Posted By: Camila Orti
Natural gas prices are slightly higher this year compared to last year, which could mean more expensive heating bills this winter.
Experts say increased global demand is to blame.
Black Hills Energy representatives say the cost of natural gas per unit is up by about seven cents. The cost of your heating bill will ultimately come down to winter temperatures, but there are options for keeping your bills low, or at least consistent.
Black Hills Energy has been offering the Annual Price Option Program to customers for the last 15 years. Before midnight Thursday (Oct. 10) is the deadline to sign up for the program, and it must be done online. This option allows customers to lock in the current price being paid for natural gas every month for a year.
Don Nordell with Black Hills Energy of Nebraska says participation in the APO Program has depended on the natural gas market.
"As customers look at the market and see that it's fairly stable, we've had less participation, and as people hear stories similar to the one earlier this week about prices going up, people may take advantage of a program like this to lock in their price," Nordell said.
Whether or not the program saves you money depends on the market, too.
Monthly bills will still increase or decrease based on how much natural gas a customer uses.
There are other things you can do to cut heating costs, like putting weather strips on windows and doors, and having your heating unit checked before winter hits.
To sign up for the Annual Price Option, click here.