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High Heat Bills Shock Midstate Residents

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Shameka Brown was so shocked by her electric bill she thought it was a mistake.     
 
Counting the previous balance from last month of $86 her new bill was $558.
 
" Like that doesn't even make sense to me.   I was like they gotta have the wrong person," said Brown.
 
As it turns out NES didn't have the wrong person.
 
Like many others, Brown was caught in a perfect storm that makes this month's bill seem higher than it should.
 
"Those December bills customers are seeing are more in line with a normal winter bill," said NES Spokesperson Laurie Parker.
 
As Parker points out, the previous two Decembers were much warmer.
 
Because of that you weren't paying as much for heating and you may not have noticed the new winter rate that began in 2011.
 
Add to that the overall 5% rate hike that began in October and you get one shocking December bill for customers like Betlhem Webeneh and potentially an even bigger bill next month.
 
"Yes I worry I worry a lot," said Webeneh.
 
Last week's cold weather could push bills even higher and NES is advising customers to plan ahead.
 
Paker says customers that run into trouble need to call sooner than later to get set up with a payment plan.
 
Than plan is free and it allows customers to pay off their bill over a series of months.
 
Brown is among those asking to be put on a plan.
 
Her bill is so high it's impacting other bills.
 
"I wasn't able to pay my rent cause I'm using my rent money to pay my light bill," said Brown.

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