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Arkansans prepare for higher energy bill as temperatures drop

Centerpoint Energy said they service nearly 400,000 customers in Arkansas and everyone will see an increase in their natural gas bill this winter.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — As the temperatures drop, you can get ready to see your bill go up.

Rebecca Yan is the general manager of Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co. and she said a higher natural gas bill is the last thing she wants to see.

"Everything that you see in the open kitchen? The majority of it is gas powered, natural gas powered," Yan said. 

She said her team is trying to get ahead of the winter season and are starting to cut back.

"We definitely try to conserve more heat and from all perspectives, when we're not in operation," Yan said.

Since she runs a business, trying to conserve energy is easier said than done.

"It is difficult, because it's more of a public space, and you want to make sure your patients are comfortable," Yan said.

The restaurant is not alone.

Centerpoint Energy said they service nearly 400,000 customers in Arkansas and everyone will see an increase in their natural gas bill this winter.

"This year, we're projecting it's going to be more like $131 a month during the heating season," Ross Corson, spokesperson for Centerpoint Energy said.

He wants customers to know that it's not the company's fault.

"Now that we're recovering from the pandemic, or at least the economy is recovering from the pandemic, demand for natural gas has been going up," Corson said.

A shortage in workers nationwide has slowed production down, so that means the price of natural gas, which is steadily going up, will stay high for at least the next several months.

There are a few helpful tips that you can use to start saving energy in your household.

Corson recommends that people tune up and change the filter on their furnace.

Try turning your thermostat down 10 degrees when you are away from home or before going to bed.

Put thermal plastic around draft windows to keep the heat in and the cold out.

"We want people to be prepared for that. And to do things now that can improve the energy efficiency or reduce your energy usage during the winter heating season," Corson said.

Corson said Centerpoint Energy does offer assistance programs for people who may have trouble paying their bill.

The best way to set up a payment plan is to contact the company ahead of the winter season. 

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