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Illinois leads nation in home heating prices

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(The Center Square) – Illinois is the most expensive state for natural gas heating bills.

MoneyGeek, the financial planning website, has ranked Illinois No. 1 among states with the highest projected residential winter heating bills.

Anja Solum, data journalism manager for MoneyGeek, said the average natural gas heating cost for Illinois households this winter is expected to be $133 a month. That is $5 monthly more than residents in No. 2 ranked Oklahoma can expect to pay.

The good news is that natural gas prices have dropped from the highs that we saw last year. Illinois residents can expect to pay $35 less per month for home heating this winter than they did last winter when Illinois households paid an average of $168 a month for natural gas.

MoneyGeek used projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to rank states by heating cost, Solum said.

“EIA tracks the number of households that are using natural gas,” Solum said. “We compared that to the retail prices for residential customers.”

Heating costs in Illinois’ neighboring states are considerably lower. The average household cost in No. 8 Michigan is $106 a month. In Indiana, at No. 25, bills average $74 a month. At No. 26 Wisconsin, residents pay an average of $72 a month. For the complete list of ranked states, go to the MoneyGeek website.

People with sealed/insulated houses and energy-efficient furnaces will have lower bills. So will people who use programmable thermostats to turn their heat down when they are asleep and when they are at work.

For tips and links to heating assistance programs, visit the Keep Warm Illinois website at KeepWarm.Illinois.gov.

Natural gas prices go through periodic price spikes for many reasons, Solum said. Everything from the war in Ukraine to Hurricane Ida that shut down natural gas refineries can affect the natural gas supply. The relatively mild 2022 winter is also attributed for the build-up of natural gas reserves that have allowed prices to come down in 2023.

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