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      Why your energy bill has been so high

      The Panhandle has seen at least 50 days of at least 100 degrees this summer.

      Of course, that means you have to run your air conditioner much more just to keep cool, and here's something you know if you keep a close eye on your bills, they certainly show it.

      All that Panhandle heat this summer means our air conditioner usage has been through the roof.

      Naturally, that also means higher bills for the citizens of Amarillo.

      "It's like any other product, the more you use it the more it's going to cost you and we've got a few measures that we look at to kind of gage where we were, this summer we have some internal research that show customers use about 40-60 percent more air conditioning this summer," said Xcel Spokesman, Wes Reeves.

      With more than 50 days at 100 degrees or hotter, demand this year has definitely been up.

      "We're about 12 percent more electrical demands this year to date than we were in 2010, so all of that high usage is being reflected right now in the bills that have come in this summer. People got higher bills than they would have gotten say last year primarily, because of the high usage."

      But thankfully, since we have gotten some cooler weather these past couple of days, Reeves says customers should see their bills drop.

      "The high usage is behind us, we reached a peak demand on August 2nd for electricity in this region of 5,936 megawatts which is way above last years peak where we were about 5,575."

      Reeves says you're not totally powerless when you get those high bills,

      There are conservation measures that you can take to save some money and raise your efficiency at the same time.

      He also says if you have any questions about your bill, Xcel is more than willing to work with you.

      And there are tips online on how to change the efficiency of how you use electricity at