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Lower heating costs projected this winter

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If you heat your home with natural gas, heating bills could hit the lowest levels in more than a decade.  Experts say current projections indicate that average heating costs will be 29% lower than last year.“Natural gas prices are low, and look to stay that way," said Karen Merkel, a spokesperson for National Fuel. "That translates to the lowest winter heating season customer bill since 2001-2002.”

A large supply of fuel produced in Pennsylvania means customers won’t have to pay a high delivery charge for fuel, Merkel told WBFO.  

“Nearly 100% of the natural gas that’s currently being used by our customers is hydraulically fractured and produced in the northeast. Our geographic proximity to pipeline capacity and natural gas production provides an advantage to our customers in Western New York,” she said.

Another factor that bodes well for consumers is that the utility has purchased a large supply of natural gas for use this winter at favorable rates.

Merkel says even if temperatures are colder than expected, homeowners should still see lower-than-average bills, even lower than last year.

“Even though last winter was 13% colder than normal, the winter season heating bill average was approximately $636,  which was down from the previous years," Merkel said.

Merkel said energy experts are optimistic that the trend of falling natural gas prices will continue for at least a few years.

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