Madison Gas & Electric expects lower heating bills this winter

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Madison (WKOW) — It may cost more for the average family to stay warm this winter in other places in the country, but Madison Gas & Electric says its customers shouldn’t feel the pinch.

The Energy Information Administration predicts families will see a 3 percent increase in electricity bills, 5 percent increase in natural gas bills and a 20 percent increase in heating oil bills.

Propane costs are expected to remain about the same as last year.

It may be a different story for Madison Gas & Electric customers.

Unlike the national averages, MGE customers could see a 5 percent decrease in the heating bills.

It says people who get their heating with natural gas can expect to pay $400 for the total heating season, given typical winter weather.

While the costs are 5 percent lower this year, they’re also more than 14 percent below the 5-year average.

MGE spokesman Steve Schultz says this is because the past few years have been colder than average.

Since heat is provided by natural gas and the price of that commodity can fluctuate, MGE does what it can to keep costs low.

“We purchase gas during the summer when it’s typically cheaper, put it into storage for use in the winter when the cold temperatures and the price of gas might higher,” Schultz said. “We buy or gas from various sources and different contract lengths.”

He says the difference between Madison and the national average most likely has to do with the expected weather in different regions of the country.

Schultz also said that to lower your heating bill, he recommends turning down your thermostat when no one is home or when sleeping.

He said the typical heating season runs from November 1st to March 31st.

Francisco Almenara

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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