You’re more likely to use your air conditioner than your heater this time of year, but one of the state’s energy companies says it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your home. MidAmerican Energy Company spokesman Alan Urlis says that’s important because natural gas prices are expected to be volatile again this winter. Urlis says the biggest factor in the cost of winter heating can’t be controlled.He says weather is the key driver in how high your heating bill be will be. He says last year is a key example as natural gas prices went up 50-percent, but the winter was warmer than average, so bills were actually lower. Urlis says his company tries to buffer natural gas price spikes by purchasing over 70-percent of the supply before the cold hits. He says in past years they bought 50-percent of the gas ahead of time, then last year increased that to 73-percent, and this year are upping it to 75-percent. Urlis says there are things you can do to make your home more energy efficient. He says one of the best ways to preserve is to install a programmable thermostat that drops the temperature when you’re not home, and raised the temp before you get home. Urlis says that keeps you from heating an empty home. Urlis says his company offers an energy audit designed to tell you how to improve your home’s energy efficiency. He says there’s an audit you can do on your own.He says you can do a home energy audit on-line where you enter information and it tells you how your home compares to the averages when compared to other homes. Urlis says the on-line audit can help you decide if you should have someone come out and do an on-site audit. For more information, surf to www.midamericanenergy.com.
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