10/13/11 – Wisconsin’s natural gas utilities say their home heating customers should pay less this winter than a year ago. But that assumes we get a normal winter. We Energies said Milwaukee’s winter was 5% colder than the norm, based on heating-degree-days. We Energies is the state’s largest natural gas utility, serving over a million customers throughout Wisconsin including the southern and eastern portions of Dodge County. Spokesman Brian Manthey says those people can expect to pay 4% to 5% less with a normal winter. Last year’s average bills totaled $660, and a mild winter the year before resulted in bills averaging $626. Wisconsin Power-and-Light, which serves the rest of Dodge County, expects heating costs to be steady to 10% less. Madison Gas-and-Electric projects a 5% decrease. X-cel Energy of northwest Wisconsin is predicting a 5% to 10% price drop. And Wisconsin Public Service of Green Bay expects a decline of over 3%. Public Service spokesman Kerry Spees says the warm weather this month should help wholesale prices in the spot-gas market remain stable.