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Officials say expect 15 percent hike in natural gas bills this winter

The price of natural gas is only half of what it was two months ago - but don't think you'll get lower heating bills this winter.

The U.S. Energy Department says wholesale prices have been high all year. And the average Midwest resident should still plan to pay at least 15 percent more for natural gas than last winter.

The government says the actual increase should be just more than $150 for the heating season that begins Oct. 1.

Most Wisconsinites use natural gas in their furnaces. Those who use heating oil can now expect at least a 20 percent price increase from last year.

Propane fuel is now projected to cost 11 percent more.