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Winter heating bill will likely be higher this season

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UNDATED, WI (WTAQ) - 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 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.

We Energies is Wisconsin’s largest natural gas utility, serving over a million customers statewide.Wisconsin Public Service 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. 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.

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