Many Long Island residents were in shock after opening their recent electric bill from Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSEG).

Long Island was supposed to get a three-year rate freeze when PSEG took over. However, that doesn’t include power supply charges. According to PSEG, customers should expect to pay more through the month of March. As a result of the weather, power supply charges will continue to increase.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported that the polar vortex is behind the jump in costs. The cold temperatures have increased the price of natural gas that’s used to fuel Long Island’s power plants, so those costs are being passed along to PSEG customers.

As a result, customers are seeing some of the highest electric costs in nearly a decade.

“Given the volatility in the natural gas market and the frigid cold temperatures, it’s unclear as to what the future will hold for the power supply charge,” spokesman Jeff Weir told Xirinachs. “As long as the weather is incredibly cold and the prices of natural gas stay high, the power supply charge will remain volatile and could increase.”

There is an alternative to PSEG’s rising power supply costs – switching electricity suppliers. By switching suppliers, customers can lock in a low supply rate and keep their utility bill from increasing and in most cases decrease as much as much as 10 percent. Visit ElectricityRates.com to see how much you can save!