TOPEKA (KSNT) — Your utility bill could be more expensive this winter. Gasoline prices have dropped in recent weeks, but the price of natural gas is climbing.

External factors like inflation and controversies in Ukraine are driving up the prices of natural gas, making it harder for gas retailers, like Black Hills Energy, to keep costs down.

A spokesperson from Black Hills Energy said the company tries to provide services to its customers in a cost-effective way. However, he also said it’s too early to tell just how much prices will fluctuate in the coming weeks.

Some local homeowners are not thrilled about having another increasing cost to worry about.

“I feel like it’s not a good thing for people,” Henry Troyer of Lawrence said. “We’re already being squeezed with grocery prices and all the other stuff going on, so it’s really going to hurt this winter.”

Another Topeka resident heats his home primarily with wood, but he’s still worried about how

“I burn wood for heat, but it’s still going to cost me,” Carroll Fasse of Topeka said. “And so, I don’t know whether I’m going to have money enough or not or if I’m going to have to go begging at my church.”

“I’m not happy with it at all,” Gordon Smith of Holton said. “I mean prices were high enough already and now they’re going up whatever percentage more. If you’re on a fixed income like we are — you’ve got to plan for things you didn’t plan for before.”

Black Hills Energy said it has resources in place to help customers who might struggling paying their increased heating bills in the coming months. The company has a ‘Budget Billing‘ feature, which allows customers to sign up for a payment plan to help offset significant changes.