Piedmont Natural Gas customers see dramatic spike in bills

- It’s time to pay the bills but many people are finding out their heating bills soared, leaving some to question if utility companies got something wrong.

The January cold snap sent temperatures plunging now many are cringing as they open their heating bills.

“I was very surprised. I actually reached out my roommate and asked him if there was something he had done because I was actually gone for over a week of the month and I couldn’t understand why it was possibly almost $400,” said Mike Clemmons, who lives in a house just over 2,000 square feet.

In Plaza Midwood, many took to social media commenting on how high their bills were, some saying their bill had doubled from what they paid around the same time last year.

“I did look into and it was 33 days for this billing cycle versus 30 of January of last year so 3 extra days. That doesn’t really account for the fact that my bill was $213 last year this time and it was $389 this year.”

Clemmons said his bill just doesn’t make sense because he keeps his house pretty cool at just 64 degrees.

“I put heavy door sweeps underneath the doors, I insulated the sliding glass door, I fixed everything that could possibly have caused the leaks so that was probably my biggest reason for being surprised.”

FOX 46 reached out to Piedmont Natural Gas to find out if there was a problem in the Plaza Midwood area, they said that temperatures, this time last year, were significantly warmer than this year and that output increased by 80 percent from Jan.1-6.

They also confirmed there were no known issues with meter readings in the Plaza Midwood area which they monitor from a control room in real time.

“It’s really just understanding my bill better. I mean I know they put a lot of things on there they even give you a comparison of the year prior but it doesn’t explain to me where the therms were used and that would be my biggest question is, were they used on water, were they used on my heat you know what exactly is creating that issue?”

FOX 46 also reached out to Duke Energy. They say customers set a new all-time peak record for usage on Jan. 5 and that Jan. 1-7 was the highest energy usage on record in the Carolinas, surpassing the previous record set during the polar vortex in 2015.

PNG said the wait time, right now, is two to three days for check meter requests.

They are encouraging those that need help paying their utility bills to seek help from Crisis Assistance Ministry and ask that those would like to help others, sign up for Share the Warmth.

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