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      Energy Company: December Bills Could Double

      (KATV)-It's been 50 percentcolder this year than last year at this time, according to weather experts atthe NOAA. After the December ice storm, CenterPoint Energy says to expect ahigher bill, as much as double or triple for some customers.

      "The concern that we'vegot is the consumption for the last billing cycle is going to be drasticallyhigher than the previous billing cycle. The cost of gas still remains verycheap and stable, our concern is that due to the drastic reduction in thetemperature, our customers are going to see a higher gas bill this billingcycle," said Keith Cragg of CenterPoint Energy.

      Middleton Heating and Airgave Channel 7 News tips on how to save money on the next energy bill.

      "First and foremost it'sgetting an energy efficient gas furnace," said Ron Humphrey of MiddletonHeating and Air.

      Middleton has seen anincrease this year people looking to change out old systems for new. Oldfurnaces only see about 50 cents on the dollar spent on energy going into thehome.

      "Today we can get up to 98percent efficient, so 98 cents on the dollar of the heat you produce on a 98AFU furnace goes into the home, so it's very efficient," Humphrey said.

      Other tips to save moneyare to leave the thermostat alone. Experts say the thermostat should notfluctuate based on temperatures outside. Experts also say to change air filtersregularly and to close off unused rooms.

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