Shuffling from bill to bill, Renee Beko was worried about her recent Southwest Gas bills. Beko lives on the Northside of Tucson and lives off social security.

You have to watch your money because it only goes so far, she said.

Her bill in January was about 88 dollars and in February her bill skyrocketed to about 149 dollars. That means she has to tighten her budget and watch her finances even closer.

It makes a lot of difference. You dont always make it, make it like you want to by the end of the month and Im sure other people have the same problem who arent on social security, she said. I dont think I really use that much gas.

However, she said Southwest Gas did not tell her about the increase, saying she did not get any warnings or letters.

Southwest Gas said starting in February 2023 they told customers about the delivery charge increase. They said throughout 2023 they also put a notice on their bills about the higher gas costs and gave customers tips on how to save energy.

Dennis Newman, who lives in the Foothills, is also seeing higher prices.

It was so bad that I thought I had a gas leak! Newman remarked.

Southwest Gas said the gas cost rate went up by 32 cents per therm over the last year because of high inflation.

15 dollars higher than it was a year ago, but the weird thing is, is when Im looking at this bill, Ive used less gas, he said.

Starting in January 2023, Southwest Gas said people who are using 35 therms, their measurement unit, saw about a seven dollar increase on average. It was a rate hike approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

KGUN9 News reporter Andrew Christiansen reached out to the Arizona Corporation Commission but did not hear back.

Southwest Gas said a customers bill is based on them having to buy natural gas and pay back investments into it. They said its also based on them buying natural gas infrastructure and for operations and their service.

Southwest Gas said they have a few options to help manage their utility bills. One of those is a program for people who have a low income and they can get a 30 percent discount per therm. They also have a deferred payment plan and emergency assistance programs.

Why didnt somebody ring the alarm bell and give us a warning so that we could do something to cut our usage? Newman, who said they didnt give him a notification, said.

Newman, along with Beko is hoping Southwest Gas considers that inflation has also had an impact on them.

Start to think of the customer instead of the business, Newman said while Beko said, They need to think of us poor people on social security.

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