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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Some residents in North Alabama say they are already cranking up the ac in their homes but understand it could get very expensive. 

Huntsville Utilities (HU) has been under fire in recent years due to high energy rates, but they say that it’s more than just turning down that thermostat. 

Right now, the breezy days help keep it from getting too hot, but Huntsville Utilities customers are already seeing a slight spike in their monthly energy bills.

With a record amount of scorching hot days last summer, residents in North Alabama told News 19 that no matter what they did to conserve energy and water, nothing seemed to matter. 

“On that utility bill, they broke down the water and the electricity and we noticed that the water was high. It seemed almost like ten times what it normally was, and the usage was astronomical,” said Nicholas Damron, a Gurley resident. 

Elizabeth Davis in New Market said, “We expected it to increase because of the heat but not as drastically as it did. There’s no way three-hundred dollars of power was used. It’s just not possible.” 

Huntsville Utilities says that the best way to avoid the out-of-control power bill is to use the air conditioning unit as little as possible. Especially now, before the scorching heat returns. 

“We must be mindful of where you keep your thermostat,” said HU spokesman Gary Whitley. “Use ceiling fans and floor fans to cool your home on the inside. During the heat in the day, make sure you are keeping those blinds shut as well as doors closed so that you can keep your cool air in.” 

Whitley also recommends getting the HVAC unit serviced right now. During hot days, keep your thermostat at the recommended 76 to 78 degrees and don’t change that setting. He added, try not to cook when the temperature is at its peak. 

“Also make sure that you’re using those vent fans in your bathrooms and kitchens to reduce moisture inside your home as well,” said Whitley.  

All this, HU says, to avoid the exuberant utility bill headache. 

“Around here, everyone that I’ve talked to said that their bills have gone up just as significantly no matter what they did,” said Davis.  

HU added that you can monitor your current usage and what utilities you are using the most online. If anyone has any questions regarding their charges, they are encouraged to reach out to HU with those concerns.