LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Gloria Anderson lives in Lexington and thought something had to be wrong when her power bill more than doubled in one month.
It went from $300 to about $770 two months in a row. Now her bills are lower again. She's paid as much as she can, but it's all added up quickly.
Lexington Utilities Director Chris Smith tells FOX8 unfortunately those numbers are right. He says older homes without efficient appliances or insulation can result in huge bills in the winter and summer.
"No, it isn't surprising especially in these larger, older homes that do not have insulation in the walls or in the attics. We get these types of complaints quite often," Smith said.
Smith advises renters to check with their landlords about adding insulation and says to avoid space heaters.
Homeowners can invest in insulation, energy-efficient windows and new appliances to save on energy costs in the long run.
"The goal is to get those larger bills in the winter caught up before the summer bills kick in with air conditioning," he added. "We work with customers to develop payment plans but we have to draw the line somewhere. They have to pay what they use or else the cost is distributed to our other customers, which isn't fair."
Anderson explained how she is trying to save energy. "We cut way back. We started turning off everything and started practically just living in the top of the house."
For now the utilities company is not cutting off her power as she continues to make payments toward her balance.
Smith encourages renters to request the history of a home's power bills before you move in to see if it will align with your budget and other bills.