WOODBURY - LIPA customers will see a nearly $17 increase in their January bills.

There was supposed to be a "rate freeze" when PSEG takes over from LIPA in the new year, but officials say there was an unanticipated jump in natural gas prices.

LIPA officials say the hike will appear on the bill as a power supply charge, which will reflect the cost of fuel and energy. One LIPA trustee told News 12 this is one of the highest increases he can recall, but says it's not surprising.

A LIPA spokesperson defended the spike, saying it's an industry-accepted practice. Many Long Island ratepayers are criticizing the move.

Meanwhile, customers who use more electric could be paying up to a $30 to $40 hike, but officials say it will fluctuate.