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PHOENIX -- When the temperature soars, so do the electric bills, but there are some things you can do to lessen the impact.

"The air-conditioning uses about 50 percent of the energy in our house," said Patty Garcia-Likens with Salt River Project. "So there are things customers can do to save money on their energy usage during these hot summer months."

First, be aware that the cooler the temperature inside the home will affect the price you pay at the end of the month. According to SRP, you should set your thermostat between 78 to 80 degrees when you are home and up to 85 degrees when you are away. For every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you can save approximately 2 to 3 percent on cooling costs.

SRP encourages customers to use ceiling fans, properly seal windows and doors and use big appliances late in day or evening to avoid increasing the temperature inside the home. You can also invest in sun shades which can help reduce energy costs by up to 25 percent.

Another great idea is to have an expert conduct a home energy audit. They'll assess your home from top to bottom and give you a checklist of what needs attention.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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