AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — With natural gas prices rising and global events, consumers could see an increase in their electric bills, as winter approaches.

Wes Reeves, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy, said they have to buy fuel for energy, and natural gas is one of the main fuels.

“If we go back to natural gas about 30% of the energy, we use in this region comes from a natural gas source. It’s a lot less than what it used to be; it uses to be half but know it’s down to 30 percent. When natural gas prices have tripled or quadrupled over the last couple of years, you’re going to see cost increases,” said Reeves.

Reeves said a surcharge has been added to bills in Texas to make up for extra cost the company has been paying and not collecting.

“It’s been really difficult to know where we are going with it, but I tell people. Without being able to predict it we expect natural gas prices to be high for the future,” said Reeves.

Reeves said that global events can also affect us here on the High Plains.

“We are a global economy. There is no way around it. We have a great supply of energy in this country, but prices of energy are impacted by what’s happening around the globe. It’s very hard to build a wall around ourselves and say we are going to isolate ourselves from that. It doesn’t work that way anymore, so we have to pay attention to these things,” added Reeves.

He said some tips consumers can follow to keep their bill down during the colder months, include bringing their thermostat down just a few notches in the winter and adding weather strips around doors and windows in their homes to keep the cold from coming in.

“In the wintertime if you bring it down a few notches you’re going to save a lot of money. Like in the summer if you raise your thermostat a few notches above what you normally do you are going to save a lot of money. That is where most of your bill is going to pay for heating and cooling in your house,” said Reeves.

Reeves encourages customers to call Xcel if they feel like they are falling behind. He said Xcel will work with them to keep the power on during the colder months.