Winter energy cost expected to be lower than last year

By: Dan Messineo
dmessineo@klkntv.com   

Black Hills Energy says this coming season's natural gas prices might be a bit lower compared to last year, which could mean more money in your bank account.  Of course, it all depends on Mother Nature. 

Lincoln saw some cold weather last winter, but on average, it was much warmer than a typical season.  If weather is colder this year than last, Black Hills Energy said to expect higher heating bills despite the slightly cheaper natural gas prices.   

Dropping temps and strong winds are the major drivers in how much natural gas customers use.  Black Hills Energy says besides natural gas prices, usage is the other large factor that determines overall utility bills.   

Jeff Sylvester, Vice President of Black Hills Energy says you might be able to control some costs by finding ways to avoid wasting energy.  “It's hard to predict what this winter's weather will be.  That's why regardless of price, we encourage customers to increase the efficiency of their homes and businesses to reduce energy waste,” Sylvester said.   

If we do have a severe winter, Black Hills Energy says there are plans for customers to manage high gas bills.  The company's program, Budget Billing, levels out monthly payments, spreading those higher winter bills over the entire year.