"Christmas is right around the corner. We've got three kids. The oldest is going without Christmas, has even said, 'I understand things are tough right now. Get me something next month or whenever you guys can'," homeowner Jose Cerezo explained.
MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) - Many homeowners have gotten an unpleasant surprise recently at the mailbox. KUB says they've answered an increasing number of calls about higher utility bills.
Jose Cerezo has trained his kids to turn out the lights when they leave the room and keeps his thermostat at 70 degrees.
Still, he says his jaw dropped when he got his latest KUB bill for a whopping $352. He's used to getting bills for $200 or $250 a month.
"Christmas is right around the corner. We've got three kids. The oldest is going without Christmas, has even said, 'I understand things are tough right now. Get me something next month or whenever you guys can'," Cerezo explained.
The bill shows about a 1,200 kilowatt hour increase from the month before for the family's double-wide home.
Cerezo says he's tried calling customer service about the problem, but that he hasn't gotten any help.
"Every time I tell them, the only thing they tell me is 'Go out there and see your meter and you count it.' That was the lady's exact words," said Cerezo.
KUB says the weather has a direct impact on customers' bills.
"We had quite a bit of a cold snap in November that was early on, unusual, compared to previous Novembers. Typically, we hit our high-bill season later on in December or January," said Harley Bryant with KUB.
Cerezo's family is living on a fixed income, and KUB told us they have options when it comes to making payments.
One is the balanced payment plan, which would make payments more uniform from month to month.
Until he gets answers, Cerezo says he and his family will continue to cut back on their electricity usage.
"When the kids are here from school, this is how we keep it," he said. "The shades are up, windows, or curtains are open, they get light from the outside."
He says they've seen no change in any of their other bills, including the water bill. KUB says they have tried to contact the family about their bill.
If you have a question about your bill, KUB says you should contact them immediately, rather than waiting.
You can visit the KUB website, or call them at (865) 524-2911.