The best way to beat the heat is to stay inside, but if you hike the air conditioning too high, you could pay the price when you get next month's electric bill.

However, there are a few simple steps you can take that will not only save you cash, but keep you cool as well.

"One thing people can do is delay doing things that create heat in the home, like washing and drying laundry and running the dishwasher," Brooke Houston, spokesperson for PSE&G, told us in 2015. "Consider setting the air conditioner at 78 degrees, health permitting."

Other tips on how to save energy and money during the hot summer days include the following:

  • Turn off everything you're not using: lights, TVs, computers, etc. Use dimmers, timers and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting;
  • Close blinds, shades and draperies facing the sun to keep the sun's heat out and help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently;
  • Close doors leading to uncooled parts of your home. With central air, close off vents to unused rooms.

Keep an eye on these resources as well:

POWER: PSE&G customers: See PSE&G's power map for outages and report downed trees, gas leaks, other emergencies or outages to 800-436-PSEG. JCP&L customers: See JCP&L's map for outages. Call in issues to 888-LIGHTSS or report your outage online. Atlantic City Electric customers: See Atlantic City Electric's map or call 800-833-7476 for any issues.

WEATHER: Keep an eye on Dan Zarrow's blog. Unlike some weather forecasters, Dan's not about to hype news he's not sure of. He'll tell you what he knows, what he doesn't, and why.

ON THE RADIO, OUR APP & ALEXA: Listen to New Jersey 101.5 anytime on air, online or on your phone by downloading the New Jersey 101.5 app. (In addition to weather and news updates, we'll be playing music all weekend). We're also on Amazon Alexa, both as a 24/7 stream and as Flash Briefings updated several times every day.

STATE EMERGENCY ALERTS: The state Office of Emergency Management issues alerts on Facebook and Twitter.

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