Consumers advised to budget for the winter months as natural gas prices spike

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:48 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As temperatures begin to fall, the price to heat your home is going up.

MidAmerican Energy says natural gas prices have spiked since this time last year. Some predictions expect customers could begin to see bills double what they’re used to.

“The fuel cost has gone way up and that is what has resulted in projected higher bills this heating season,” MidAmerican Energy Spokesman Geoff Greenwood said. “We have tried to take steps to try to lessen the impact to our customers but, nonetheless, because of those market prices, it will result in higher bills this heating season.”

Couple this with prices at the pump, along with increased costs on generic goods, and families may need to reassess their finances.

“As prices go up, are there things that are in your budget that are wants, instead of needs, that you might have to scale back on to compensate for some of those rising prices?” Dawson Muska, Lutheran Social Services Counseling Coordinator, said.

MidAmerican Energy says they want to help customers who may have financial concerns.

“If you think you may be having trouble paying your bill and are struggling, contact us and let us know, let’s look at some options,” Greenwood said.

Muska works as a financial counselor with LSS, he says the pandemic has caused financial hurdles for many people.

“Crises come and crises go, and when it comes to financial management, consistent discipline, consistent healthy financial practice, is going to see you through, even when things seem turbulent,” Muska said.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, Muska advises that you put aside some extra money.

“If you’re looking forward to Christmas and you’re even able to take $50 out of a paycheck right now, you’re going to have a decent amount of money by the time you get to December; you’re going to have a few hundred dollars to spend on your kids,” Muska said.

And, Muska reminds folks, it’s okay to ask for help.

“If you’re ever in a position where you have stress about your finances, if you’re experiencing any type of anxiety, you’re losing sleep, anything like that that is impacting your life, and it’s due to finances, reach out,” Muska said.

For more information about Lutheran Social Services, click here.

For more information about the current natural gas situation, click here.

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