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Home heating costs expected to rise for some

Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 19:11:28-05

Some in northeast Wisconsin could pay more to heat their homes this winter.

Nationwide, the cost of natural gas is up 20 percent over the last 12 months, according to the U.S. government numbers.

"...[B]ecause of the worldwide spike in natural gas prices, we do expect that our customers will see an increase on their bill," said Matt Cullen, a spokesman for Wisconsin Public Service, or WPS.

The average WPS or We Energies natural gas customer will pay $20- to $30 more per month during this winter's heating season compared to last year, Cullen said of WPS and We Energies estimates.

Tips from WPS to be prepared for the winter heating season include having a home furnace inspection and trying to prevent warm air from leaking from your home to the outdoors.

"...[I]t's a great time right now to look around your windows, look around your doors, see if there are any gaps or any cracks that are present there and you can take caulk or weather stripping, and seal those up," Cullen said.

Sue Johnson, who lives in Green Bay, works to reduce heating expenses in her 1950s home.

"Maybe shutting the drapes, keeping them shut during the day a little more when it's a cold day, or the wind is blowing," Johnson said.

"[Our home] uses a lot more energy than the newer homes, so we can see the difference."

Financial help is available through the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program, said Chelsey Groessl, economic support manager for Brown County.

"[T]he program is here to support people that qualify," Groessl said. Qualification information can be found here.