Staying cool and saving money

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YUKON, Okla. -- With the summer heat, many people across the metro are trying to stay cool.

OG&E is encouraging customers to sign up for the SmartHours program.

Officials say it could save customers up to $200 on their electric bills this summer.

"They said you'd save a pretty good amount and you just need to lower your usage between two and seven the peak hours," said Kristen Olney, SmartHours customer.

Olney signed up for the program for the first time this summer.

According to OG&E, SmartHours customers pay 4.5 cents/kWh on the weekends and for 19 hours a day during the week.

During the peak hours of 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. on weekdays, the rate fluctuates and could go as high as 46 cents/kWh.

"That will change each day depending on a lot of different factors. Temperature, demand, our load forecast, the operating condition of our facilities, a lot of things go into that," said Brian Alford, spokesperson with OG&E.

Officials encourage customers to conserve energy during the peak hours.

OG&E notifies customers of the peak hour rates every day.

There is also a special thermostat that helps customers monitor the use of their air conditioning units.

If first time customers pay more on the SmartHours program, OG&E will reimburse them the difference.

Alford says they will allow 40,000 customers to sign up for the program this year.

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