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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 Storm Team meteorologists say today could be the hottest day of the year so far, but even if temperatures don’t reach the triple-digits the forecast has the heat index well over 100-degrees.

The sweltering heat means most of us will be cranking up the air conditioning and in turn placing a lot of strain on the area’s power grid. Of course, if your household is pulling in more electricity that means you’ll be putting out more money for the service.

Oncor spokesman Kris Spears has some suggestions on how to stay cool while also keeping your bill down. “Keep your thermostat at about 78-degrees, or higher if you can stand it,” he said. “You want to try to get as close as possible to within 20-degrees of the outside temperature. That’s going to keep you’re A/C from running continuously.”

According to Spears, Oncor has crews standing by to deal with any outages caused by electric system overloads. “We have made preparations and obviously heat stress can have an impact on electricity. But we make sure that we have the right number of employees on staff and make sure that we have extra equipment readily available.”

Standing by for overheated Texas customers requires more than just manpower. Customers should keep in mind it’s not just people that are running hot. Spears explained, “So when you have temperatures in the triple-digits, obviously equipment gets just as hot as humans do. And we’re always making any preparations necessary.”

Some additional Oncor tips for reducing your energy consumption:

  • Clean or replace the air filter for your air-conditioning unit once a month.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). They typically use 70 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Turn off unused lights and electronics when you leave a room.
  • Weather-strip and caulk around windows and doors to prevent drafts. A gap of just one-quarter inch can let in as much air as a softball-size hole.
  • Line dry your clothes.
  • Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy for water heating.

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