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We Energies: Natural gas customers to pay 20% more for winter heat

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's largest natural gas utility says folks will pay 20 percent more than a year ago -- but still less than the average for the past decade.

We Energies now predicts it will cost the average residential customer $661 to provide heat from November through April. That's higher than the last four winters, but utility spokesman Barry McNulty says it's still 7 percent lower than the average cost over the past 10 years.

It was almost a year ago when the typical Wisconsinite paid $800 a year for natural gas. That's because of supply disruptions caused by storms like Hurricane Katrina.

This season, wholesale gas prices started low and rose sharply on the spot market. But due to the higher usage, folks are paying more no matter how they slice it.

We Energies said the first half of the heating season, November through January, was the sixth-coldest on record.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)