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Winter heating costs expected to rise

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UNDATED (WRN)   You’ll have to pinch your pennies a little tighter this winter.

We Energies expects customers to pay 9 percent more for their heating bills this winter than they did a year ago, when temperatures were relatively mild. The utility predicts that customers will pay a total of $548 for this winter — November through April. That’s about $45 more than last season, depending on the weather and the wholesale prices paid by utilities.

The Wisconsin Public Service utility projects a 7-to-8-percent increase for natural gas, with an average increase of $10 a month. X-cel Energy of Eau Claire and Wisconsin Power and Light of Madison both expect their bills to jump 10 to 15 percent. Madison Gas and Electric is telling customers to prepare for an 18 percent hike from last winter.

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