With many already in the dark, Californians asked to conserve

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California power grid officials have issued a statewide Flex Alert, asking residents to conserve power from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. today.

With high temperatures in the forecast, the California Independent System Operator predicts an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning, which will strain the state’s power grid in the late afternoon and early evening.

The Flex Alert comes after 50,000 PG&E customers lost power Wednesday because the heat coupled with low humidity and high winds raised the risk of wildfires, affecting roughly 150,000 people.

People can conserve by turning off unnecessary lights, avoiding using major appliances and setting thermostats to 78 degrees or above.