As the summer heat lingers, the extreme highs of July could come back to haunt residents — through their electricity bills.

Duke Energy announced on Aug. 1 that North Carolina and South Carolina set a summertime record for electricity usage during the last week of July.

The region’s heat wave, the company said in a release, drove up energy demand so much so that the two states set a new summer peak usage record. On July 27, customers in the two states were using 20,671 megawatt-hours of electricity, breaking a record previously set on Aug. 8, 2007.

The all-time record for energy consumption in the two Carolinas remains in winter.

Meghan Miles, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy, said many times people can think being energy efficient has to be expensive, but even little changes can show a difference in electricity bills each month.

“There are a lot of little things that people can do to save money in the summer from setting the cooling temperature to the highest comfortable temperature to easy things like cleaning and changing your filters,” she said. “If you are leaving home, bumping up your cooling temperature can help your air conditioning work around your schedule.”

Duke Energy recommends setting the cooling temperature to 78 degree when you are home and 80 degrees when you are away. Raising the temperature setting just two degrees can reduce cooling costs by five percent.