DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Many people will start to turn on their heat in the coming months and as the temperatures drop concerns about utility bills are rising. One group hosted a clinic to give people some help.

“The money got short, and my bills is high, went higher,” Ernestine Henderson of Decatur said.

That’s why Ernestine Henderson came to this free utility bill clinic. The Citizens Utility Board teamed up with Senator Doris Turner to help homeowners looking to save money.

“With the increased electric prices and drastically increased gas prices, either way it’s not good for consumers,” Scott Allen with Citizens Utility Board said.

Which is why organizations like CUB want to educate and provide people with resources to lower costs, especially in the winter. The Department of Energy expects heating bills to rise 28% or $200 this winter.

So, Henderson says any help is appreciated.

“When they help, it brings us to do a little more than the money that we have, we can put it towards other bills too,” Henderson said.

What’s causing heat bills to soar?

“It’s a matter of supply lines, covid supply lines, it’s a matter of Russia’s war in Ukraine and disruption of that gas supply line,” Allen said.

Another component affecting prices are municipal aggregation plans, which the city of Decatur no longer has.

“So people are going from a couple years of having really low electricity prices through their city, those are expiring,” Allen said.

In some cases, people are seeing a $0.07 increase for heat.

Henderson says she’s just trying to do what she can to get through the winter season.

“Just surviving, that’s what you do,” Henderson said.