s wood heating. The wood has gotten quite expensive this year, and providers have actually run out of wood and they’re still cutting wood.”

The program is need-based and the bill must be in arrears in order to attain assistance.

A portion of every homeowner’s utility bill goes to funding energy assistance for those in need.

“Fortunately for us, the last two years, Superior Watershed [Partnership] has taken on overseeing this grant money,” Keto said. “We were fortunate enough the get involved, through St. Vincent De Paul, with them and it’s U.P. wide.”

If you want to see if you’re eligible for energy assistance, contact St. Vincent De Paul at (906) 226-4610.

You can also call 211 if you live outside Marquette.