GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some Long Island residents were struck with sticker shock when they opened their January electric bills.

And according to PSEG, the rate spikes could continue through March.

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As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, the polar vortex is behind the jump in costs.

The frigid temperatures have pumped up the price of natural gas that’s used to fuel power plants on Long Island, so those costs are being passed along to PSEG electric customers.

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

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“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.”

Some residents told Newsday their bills nearly tripled from December to January.

Weir added customers should expect spiked power supply prices to continue in February and March.

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