Utilities Anticipate Higher Heating Bills This Winters

You might want to budget a little more for your heating bill this winter. We Energies expects customers to pay nine-percent more than a year ago – when temperatures were extremely mild for most of the six-month heating season. This winter, the utility predicts that customers will pay a total of 548-dollars for November-through-April – about 45-dollars more than last season. But that could change, depending on the weather and the wholesale prices paid by utilities. Still, weather forecasters expect above-normal temperatures – and the current projection is much less than what customers paid two winters ago. That averaged 660-dollars. We Energies is Wisconsin’s largest natural gas utility, serving over a million customers statewide. The Wisconsin Public Service utility projects a 7-to-8-percent increase for natural gas this winter, with an average increase of 10-dollars a month. X-cel Energy of Eau Claire and Wisconsin Power-and-Light of Madison both expect their bills to jump 10-to-15 percent. And Madison Gas-and-Electric is telling customers to prepare for an 18-percent hike from last winter. The federal government says natural gas costs will jump 15-percent nationally, and 19-percent in the Midwest. Heating oil prices are projected to rise 19-percent, and propane costs by 13-percent.