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Why are your heating bills skyrocketing? Is there relief in sight?

With pandemic-related economic disruptions in play, supply and demand challenges cloud the future of natural gas prices.

DES MOINES, Iowa — If you've noticed a substantial rise in your heating bill this winter, you are certainly not alone. 

MidAmerican Energy Company told Local 5 the average bill for a residence is up over 100% in the past year: the average in December 2020 was $56.54, up now to $116.32.

MidAmerican in October projected bills to increase between 49% and 96%.

The blame is being placed mainly on supply and demand pandemic-related economic adjustments, according to the company.

"There just wasn't a whole lot of demand about a year or year and a half ago. Fast forward to this year, plants are open, businesses are open, schools are open. The demand for natural gas is much higher now than what it was last year," MidAmerican Energy Media Relations Manager Geoff Greenwood said.

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He says there is no way to tell how long or how high natural gas prices may get since external factors control commodity prices. Natural gas is a commodity just like gold, silver or crude oil.

"It could just take one cold snap throughout the Midwest or Plains to drastically change the price outlook," Greenwood added.

A couple ways to help lower your bill:

  1. Buy a smart thermostat so you can control your room temperatures no matter where you are from your smartphone.
  2. Make sure to pay attention to your furnace too so that it's running safely and at optimum efficiency.

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