APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Heating your home this winter will likely cost more than usual.

A spokesman for the Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) corporation, which is a utility company that serves thousands of customers in Northeast Wisconsin, says monthly heating bills for their customers will likely be about $40 higher than last winter.

“Industries and economies reopen during the pandemic and that has increased that demand for natural gas, and the supply and production hasn’t caught up to that demand,” explained Matt Cullen, a spokesman for WPS.

Cullen says this price increase isn’t unique to Northeast Wisconsin or WPS, it’s a problem nationwide.

He says WPS was proactive, doing things before the winter to limit the price hike for their customers as much as possible.

“Locking in fixed contracts at a guaranteed rate, and purchasing natural gas on the commodities market and by using these strategies we’ve lowered anticipated costs by about 25 percent this winter,” said Cullen.

Heating your home this winter isn’t going to be cheap, but there are some simple things you can do to keep your home warm without touching the thermostat.

If you have blinds, open them up on sunny days because the sunlight will naturally warm up your home. Putting a ceiling fan on low can also warm up your home because it pushes the warm air that rises back down to where you can feel it.

Wearing a sweatshirt or grabbing a blanket are also good ways to stay warm inside your home.

Cullen does caution against turning your oven on to heat your home. He says this method is both inefficient and dangerous. He also says to make sure to turn off electric blankets when you are done using them and if you want to use a space heater make sure it’s a new model.