UPDATE: Consumers 'heated' over increased gas bills - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

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UPDATE: Consumers 'heated' over increased gas bills

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Some consumers remain puzzled and upset over their recent gas bill. Many people are saying their gas bills have tripled in price. 

"They were shocked when they got their bills.”

3 On Your Side recently told you how Marlene Shillington, and her Gilbert neighbors recently took to Social Media to voice their surprise and concern over their Southwest Gas bill.

[RELATED: Consumers say they're 'heated' over escalating gas bills]

And their complaints were all similar. Their recent gas bills were not what they were expecting.

"The majority of the 72 responses that I received all had double bills or triple bills.”

At the time, Southwest Gas told 3 On Your Side that there had not been any significant price increases and that Shillington's bill was accurate.

However, after that news report aired, 3 On Your Side continued to receive emails from angry viewers all complaining that their January bills for December's use spiked.

In fact, one viewer said his bill jumped from about $17 to $59, but get this: the home has been vacant for months.

Viewers like Shillington say they all realize that colder weather means higher gas bills. However, this winter has been significantly warmer than previous years.

In fact, according to the National Weather Service, this past November, December and January averaged between four to seven degrees warmer than the same time the year before.

So, what does Southwest Gas have to say?

“In the winter months, we do see an increase in customer bills there's also an increase in usage when the weather cools down,” said Southwest Gas spokeswoman Amy Washburn. 

We asked Southwest Gas once again to explain what was going on. 

“Sometimes a month or two passes and we don't remember that you know what, we did utilize this a little bit more than we remember the month before or we did have company in town so guess what, more showers were happening, more hot water was happening for two or three weeks in December,” said Washburn.

Washburn says there have been no significant rate hikes and says while this winter has been substantially warmer, several factors can cause bills to spike.

“If you have a water tank that's being stored in your garage, well that water is much cooler in the winter months than the summer. So just to heat that water up before it comes in at a comfortable temperature in your home takes extra therms and extra usage which will be resulted on your gas bill,” said Washburn.

Southwest Gas says the bills consumers are getting are from a month ago and sometimes it’s difficult to recall how much gas you really did use.

If you still feel like your bill just doesn’t seem right or need further explanation, Southwest Gas says to contact them. 

Additionally, here is a link for more information on “weatherizing” your home.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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