FARGO — Heating bills are on the rise after last week's winter storms down in Texas caused people to use more heat.

Xcel Energy is predicting a $200 to $300 increase on natural gas bills for Minnesota and North Dakota customers, though officials with the company are hopeful this will only be a short-term effect.

For both states, Xcel doesn't expect electricity bills to have huge jumps.

Randy Fordice, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy, said in a statement the company has hedge policies in place to lessen the impact of price surges, but they know they aren't immune to any spike.

“Our teams were well prepared for the cold weather that affected the central United States last week, and those preparations paid off as we provided the critical electric and natural gas service our customers needed to remain safe and comfortable," Fordice said. "While we expect there to be impacts due to the high natural gas prices during the cold snap, we’ll work with our regulators and stakeholders to minimize the effects of those prices on our customers.”

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