Butte, Mont./Huron, S.D. - Oct. 24, 2012 - While the winter
weather outlook is uncertain, NorthWestern Energy is
predicting that energy prices will be stable this winter
heating season. For customers, that's welcome news.
The cost of natural gas has dropped significantly in recent
years. As a result, the typical residential natural-gas
monthly bill is tracking significantly below the 10-year
average. Last winter was mild across the NorthWestern service
territory and the extended weather outlook for this year is
uncertain. If we see a return to normal winter temperatures,
customers will use more energy and see higher bills than last
"Utility bills climb in the winter months and people should
be concerned about them," said Bobbi Schroeppel,
NorthWestern's Vice President of Customer Care,
Communications and Human Resources. "We encourage customers
to make their homes as energy efficient as possible now in
preparation for the cold and snow that are an inevitable part
There are a number of low-cost or no-cost energy saving steps
customers can take to lower their bills. These steps can
include installing window plastic, caulking around doors and
windows, installing new or replacing worn door sweeps,
installing foam gaskets and adding foam to seal leaks. Such
steps can be especially effective in less energy-efficient
Programmable thermostats allow customers to conserve energy
by presetting furnaces to ramp up and down based on a
family's schedule and save money in the process.
A note of caution: Customers with fuel-burning appliances or
space heaters (wood, natural gas, pellet, etc.) are
encouraged to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to alert
occupants to the build-up of the gas within a home or office.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can mimic other
winter illnesses such as cold or flu and include headache,
dizziness, confusion, disorientation, nausea and/or vomiting.
If you suspect CO poisoning, seek fresh air immediately and
call 911 for medical assistance.
About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of
electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and
Northwest, serving approximately 668,300 customers in
Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.www.northwesternenergy.com.