(CBS) — Natural gas customers could see a drop in their heating bills compared to last winter.

Citizens Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen says the Department of Energy released stats that Midwest consumers could see a 27 percent decrease in their natural gas bill compared to last year.

Chilsen says he believes there are three things leading to lower natural gas bills: a mild winter, new technology that increased supply and bought down prices, and interest and awareness about energy efficiency is at a high point.

Chilsen says local natural gas utilities have predicted a 12.5percent to 23 percent reduction in heating bills compared to last year.