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Record-breaking cold could lead to bank-breaking energy bills

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 3:33 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Paying to keep warm during the extreme cold temperatures is likely to result in a significantly higher energy bill than you’re used to.

“It’s a cold snap. I’m not crazy about it, but it happens,” said Wichita resident William Johnson, estimating that his gas bill could be 100 percent higher than last month.

Unfortunately, his estimate is just about spot on. Currently, utility companies are paying anywhere from 10 to 100 times more for natural gas because of the increased demand.

“Even though we do not mark up the price of natural gas, the increase in natural gas prices will have an impact on customer bills,” said Kansas Gas Service Managing Vice President Kent Shortridge.

Shortridge said he expects to see record levels of gas usage and even possible shortages. Both drive prices up.

“At this time, we cannot quantify what the impact will be,” he said. “However, customers can take steps to conserve energy.”

Everyone from Kansas Gas Service and electric providers to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly request that Kansans follow energy-saving tips mentioned before.

These tips include turning thermostats down to between 65 and 68, bundling up with extra layers and using electricity as sparingly as possible.

“Warmer weather has got its downsides too, but yeah, I’m looking forward to something warmer than this,” Johnson said.

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