By Elisabeth Smith

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hot weather prompted California’s electric grid operator to issue a statewide Flex Alert for Thursday, encouraging customers to conserve energy between 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued the Flex Alert Wednesday evening, calling for voluntary electricity conservation in anticipation of increased demand, primarily from air conditioning use.

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Customers are urged to conserve energy during the hottest part of the day, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., by turning off unnecessary lights, refrain from using major appliances, and setting their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.

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Over the summer, previous conservation efforts were praised for reducing the power demand and avoiding rolling blackouts.

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The call for conservation comes as PG&E cut power to more than 50,000&E customers due to elevated fire danger. The utility began turning off power in Northern Califonia communities Wednesday around 6 p.m. They expect the outage to last until Friday evening when Red Flag Conditions pass.