A policy analyst for the American Gas Association is warning that the price of natural gas could be up to 90% higher this winter. Chris McGill says between now and next spring, natural gas prices will probably rise to about 14-dollars per unit.
“Let me remind you…that last winter prices were in the seven dollar range and they were considered high,” McGill says. For Iowa households hooked up to natural gas, about 20 percent of July’s utility bill is for the natural gas used to heat water or run natural-gas-fueled appliances.
However, a few months from now — in the winter time — at least 50 percent of that bill is going to pay for the natural gas used to heat the home. Troy Weary of Alliant Energy says if you’ve put off installing new windows or insulation, now may be the time to do it.
“I’ve been an account manager here five years,” Weary says. “I have a shelf full of energy audits and it’s time that I think we all need to dust those off and take another look at the cost of energy and see if some of those things that were not applicable a few years ago make sense now.”
Alliant Energy has customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Earlier this month, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported that natural gas prices already are 79% higher this month than they were last year in mid-July. The price of heating oil in mid-July was 68% higher than it was a year ago. Propane prices in Iowa were up 41% over last year.