Vectren customers worried over painfully high heating bills - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Vectren customers worried over painfully high heating bills

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Vectren issued a warning that the latest bills are going to be higher than usual and it has some customers talking. 

14 News spoke with several Vectren customers and some say their heating bills were a $100 more than normal.

While the company says they have a variety of payment options to make things easier for customers, some people are still worried.

"I'm waiting for summertime. Please Lord," says Carol Haire.

Haire, a Vectren customer, says she's tired of winter, but more tired of her bills going up.

"If I don't pay Vectren, I don't have heat," she says.

A company spokesperson says gas and electric customers can expect a higher price tag on this month's bill because this January was 20 percent colder than last January.

"It's ever-changing. I mean I think you know that it's 50 degrees one day and 15 degrees the next day," says Natalie Hedde with Vectren.

Some customers say while they understand the weather, they don't understand how people can be expected to pay these higher bills. 

"Luckily enough, I've got the money to pay it. What about the people here who don't," Haire says.

"It's a shock all together. It's very frustrating," customer, Micheal Schmitt says.

The company says they have a number of payment options for those who may be struggling financially. 

"Energy assistance options, billing and payment options. Customers can call us and we'll help spread their bill out into smaller increments," Hedde says. 

But there are still some customers concerned those options are not enough.

"A lot of people I know are choosing to pay their bill or eat. You shouldn't have to choose between one or the other," Haire says.

Vectren does have a list of winter energy efficiency tips on their website. It suggests doing things like opening blinds, turning off ceiling fans and making sure vents are not blocked. 

The company recommends keeping your thermostat at or below 68 degrees.

Because for every degree you turn down the temperature, you can save one to three percent on your bill.

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