Cost of Heat Consistent in Central Iowa - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Cost of Heat Consistent in Central Iowa

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

The U.S. government announced today that homeowners will pay an average of 13 percent more to heat their homes with gas this year. But MidAmerican Energy said Central Iowans will not see increases anywhere near that number.

"When it comes to a customer's heating bill this season, they may see a slight increase compared to last year, but it's not going to be anything substantial," said MidAmerican Spokesperson Tina Potthoff.

The price of natural gas is up, but only up from last year's record low. Experts say a lot of factors go in to what consumers pay for their heat, but things here should stay the same.

"I think it's going to be very much in line [with last year]," said Harold Hommes of the Iowa Department of Agriculture. "There might be a couple months in there where it gets cold where it would be, I would say, modestly higher."

MidAmerican stores gas and uses financial hedging to keep those prices consistent.

They said if you're still worried about paying too much, now is the time to get your home ready for heating season.

"When the weather is really nice like this and we have really great fall days, a few things they can do is make sure their home is more energy efficient," Potthoff said.

One way of doing that is checking windows and doors or calling MidAmerican for an inspection. But no drastic increases should happen any time soon.

"The continued new production and sources of natural gas that we have in the U.S. is really keeping a lid on those values," Hommes said.

Even though the price of natural gas is up from last year, it's still much lower than the average price over the last ten years.

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