TULSA, Okla. — Utility companies say it could be a while before people know how big of a difference Winter Storm 2021 will have on energy bills.
Those past polar temperatures, plunging below zero, could mean sky-high gas and electric bills too.
2 Works for You Problem Solver Pete Knutson got some advice people can use if the bills start rising.
"It definitely scares me. I think it's going to scare a lot of people," said Jessica Thomas.
She and her husband have three kids at home and in daycare. The budget is already tight, and making ends meet, tough enough the way it is.
Now, possibly paying budget-busting utility bills is a big worry.
"It's basically taking food out of my kids' mouths," said Thomas.
Most utility companies say they'll work with customers. ONG, PSO, and OG&E said they have financial resources and can offer payment arrangements.
It's critical, though, that customers contact them as soon as possible to work out a payment plan. Don't wait until the bill is past due.
Utility companies say their top priorities are their customer's safety and comfort.
Thomas said those are her priorities too for her family.
"You just figure it out, but it's a lot of pressure, and it's really not fair," she said.
The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives also offered more time to pay along with flexible payment plans to level out all those seasonal spikes in bills.
They suggest customers contact the cooperative to see what option may work best for you in the months to come. Those cooperatives can also connect those who need financial help to programs that offer financial assistance.
Renters in Tulsa County having problems paying utility bills due to COVID-19 can call 211 for assistance.
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