(St. Paul, MN) -- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is investigating the spike in natural gas prices during the recent cold snap. The P-U-C voted 5-0 Tuesday to open a formal investigation to examine the impact of the national spike in prices on consumers and the state's gas utilities. Officials say some utilities had to purchase gas at prices at least 50 times higher than the average between February 12th and 17th. The unexpected gas costs are not expected to show up on customer bills right away and may be delayed several months. P-U-C chair Katie Sieben said, "in the midst of this COVID pandemic, the last thing needed are additional bills hitting Minnesota families and businesses."