Digital Exclusive: Utility bills going up due to COVID-19

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – With more people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, they’re using more electricity and that’s having an impact on their utility bills.

But there are simple ways to cut costs. One of them involves keeping the house cool during the summer.

“Turn the thermostat up a little bit higher, don’t keep it quite as cool on your air conditioning. Just a couple of degrees higher can really make a big difference on your energy bill at the end of the month,” said Tina Hoffman, spokesperson for MidAmerican Energy.

Another tip? Closing the curtains during the day and cooking outdoors.

And simply turning off unused devices and rooms is another idea.

“You can think about phones and iPads and tablets, that people might have the TV on as well as looking at their phone and playing a game on th iPad. Never a bad thing to take a break from those things, turn those off, get outside, do something with your family outside of the house. Make sure you’re turning off all those lights,” said Hoffman.

But if people have difficulty paying their bills, there are resources that can help.

For low-income families in the area, there is the Community Action Agency of Siouxland.

“If you’re panicked and you can’t pay that bill, we want you to call us and see if there’s some way that we can help you,” said Jean Logan, Executive Director of CAAS.

For MidAmerican Energy customers, call the customer assistance number at 888-427-5632.

The Community Action Agency of Siouxland customer assistance, call (712) 274-1610.

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