Utility bills could be on the rise

Expect sharply higher utility bills next month. The price of natural gas is shooting up dramatically, and for no obvious reason.

It will cost you about 70 percent more to keep your gas fireplace or furnace running this year, and with colder days just around the corner, economists say you will see a drastic increase in your energy bills.

UNCW Economist Woody Hall says it's because the demand for natural gas is on the rise, but the supply isn't growing.

You can't control the cost of gas but you can control the cost of heating your house.

Johnny Brown at Longley Heating and Air says you can keep your bills low by keeping your thermostat stable.

He says you should also make sure you keep the heat in, by eliminating drafts from windows or cracked doors.

When the cold air rushes in, your furnace has to work overtime.

Repairmen also suggest you get the furnace checked annually.

But even if you do all of that, you're in for a cold blast of reality next time you get your gas bill.

Reported by Heather Higgins: hhiggins@wect.com