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North Georgia family forced to pay $750 electric bill

A customer says this was his electric bill for last month. It's more than double what he normally pays (Image: Michael Gilbride).

Two families who live in North Georgia reached out to NewsChannel 9 after their bills were more than double what they usually pay and asked us to find out why.

North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation says those high bills are most likely right but there are some things customers can do to keep it from happening again.

One of the bills was $750 - much higher than the $300 bill the family normally gets.

Their neighbor was hit with a more than $600 bill.

Stephanie Holder, VP of Member Services, for North Georgia EMC says this happens in harsh winters.

"When we have these extreme cold, cold temperatures that last a long period of time then people see an increase in their usage," Holder said.

She says the bill their customers just received covered the cold snap we had last month, when temperatures were really low.

"If you've got your heat pump set at 68 degrees and it's 8 degrees outside, it's got to work really hard to get 60 degrees warmer in the house, it's going to come on more often," she said.

As for how you can prevent it from happening again, Holder says just a couple degrees on your thermostat can make a big difference.

"Lowering the setting as much as they can, kind of making a sacrifice to be a little cooler they will see less of an increase," Holder explains.

North Georgia EMC says if you're worried about getting hit with a high bill, they will send someone out to survey a customer's home to tell them what they can change.

She says they also have a bill leveling program where you won't see a dramatic change in your bill during the winter and summer and pay the same amount year round.

EPB has a similar program.

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