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Colder and snowier winter could lead to a sharp rise in heating costs

With the price of natural gas more than double where it was this time last year, experts say that electric bill will look a lot different this winter

DES MOINES, Iowa — A La Niña is predicted by NOAA this winter, and rising natural gas costs are coming just in time for the colder months, meaning your electric bill may look much higher than last year during these chilly months.

Five of the past eight La Niña winters have been snowier than average in Des Moines, and typically, the polar jet stream sinks far enough south that cooler than average temperatures tend to become more prevalent across the Upper Midwest.

On top of that, natural gas is running over double the cost of what it was last year heading into the colder months, leading to a warning of price hikes from MidAmerican.

"For customers throughout our service area, the impact could be anywhere from 46% to 96% higher than this time last year," said Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for MidAmerican.

RELATED: NOAA: '87% chance of La Niña this winter' | Here's what it means for Iowa

Credit: WOI

There are a few things you can do to prevent your bill from skyrocketing.

  1. Drop the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees when you head out in the morning or when you go to bed. You can always add an extra blanket or two on your bed!
  2. Check for drafts around your house. Are there any places where cold air is getting in? That could be money flowing right out of your windows and doors!
  3. Have your furnace checked for efficiency. Over time, furnaces can lose their potency if not cleaned and maintained properly, so make sure to get it checked out before the first cold snap hits Iowa.
Credit: WOI

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