Poplar Bluff residents blame more than cold for high heating bil - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff residents blame more than cold for high heating bills

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Many of us are not looking forward to our next heating bill with as cold as it has been in the Heartland. Some people say their bills are twice as high as the month before. Many of us are not looking forward to our next heating bill with as cold as it has been in the Heartland. Some people say their bills are twice as high as the month before.
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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Many of us are not looking forward to our next heating bill considering how cold it has been in the Heartland.

Some people say their bills are twice as high as the month before.

Karla Elliott said her electric bill has never been this high.

"I have bills from the summer, from when it was 100 degrees outside, and my bills from the summer are, one is $92 and the other one is $137. [That's] nowhere close to $400."

Elliott said since the cold weather hit, she's been extra cautious about using too much heat.

"Right now, the heat does not go above 64 [degrees] and its cold," Elliott said.

She isn't the only person noticing this huge boost in their bills.

"My amount is 383," Bobbie Shepherd said.

Shepherd said in the six years she's lived in her home, this is by far the highest bill she's received.

While these people claim the high costs can all be due to the cold weather, the general manager at Ozark Border Electric Cooperative said it is. According to a graph on the company's website, usage dramatically increases when cold weather hits.

General Manager Stanley Estes said, "Some have high bills because of the usage increase because of the cold weather. Patters on the meters show that the usage increases when the temperatures dropped."

However, Tina Buckhanan said she doubts that her high bill is only because of the weather.

"I don't think it's because it's cold," Buckhanan said. "I think they want to charge you whatever they want to charge you because they know you have to pay it because you have to have electric. You have to have heat."

More than 100 people joined a Facebook group to speak out about their high bills.

"People just want to be heard," Elliott said. "They want their voices out there and want them to know that we don't agree with what you're doing. We don't agree with the increases."

These people say they really have no choice but to pay their bills and hope that next month their bill is lower.

Estes said rates at Ozark Border Electric Cooperative have not gone up during these cold temperatures. He said the last rate increase was in April of 2012. Estes also said the company has not shut off anyone's power, even if they have unpaid bills, during this cold weather.

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