Heat wave in Central Florida causes near-record electricity use

Utility companies suggest setting thermostat no lower than 78

ORLANDO, Fla. – A heat wave that has gripped Central Florida this week is leading to near-record consumption of electricity in Orlando and Kissimmee.

[MORE WEATHER INFO:  5-day forecast | Live radar | Get alerts | Free apps | SHARE: How do you beat the heat? ]

OUC and KUA say customers should expect an increase this month in their power bills.

The power companies say customers should keep their thermostats at 78 or higher and replace air filters monthly.

Thursday marked the hottest day of 2015, with temperatures hitting 97 degrees at Orlando International Airport.

The heat is not expected to subside anytime soon, with high temperatures projected in the mid- to upper 90s into next week and the heat index over 100 degrees.