KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — KUB said its customers and others across East Tennessee should expect to see a pretty significant increase in their energy bills this winter.
Frank Shanklin lives in Knoxville and says his home is fully electric.
"There has been a slight increase in my bill as the cold weather sets in," he said.
He is not the only person seeing an expensive utility bill. Compared to last year, the national average increased by 11%.
"It's not from a rate increase. It's really just from the global demand for more energy," said KUB spokesperson Darrin Rhines.
Rhines said natural gas users can expect to see a 19% increase in their bills. For electric, it's expected to be around a 5% increase.
The National Energy Assistance Directors Association says natural gas is being used in larger quantities across the world, causing an uptick in prices.
The best way to keep costs low is to preserve energy.
"So we recommend that you lower your thermostat to as comfortable as you can be with that," said Rhines.
Shanklin says he is able to withstand lower settings.
"For the heat, around 68, 69 degrees, so I don't need a whole lot of heat," he said.
The temperature Shanklin uses in the winter months is what KUB suggests however, everyone is different and some people may need extra warmth.
Other ways to conserve energy include sealing up leaks and cracks around windows and doors, and wearing layers inside the home to increase comfort without increasing the thermostat setting.
People can also track how much energy they are using on the KUB phone application.