Customers see increase in heating bills - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Customers see increase in heating bills

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MARATHON CO. (WAOW) - The bitter winter is driving up electric and heat bills in central Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Service says customers are seeing about a 20 percent increase in their utility bills. The rates haven't changed, it's just been that cold.

"It really is weather-related and usage related, meaning they're running their furnace more, maybe using their hot water heater more," said Kelly Zagrzebski, a WPS spokeswoman.

One WPS customer's heating bill this month is nearly $100 more than it was in October and about $40 more than what he paid last year at this time.

If customers run into problems paying their bills, they should contact WPS, Zagrzebski said. "There are different programs that are available for them and there's different programs out in the community that could help them."

Last year, United Way Marathon County had 54 requests for heating and fuel assistance, compared with 90 requests this year, officials said.

People who need assistance can contact United Way of Marathon County at 2-1-1 or at 715-848-2255. They can also contact Energy Services for Marathon County at 715-842-3111.

WPS says people can follow heat-saving tips to help cut down costs too.

"Setting their thermostat back, making sure that they keep advantage of keeping their blinds closed and just being aware of the usage that they're doing," said Zagrzebski.

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