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Historic amount of energy used during arctic blast

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INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday’s snow storm is costing Hoosiers a lot of money in repairs to their homes, but it’s only going to get worse when the energy bills arrive.

According to Citizens Energy, customers consumed a historic amount of natural gas during the two days of arctic temperatures.

“During the storm event, Citizens distributed one billion cubic feet of natural gas, which is a historic two-day high for Citizens,” said spokeswoman Sarah Holsapple.

According to the American Gas Association, that amount of gas can meet the needs of 11,000 American homes for one year. To put that in perspective, if there are four people living in each home, then that much gas was enough to heat both Avon and Plainfield for an entire year.

The last time we consumed anywhere close to that much natural gas, Holsapple said, was 20 years ago.

“I think I’m sort of in a bubble that it’s not real yet, until the bills come and I`m like oh my goodness,” said Anna Gray of Indianapolis.

Like many Hoosiers, she and her husband Terry are watching the bills pile up as they make repairs to their south side home. First the power went out when heavy branches fell down on the power line behind their home.

“We heard a pop and some electrical equipment just fried,” said Terry Gray.

Then there was a leaky pipe that flooded parts of the house. Add on the possible roof repairs due to fallen tree limbs and a four night stay in a hotel for eight people and the Gray’s are looking at a big bill.

“We`ve probably put in between $1,000 and $1,500 with the hotel rooms and food and whatever repairs have been done so far,” said Anna Gray. “And it`s probably gonna go over $2,000 for sure.”

Holsapple said the good news is it’s only the beginning of January and there are way to conserve energy before your bill shows up.

First, dial down your thermostat to 65 or 70 degrees when you’re home. When you’re gone, dial it down to 60. Also, open up your drapes or blinds during the day and let that sunshine warm up your home. And remember to close vents in rooms you’re not using.

If you still need help with you energy bill, call Citizens Energy. They have a financial assistance program to help you pay.