WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s not unusual to pay a bit more on energy bills when it gets colder.
Some Kansans say this year, those bills are higher than usual.

“It’s just ridiculous. I mean, I’m having a hard time even trying to pay my electric bills,” said Noreen Gilmore.

“It really wasn’t that high last month, but it’s gone up like three times what it was,” said Lily Boggs.

The colder temps calling many heaters into action.

“My heater has been running, you know, pretty much constantly. I got an older house, pretty drafty, older systems, and I have noticed, you know, the energy bills creeping up and up and up, and income stays about the same. So feeling the crunch this time of year,” said Kyle Broadfoot.

Black Hills Energy doing its best to break down the costs for customers on their new bill layout.

James Williams, Black Hills Energy community affairs manager, says the cost of natural gas is a major factor, “Almost 70%, 60% at least, is going to the price of gas, and so between the price of gas right now and the usage now that it is cold outside that’s why customers are seeing those, those higher bills.”

Some companies still have fees in place to recover from the winter blast in February 2021.

It is even colder this year compared to last December.

According to our KSN meteorologists, in 2021, the average temperature for the first two weeks of December was 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Compare that to this year’s average of 48.9 degrees, that’s nearly 12 degrees lower.

“There is absolutely a direct correlation between the weather outside, the temperature and usage,” Williams said.

There are small things you can do to save.

“Lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees, weather stripping your door, turning your water heater down just a notch,” Williams explained.

Broadfoot is ready to do what he can.

“Now that I’m on winter break, I’ve got a couple of projects to try to reinsulate the windows and seal some doors just to keep some of the drafts out, and hopefully, that’ll help.”