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DES MOINES, Iowa – As the temperatures cool down, expect your heating bills to go up. MidAmerican Energy announced Tuesday its natural gas customers should expect their bills to jump 46 to 96-percent this winter.

“If it’s warmer this winter, you probably won’t use as much natural gas and maybe your bill won’t be as bad,” Geoff Greenwood with MidAmerican Energy Company said. “If it’s a colder than average winter, that’s when you start using more energy and your bill is going to be higher.”

While how much you use will define how much you spend, companies such as Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling are prepping people on what they can do now.

“Whether it’s annual maintenance or actually testing the efficiency of the equipment, going through and saying OK well this is what it is so you can expect one of those higher bills,” Nicholas Wanderscheid, service manager with Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, said. “People that know they have older equipment, right now is the best time to update it before these high energy bills start coming through.”

The experts also remind people to replace filters and program your thermostat for a comfortable temperature when you’re home and a cooler temp when you’re away.

When it comes to the financial aspect, MidAmerican provides programs such as budget billing to help customers ease bill fluctuations.

“We will calculate your average use and figure out a monthly bill that is pretty steady every month throughout the year,” Greenwood explains.

Customers can enroll by calling MidAmerican at 888-427-5632 or through the My Account link on the company’s website at

Iowans can also apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. 

Households with residents ages 60 or older are able to apply now. Applications for other households begin Nov. 1. To apply for LIHEAP call 515-518-4770 or click here.