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Utility bills set to rise in North Alabama as temperatures drop — especially if you use natural gas

"The colder that temperature may be outside, the harder that unit is working."

Posted: Oct 18, 2021 6:34 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2021 5:25 PM

As the temperatures fall, homeowners will turn up the heat. For homes that use natural gas, this can mean a costly utility bill.

Each winter, Huntsville Utilities warns customers of the price increase that might appear on their bill.

"The colder that temperature may be outside, the harder that unit is working to keep the desired temperature of your home," said Gary Whitley, communications and public relations manager of Huntsville Utilities. 

For homes using natural gas, that's where you may see your bill skyrocket this year. 

"There will be a rate modification that will go into effect on Nov. 1 of this year," said Whitley. 

The reason is similar to what customers experience at the gas pump: There's an increased demand. 

"Over the past several months, gas prices have exploded, and so we are going to have to accommodate for that and hoping that the rate will stabilize so that we can keep our rates competitively low," said Whitley. 

There are some budget-friendly ways to keep that utility bill low in the meantime. Make sure doors and windows are sealed, check attic insulation and, if temperatures are cool, turn the HVAC unit off. 

Homeowner Eric Shaffer said his family often leaves their unit off during the warmer portions of October, then turn it on for cold snaps like the one early this week. 

"I keep the heat on low at night upstairs, and I'd have a ceiling fan that draws warm air up downstairs to help disperse the warm air better, so that really does help us a lot," said Shaffer.

As families prepare for colder temperatures, Huntsville Utilities reminds customers not to forget about household chores. 

"This is a good time to have those HVAC units checked," Whitley said. "Remember to change those filters as well." 

Until cold temperatures stay for good, Huntsville Utilities recommends turning the air conditioning off and letting fresh air in.

If you're looking to help your community, Huntsville Utilities has a "Project Share Program." You can donate here to help people needing support to pay their utility bills.

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