3 On Your Side

Consumers say they're 'heated' over escalating gas bills

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3 On Your Side has received inquiries from viewers wondering why their Southwest Gas bill spiked, even though they believed they weren't using much gas because of the warmer winter weather this season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) 3 On Your Side has received inquiries from viewers wondering why their Southwest Gas bill spiked, even though they believed they weren't using much gas because of the warmer winter weather this season. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Marlene Shillington was shocked when she received her most recent gas bill from Southwest Gas. A bill she thought would be minimal since she rarely turned her heater on. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Marlene Shillington was shocked when she received her most recent gas bill from Southwest Gas. A bill she thought would be minimal since she rarely turned her heater on. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

3 On Your Side has received inquiries from viewers wondering why their Southwest Gas bill spiked, even though they believed they weren't using much gas because of the warmer winter weather this season.

“I moved in in 2004 and I moved here from Illinois to get away from the bitter cold, the snow and the ice and I love it.”

Like many of us, Marlene Shillington loves the Arizona weather. In fact, she says this winter has been so tame, that she's never felt the need to even turn on her heater much this winter season.

“I just put on more blankets I sleep better when the house is cold.”

So, Shillington was shocked when she received her most recent gas bill from Southwest Gas. A bill she thought would be minimal since she rarely turned her heater on.

“I was actually expecting a bill maybe in the $40's but not $69 from $24.” 

She says her Southwest Gas bill usually hovers around $20. 

So why would her gas bill triple when her gas heat wasn’t used much and most of her appliances are electric?

“Just the washing machine and just the furnace there's just me, myself. I just do minimum laundry.”

Shillington wanted to see if she was the only one with a gas bill that mysteriously spiked, so she went to the Internet. 

“I went online to the local Gilbert page we have that has 36 neighborhoods and posed the question to them.” 

According to Shillington, dozens of people responded back to her also complaining about their gas bill that spiked when they felt it shouldn't have.

“The majority of the 72 responses that I received all had double bills or triple bills.” 

Many people wrote that they were "shocked" over their bill or that they "had a huge increase" as well. 

Shillington says she couldn't get an answer from Southwest Gas, so she contacted 3 On Your Side.

“I can't get to the bottom of it and I felt that you guys could.” 

We contacted Southwest Gas. In an email to 3 On Your Side, they state "...the increase bill amount coincided with the customer's increased usage. Nevertheless, we are conducting a high bill investigation..." 

Shillington appreciates 3 On Your Side's involvement but says these billing spikes just don't make sense. 

“I'd like a clearer answer definitely and so would others.”

Southwest Gas also tells us there hasn't been any significant rate hike in the last few months. There was a slight adjustment a while back but Southwest Gas says the average residential home only saw about a dollar or so increase.

If something comes up in that high bill investigation they perform, we'll let you know. 

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

Click to learn more about LiAna.

LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

If you have a story idea for LiAna, Send her an email .

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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