LETCHER Co., Ky. (WYMT) - The bitter cold means many folks will be turning up the heat, which could mean more money out of your pocket to pay the electric bill.
Some say it is harder than ever to afford to stay warm.
Even Letcher County District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming said he cannot afford to pay his bill after a shocking increase.
"My power bill went up $400 to $600 a month and the next power bill will be quite a bit more," said Fleming.
He said the company's plans to shut down one of the units at the plant in Lawrence County in 2015 is a factor.
"The power for the city went up $5,000," Fleming said.
Representatives from the power company said a hike of roughly 5% went into effect on January 1st.
"That was a result of our Mitchell Transfer case which allowed us to transfer generating assets from Ohio Power to Kentucky Power to replace what is going to be lost when unit two at our Big Sandy facility is closed," said Kentucky Power Company Communications Manager Ronn Robinson.
Kentucky Power is seeking approval to convert the other unit to burn natural gas instead of coal.
Ronn Robinson said we normally see higher bills this time of the year as people are using more electricity to heat their homes.
"Electricity is a product that you pay for after you consume it," Robinson said. "So the more energy, in this case electricity, that you consume the greater cost of that to you and that's reflected on the bill."
Power officials ask everyone to review their bill closely.
AEP officials said if anyone has a concern about their power bill they are encouraged to call the Kentucky Power Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-572-1113.