Mid-Michigan homes heated with gas could see smaller bills - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan homes heated with natural gas could see smaller bills

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(10/17/12) - We never like it when expenses increase, so it's good to hear the price of heating your home could be less this winter. Consumers Energy says natural gas prices are going down, in part because of improved gas drilling technology.

Paying your Consumers Energy heating bill this winter could be a little less painful. The price of natural gas has gone down about eight percent.

"New exploration for natural gas and new supplies are driving the price down," said Kevin Keane, a Consumers Energy spokesman.

Consumers Energy says last year the average monthly heating bill for a residential customer was $141. This year it's expected to drop $11 a month.    

However, if we have a colder-than-average winter, your utility bill could go up.

"We know budgets are tight and even a little bit of savings makes a big difference. We're excited about the price reduction," Keane said.

One Flint resident who has lived in his eastside house for 60 years says he's glad to hear about cheaper natural gas.

"That's real good news as far as I'm concerned because the prices have been going up all the time each year," said Dr. Turner Hartfield.

Just under two million homes and businesses in Michigan get their natural gas from Consumers Energy.

"I have a large home and the heating bill gets quite high," Dr. Hartfield said.

Even though the price of natural gas is lower this year, Consumers suggests customers spend less money on their utility bill by making their homes more energy efficient.

"Well, I've been here a long time and I know what high heating bills are. I was here when they were down. I'm here when they're up," Dr. Hartfield said.

Natural gas prices are the lowest they've been since 2003. They're expected to stay relatively low, at least for the next few years.

"Natural gas is a commodity. The price is going to vary based on supply and demand. Supplies are very high right now, driving the price down," Keane explained.

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