Heating Bills Will be Higher This Year

October 13, 2004 -- Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR- Electric and natural gas prices are up. Your winter utility bill will be too, but you're not alone. It's happening all across the country and the reason is simple.

"The natural gas demand has gone up dramatically, and supply has not been able to keep pace," said Kevan Inboden with Jonesboro City Water Light.

The gas shortage is driving the prices up. Electricity prices have also gone up. Most electricity is being generated by natural gas these days.

So just how much more can you expect to pay?

"The 10-20% range I think would be pretty typical."

Jonesboro's City Water and Light company is making new recommendations.

"Heat pumps with today's gas markets are making sense in more areas of the country, especially here in Jonesboro with our relatively low rates."

The utility company is offering it's customer cash if they switch from gas to certain heat pumps. Customers can get $200 per ton for high efficiency heat pumps up until November 27, 2004. If a heat pump is not in your budget right now, but you'd still like to stay on budget with your utility bills, most companies offer budget billing. That means the comapny will take your bills from the past year and average them out. Instead of paying higher utility bills in summer and winter you will pay that average every month.