MILWAUKEE — The cost of natural gas and coal are higher than they have been in the past, making it more expensive for companies like We Energies to provide electricity to your home.
The priceof natural gas is about 44% higher right now than it was a year ago here in Wisconsin.
"There’s a chance that is going to impact your bill this summer," said Brendan Conway, Spokesperson for We Energies.
"The concern is not only what we're going to pay now, but with what we're going to be paying," said Tom Content, Executive Director of the Citizen Utility Board of Wisconsin (CUB).
Both Conway and Content say the best thing for consumers to do right now is conserve energy usage.
CUB suggest unplugging electronic devices and small appliances when you're not using them, turning off the air conditioner when possible,and to keep your house warmer than normal.
ENERGY SAVING TIPS
- For tips on saving energy from We Energies, click here.
- For tips on saving energy from CUB, click here.
In addition to higher costs, industry researchers are also warning of potential "energy emergencies" during the upcoming peak summer months.
The group Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) oversees the use of electricity in Wisconsin and across the Midwest. States pool their power together and when demand is high and another area needs help meeting supplying the power to customers, everyone steps in.
A new studyby the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warns that the Midwest could face energy emergencies like unreliable power grids, rolling blackouts if conditions are extreme this summer.
"What they're saying is they're telling companies like us that we may be shorter than past years as far as being able to meet peak need given a really really hot summer," said Conway.
"We think it's going to be more of a problem in other parts of the U.S., but the problem is because (MISO is a) regional network, will Wisconsinites be called to help out and pitch in and have to reduce energy demand to basically help the grid as a whole," Content said.
It's a problem Wisconsin hasn't run into since the 1990's. Conway says he feels confident that We Energies will not be badly impacted by these issues this summer. He believes MISO and those researchers are being proactive in giving energy companies a heads up.