LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When Jaynie Murray opened her LG&E bill this month, she couldn't believe her eyes.

She and her fiancee just moved in October, and as relatively new customers, they had grown accustomed to paying around $100 or $150. But a couple months ago, they opened a bill that was double that.

"When the $300 bill came in, there was a discussion like, 'How can we save energy? What are we doing wrong?," Murray said of her second-to-last bill. "That's when we checked all the windows, we bought all the racks of wood. So for it to go up again, it's like, 'Oh my gosh. What happened?'"

But it only got worse. Despite her energy-saving efforts, the bill doubled once again. Murray said her fiancee opened the bill they received in January and told her it was almost $505. 

"I was a single mom for six years, and if I had gotten a bill expecting it to be $100, $125, and it was over $500, it would be the difference between paying rent and feeding my kid that month," Murray said.

According to comments on a Facebook post Murray made about her bill, she is not alone in the bill battle. Most commenters said their bills doubled, and some almost tripled. LG&E said during colder months they see an uptick in concerned customer calls because of higher bills.

Natasha Collins, Director of Media Relations for LG&E and KU, said no matter what temperature you keep your thermostat, your furnace will have to work harder to heat the air during extremely cold temperatures like we saw in early January.

Something you may notice on the back of your bill is the "Electric" box. The second line in the box will either read "Estimated (E) kWh Reading" or "Actual (R) kWh Reading." Estimated means LG&E and KU did not physically come to your house and read the meter.

The company has over 1.3 million meters to read, and Collins said it can be difficult to get to all of them. So instead, the company uses a formula to calculate an estimated energy usage amount. The formula takes into account several items, like weather conditions and past energy usage at that time of the month. This reading may not be the actual amount of energy used, which means you could be paying more and sometimes less than what you should.

"The next time the meter is able to be read, then the difference between what the estimate was and the actual usage was is calculated, and it's reflected on your next bill," Collins said.

Collins said many situations could make reading meters difficult, but it is especially difficult in the winter months.

LG&E and KU encourages any customers who have questions or concerns about their bills to call the Customer Care team at 502-589-1444 or 800-331-7370.

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