Energy Prices May Double This Winter

With winter just around the corner, experts are telling consumers to start saving, and not for the holidays, but for your heating bill. They expect energy prices to rise 30 to 40 even 50 percent higher this winter. Shoveling your driveway, preparing for the holidays, and bundling up, all sure signs of winter, and soon you'll be able to add high energy costs to the long list. The federal Energy Department estimates natural gas users can expect to pay an average of $350 more over last year. Don Nordell of Aquila says consumers are going to need to gear up for higher prices. But some Aquila customers say they're already seeing signs of higher bills. J.R. Brown has even had to receive assistance through the Salvation Army's heat share program.  He has had to reevaluate his budget, and he stopped doing things he enjoyes doing.  While some experts say  a shortage is to blame, others insisted that's not the case, but recognize demand is driving prices up. If you find yourself having a tough time paying your heating bills this winter,  the heat share program might be able to help. Keep in mind, you must have a disconnected notice when you apply for help. To see if you qualify for heat share, you can call  477-9276.