WPS says monthly bills will rise this winter

What to do if your bills cause a bind
Costs are expected to rise an average of 17% from last winter
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:32 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Your bank account already knows costs for necessities are up. We already pay more at the pump, and at the grocery store. Now, with winter on the way, you can add heating your home to that list.

Wisconsin Public Service said there are two big factors contributing to the price hike. The first being demand and the second is the war in Ukraine.

“Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, that has caused some European countries to limit or stop using natural gas that’s exported by Russia. that has also caused worldwide natural gas prices to rise,” said Matt Cullen, WPS.

Here in Wisconsin, last winter the typical WPS customer paid around $120 a month. This year that could jump to about $150.

“Now is a great time for our customers to think ahead,” said Cullen.

There are a variety of ways you can help keep heat costs down.

“Looking around your home. seeing if there are any gaps or cracks around your windows or your doors and use caulk or weather stripping to seal those up and that will keep the warm air inside your house and prevent it from leaking outside and causing your furnace to run more often,” said Cullen.

You can also plan ahead on budgeting. WPS offers a ‘budget billing option.’

“What that does is it takes your annual energy cost and it spreads it out evenly throughout the entire year,” said Cullen.

That way you have a consistent bill month to month and you eliminate the highs and lows throughout the year. However, if you do find yourself in a bind with your bill this winter, there are programs that can help. The Department of Administration offers the WHEAP program. It helps with heat and electric costs as well as energy crisis situations.

“We know that energy prices are rising and we expect a lot more people are going to be applying,” said Kathy Blumenfeld, Secretary Designee, Wisconsin Department of Administration.

They’ve helped more than 200,000 households this year. If you’re in a bind this winter, you can reach out. You can call 1-800-506-5596 to speak with a live person and explain your situation. Or you can fill out a home energy plus application.

“We will do everything that we can at the state level to help keep the heat on in Wisconsin,” said Blumenfeld.