As we head into winter, Michigan Gas Utilities (MGU) is letting customers know that their heating bills will likely rise as the temperatures fall — it’s due to a nationwide spike in natural gas prices.

The price of natural gas has more than doubled this year and currently sits at the highest level in a decade. This increase is mainly due to tight supplies as well as a worldwide increase in demand for natural gas.

An analysis done by MGU predicts the typical residential customer will pay $43 more a month this winter compared to last year. The analysis assumes typical winter weather.

Natural gas is a pass-through expense. MGU does not earn a profit on the gas it purchases for its customers.

Working on behalf of customers

MGU uses a proactive, multi-pronged approach to make sure customers have the reliable and affordable energy they need, while limiting the impact of sudden price changes. The company buys and stores gas when it is typically lower priced, locks in guaranteed natural gas contracts at fixed prices and purchases gas in the market. This approach is projected to lower this winter’s gas costs for MGU customers by 15%.

Assistance available

Some customers may qualify for energy assistance and credits through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Department of Treasury. These options include:

  • Home Heating Credit – Offers assistance covering heating costs.
  • State Emergency Relief – Provides help to residents needing immediate assistance with energy-related expenses.
  • Weatherization Assistance – Helps install energy-efficient home improvements, such as air sealing or additional insulation, at no charge.
  • Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) – Assists residents with managing energy costs and paying energy bills.

Significant federal assistance is also available. Congress recently authorized $3.7 billion of federal funding to help low-income customers this winter.

Customers can go to for more information on energy assistance options.

Managing energy use

Customers can take steps to manage their energy use by turning down their thermostats, sealing gaps around windows and doors and scheduling an annual furnace tune-up. For more low and no cost energy-saving tips, go to /savings/tips/default.