The latest survey from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources finds fuel prices are down significantly. Tommi Makila of the D.N.R. says it’s good news for consumers who’re worried about high heating costs this winter.

"The prices for natural gas and heating oil…have dropped well below the levels we had last year at this time — more than 20 percent below last year’s levels — and even propane that’s been fairly high as well, it’s at about the same level as last year," Makila says. "…The outcome going into the winter looks a lot better than it did just a couple of months ago."

Propane isn’t just used to heat homes. Farmers use it to dry their crops. Propane is selling for three cents less per gallon and heating oil is down 62 cents per gallon compared to the price at this time last year. Gasoline prices in Iowa are among the lowest in the country, too. The blend with 10 percent ethanol is cheapest at the pump.

"Now the statewide average is $1.89, more than a dollar less than a year ago. That is, again, very good news for Iowa consumers," Makila says. "Diesel prices have also been coming down, but they are still higher than gasoline. Right now the statewide average is $2.80." Makila says Iowans should enjoy these lower prices now, as energy costs are likely to jump once the economy improves.