Increased fuel prices likely to impact heating bills this winter

What you can expect from rising natural gas prices

Natural gas prices are currently on the rise and will cause home heating costs to increase significantly this winter according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

 

The EIA estimates natural gas costs in the Midwest will rise nearly 50% compared to last year due to projected increases in fuel costs and the likelihood households will use more energy due to a predicted colder winter.

We know this 
can impact your familyIf you find yourself in a financial crisis, there are resources 
to help pay your heating costs.

Learn more about the projected impact to heating bills and how we work to try and keep costs affordable. 

To stay informed on this topic, check this page periodically.


Manage your heating bill

It’s true: When temperatures drop, energy usage rises. While our rates stay the same, higher natural gas prices and increased energy use will lead to higher bills. But you don’t have to wait for your next bill, you can make changes now and monitor the impact.

Enroll or log in to My Account. You can see your usage, down to the hour. You can also use My Account to set up a payment arrangement, to spread a high bill out over several months, or set up high usage alerts.
A usage chart from My Account

see your energy usage in My Account

Budget Billing may also be helpful to you. Enroll in My Account or call us at 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268). We’ll help you determine if switching to Budget Billing would be beneficial to you.

Components of your heating bill

See what charges appear on your bill, and how you can influence your costs.

Iowa - Understanding your gas bill

Wisconsin - Understanding your gas bill

Common cold weather questions

If my thermostat is always set to the same temperature, why did my bill go up so much?

Diagram showing that your furnace works harder in colder temps

Here’s what’s happening. The colder it gets:

  • The faster your home loses heat,
  • The harder the furnace has to work to keep the temperature up and
  • The more gas and electricity the furnace uses, which causes a higher bill.

Temperatures can vary substantially over the 30-day period of the bill. Even a few days of colder temperatures can cause a noticeable impact on the bill.

Save money by setting your thermostat back at night or when you’re not home. That way, your home can retain heat more easily, and your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard.

Understanding your heating bill

Customers use more heating fuel in winter

Frigid temperatures mean higher use of heating fuels

  • Whether you heat with natural gas, electricity or another fuel, colder temperatures mean your heating equipment must work harder to keep your home warm. Your energy use goes up the larger the gap is between the outside temperature and your desired in-home temperature.
  • Humidifiers, ovens and dryers use a lot of energy. Monitor and limit their use to keep your bill down.
  • When major appliances like refrigerators, furnaces and humidifiers are not functioning well, they can use substantial amounts of energy.

Ways to save

  • Turn down your thermostat – Talk with your family about setting it to 68 degrees when you are home, as low as possible so you can comfortably sleep and down 10 degrees while you are away. Consider a smart or learning thermostat to take the guesswork out.
  • Open the shades – Let the sun’s rays warm rooms during the day. Close the shades at night to keep heat in.
  • Seal windows and doors – Heat escapes and cool air enters through leaks in doors and windows. Consider weather stripping or caulking to close the leaks. Talk to a contractor if you need help.
  • Get a furnace tune-up – Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use.
  • Keep it shut – Traditional fireplaces are energy losers because they pull heated air out of the house and release it up the chimney. When not in use, keep the damper closed. Make sure there are no smoldering embers before closing the damper.
  • Turn fans off – Kitchen and bath ventilating fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if left on. Turn them off after they’ve done their job.
  • Change your furnace filter – Your air handler will not have to work so hard to push air through a clogged filter, and that saves energy. Your air quality will also improve.
  • Clear space around your air vents – Move any furniture that may be blocking vents so air can circulate more efficiently.

Find more weatherizing tips on PowerHouse TV