By Elisabeth Smith

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a Flex Alert for Thursday, asking residents to conserve energy amid high temperatures.

California ISO said due to the high forecasted temperatures, they are predicting an increased electricity demand from air conditioning use. The grid operator also noted that reduced capacity and fire activity has led to a potential shortage or energy supply.

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The Flex Alert is set to last from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A spokesperson for California ISO said, “with wildfire activity adding to the threat to transmission lines, we are asking consumers to reduce electricity use from 3 to 10 p.m. to absorb any more potential outages on the system.”

During a Flex Alert, California ISO asks consumers to set their air conditioner to 78 degrees or higher if health permits, not use major appliances after 3 p.m., and turn off all unnecessary lights.

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If the demand for energy gets too high, California ISO will then declare an emergency, which may lead to rolling blackouts.

On Aug. 14, a heat wave prompted the first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years, affecting hundreds of thousands of households. In the following weeks, California ISO issued Flex Alerts and declared some emergencies as the heat persisted, straining the energy grid.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an emergency proclamation in August allowing some energy users and utilities to tap backup energy sources amid a days-long heatwave. Newsom also sent a letter demanding that the state energy commission, state public utilities commission, and the California ISO investigate broad energy blackouts over two days that he said occurred without prior warning or enough time to prepare.

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