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      Need help paying for your heat?

      With temperatures in the single digits, you may find yourself doing everything to stay warm, even cranking up your thermostat.

      If you need help covering the cost of your heat, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society can help qualifying residents with their bill.

      "This year we are in a partnership with Lake Superior Watershed. We have gotten a $1,000,000 grant to help people with utilities. It's up to $400 per family for the winter," said Laurie Schmit, Executive Director of the Diocesan Council, St. Vincent de Paul Society.

      The grant also covers people who need wood, wood pellets, and propane. However, to qualify, your income has to fall under 150 percent federal poverty level.

      "They have to have a history of having made payments on their bills for six months or more. So, it isn't a matter of letting your bill go and 'I can't afford it. I haven't paid anything.' They need to be making some kind of payment," Schmit said.

      They also have other ongoing grants to help out.

      If you think you won't be able to pay your entire heating bill, it's best to contact the company.

      SEMCO ENERGY Gas Company offers a monthly assistance program where portions of your bill can be credited.

      "They get put on a budget bill so their monthly payment is the same. So, they have a fixed affordable monthly payment. As long as they continue to make their payments, they are protected from shut off," said Tim Lubbers, spokesman for SEMCO ENERGY.

      The monthly assistance program, or MAPS, runs from December until August.

      SEMCO will also host community forums on January 14 and 15 at the Marquette Commons. It's by appointments. To sign up, call 1-800-624-2019.

      You can also click here.