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DES MOINES, Iowa — MidAmerican Energy says its customers should expect to receive larger monthly heating bills this winter due to higher market prices for natural gas. Residential customers can expect their total bills to increase by 46% to 96%, MidAmerican said.

According to MidAmerican, natural gas market prices have more than doubled from this time last year. MidAmerican says increased global demand coupled with limited production and inventory have heavily increased the cost for it to purchase the natural gas it delivers to its customers.

Peggi Allenback, MidAmerican’s vice president of market operations and supply, released the following statement about the situation:

“We’re not seeing signs of supply challenges this winter, but we do expect to see higher customer bills because of higher commodity prices.

“We don’t mark up what we pay for natural gas, rather the cost of the commodity is a straight pass-through to customers. We purchase a portion of gas in advance at the best possible price, and in warmer months, when gas is generally cheaper, we store it for use in winter to help protect our customers financially. Despite these efforts, though, we want our customers to understand that natural gas bills will still be higher this heating season.”

Peggi Allenback, MidAmerican vice president of market operations and supply

MidAmerican says the higher market prices will impact a customer’s gas supply charge, which is the cost of the natural gas the customer uses. Market price fluctuations do not affect rates, which include fixed administrative costs, as well as costs associated with maintaining infrastructure and ensuring safety, according to MidAmerican.

MidAmerican said bill impacts will vary by customer due to usage as temperatures get colder and market prices continue to fluctuate, but residential customers should expect their total bills to increase by 46% to 96%.

MidAmerican offers a budget billing program to help customers ease bill fluctuations. Customers can enroll by calling MidAmerican at 888-427-5632 or through the My Account link on the company’s website at