Utility bills skyrocket after winter freeze

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Following the recent extended period of frigid temperatures, many Alabamians are facing the reality of higher than normal electric bills.

According to the Public Service Commission (PSC), the state agency that regulates utilities in Alabama, the increased usage by customers in January 2018 has contributed to higher utility bills and an increase in customer billing/payment inquiries.

"I am a single elderly lady, 71 years old. I only get like $1,000 a month and you receive a $700 light bill you go like how am I gonna eat, how am I gonna pay my insurance, how am I gonna drive my car to get from point A to point B? And its got me to where I been sick with a cold afraid to turn on the heat bc im afraid of another big bill." says Betty White a Dothan resident.

When it comes to possible solutions, the options are out there.

One could consider which bills they absolutely need to survive. For most, water, power and sewage are basic needs.

Captain Bryant with the Salvation Army had a few other suggestions:
"You know we are telling everyone.. find ways.. even if you do it one window at a time in your house.. to upgrade your current windows.. because that truly is going to make a huge impact on your current power bill.."

He also says.."We could encourage you to try your best to seal your window areas maybe with an extra blanket or an extra sheet or something that you could hang temporarily over your windows to keep the cold weather out."

For more information on how to save energy in your home, you can visit the Energy Star website at https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/home.