SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A growing number of Pacific Beach residents are starting the year with sticker shock.
They say their electric bills are mysteriously high.
"I have no idea, I'm not home anymore than I was at this time last year," said Lauren Fisher, a college student who rents a one-bedroom apartment in P.B.
She says her electric bill nearly doubled to $100, causing her to skip some dinners out and buy less expensive groceries.
She's not alone.
One man said his was up 15 to 20 percent, and a woman in the area said hers rose from $39 two months ago to $71 last month to $100 this month. The two said their only change was using a space heater on cold nights (Consumer Reports says that adds $2.80 to an electric bill for each 16 hours of use).
But Fisher says she doesn't use heat - and only hung one row of Christmas lights during the Holidays.
An SDG&E spokesman says energy prices do fluctuate, and they did rise from November to December to January. He added that the utility added a new, higher tier starting in November, so the highest users pay even more.
Pacific Beach resident Ken McAlpine says his bill didn't go up.
"During the winter time we have sun exposure through our windows, and it stays pretty nice inside," he said.
SDG&E is now allowing San Diegans to choose to be billed based on time of use, which could save them money.
Generally, prices would be highest from the peak times of 4 p.m. To 9 p.m., but lower otherwise.
Residents can try the new system for the first year, and would be refunded the difference if they end up paying more.