Extreme Cold Likely to Deliver Gas Bill Shocker

Created: 01/08/2014 6:07 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The weather may be warming up, but the cold stretch we've seen is going to have an impact on heating bills. Both natural gas and propane use is up due to the cold.

Mia Mathias, her fiance, and four-year-old daughter Maiia, just moved in to their Byron home a month ago.

While they've gotten all of their things moved in, one thing they haven't gotten yet, their first heating bill.

"Not excited about it. I'm hoping the bills from here on out are going to be a lot less, so that's nice to think about. But not excited for this first one," said Mathias.

With her fiance, Danny, working days, Mia works evenings. Which means there's not much room to save energy in the winter.

"There's somebody home all the time and she's home almost all the time. She goes to school for just a couple days a week. So, especially with her, we like to keep it to 68ish," said Mathias.

Gas usage is up across the state. Which means those bills will be up across the state as well.

"Our customers will see an increase in usage. You know, as the temperature goes down, the usage goes up. We also have had some interruptions from our larger customers, in order to serve our firm customers, our residential customers," said Rory Lenton, with Minnesota Energy.

There are, however, some things you can do to help.

"First thing I'd tell you, is check your filter on your furnace, because as that plugs up, you lose efficiency quickly," said Lenton.

Other tips: go outside, and make sure the snow is cleared around your unit. Also, get your furnace checked every year to make sure its running properly.

"We recommend that you keep your thermostat down 4 to five degrees if you're gone." more, if you're able to tolerate it," said Lenton.

And while Mia waits for the first bill, she also says, it's just a part of living in Minnesota.

"It's one of those things, it happens," said Mathias.