Cold temperatures could cost you - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cold temperatures could cost you

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (FOX13) -

This arctic blast could burn a hole in your wallet when your next utility bill arrives The reasons are natural gas prices have gone up and the demand has increased as everyone turned up the thermostat.

It's a strong possibility the severe cold will cost you more, but it's too early to predict exactly how much. The problem is purely economic.

MORE: Winter Weather Resource Guide

Two years ago natural gas prices fell to record lows. Market conditions have changed and now natural gas prices have jumped by nearly 20 percent.

Another factor is demand fueled by the weather. This winter season has not been that mild, and so the demand is higher. In other words we are turning up the thermostat.

The last couple of days our heaters have been working longer and that is going to impact your utility bill for the winter season.

"We know that usage to date this winter is up as well because of the cold temps," said Keith Knowles of MLGW. "That has been the biggest driver of a customer's bill is their usage."

Even with extreme cold temperatures like we are experiencing Monday evening (expected low in Memphis will be 7 above) there some tips to keep your heating bill within reason.

Knowles suggests you keep the thermostat at 68 degrees; sweaters are more than just fashionable as they can help keep you warm inside the house; also look to block off any gaps in doors and windows that would let the heat out and cold air inside.

The frigid temps will last through Wednesday morning. It's expected to rise back into the 50s by the weekend. As well the rest of January could turn mild and that might erase any increase in your bill.

Worried about your next bill MLGW is offering payment plans to help you out.

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