(CNN) - Americans battling extreme winter weather conditions this year need to brace for another extreme - extremely high energy bills.
Utility companies are warning that customers in the northeast and Midwest can expect to see higher heating and electricity bills starting in February.
Company officials point to a string of big snowstorms and frigid temperatures over the past couple of months for the spike in energy bills.
They say the price increase is entirely due to a jump in demand.
Demand for natural gas, for example, hit an all time high during the first week in January.
Basically the more energy a customer uses the more it costs.
Utilities say their rates haven't changed, but that customers have been using more energy because of the brutal conditions this winter.
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