Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The utility company that provides natural gas to heat Rochester homes and businesses is predicting the average residential customer will spend less than $600 to heat their home this winter. Minnesota Energy Resources says it will be the third year in a row that average heating costs will be under $600.

If the projections are on target, the energy company expects an average residential customer to pay $557 for home heating costs from November through next April. That would be the fourth lowest cost in the past 10 years and would be about $325 less than what a typical residential customer paid in 2007. The last time average annual heating costs were above $600 was the winter of 2013-2014 when the average expense was around $860.

Minnesota Energy Resources says there are steps consumers can take to reduce their heating bills and those tips include:

  • A professional inspection and tuneup of a home’s heating system.
  • Using ceiling fans to disperse heat throughout a room.
  • Lowering the thermostat’s temperature when asleep or away. Smart thermostats can do this automatically.
  • Sealing air leaks by adding weather-stripping to doors and windows.
    Sealing and insulating heating and cooling ducts.

Anyone who anticipates having difficulty paying their heating bills is reminded that applications for energy assistance are being accepted by the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program through the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Information is available at the Commerce Department Website.

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