Harsh winter leads to high home heating bills

SOMERS, New York (WABC) -- This winter's cold snap is resulting in sticker shock for many suburban homeowners.

"I almost had a heart attack," said Rosalie Cicgona upon receiving a $664 utility bill.

Cicogna is one of many residents in Westchester County's Heritage Hills condominium complex who have seen a dramatic spike in heating costs.

Alex Roth, another resident, said his bill increased 40 percent compared to a year ago, even though his energy use has remained the same.

"I don't touch the thermostats in my house. They stay at 67," he said. "It's a major difference."

But prolonged periods of sub-freezing temperatures in December and January have resulted in overall high demand. A New York State Electric and Gas spokesperson said it is passing along the higher cost of supplying electricity.

"The bill increase is a direct result of wholesale price increases due to an increase in demand as a result of recent low temperatures," said NYSEG spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. "NYSEG does not profit on the supply charges that appear on customers' bills."

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Residents like Roth are counting the days until warmer spring temperatures.

"I'm leaving the thermostat where it is and hoping for the best," he said.

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