Statewide energy alert issued as California bakes in summer heat

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Sweltering temperatures across California prompted calls for residents statewide to reduce their energy use through 9 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.

The so-called flex alert initiated by the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s electric grid for most of the state, was scheduled to run from 2 to 9 p.m.

Utility companies urged their residential customers to voluntarily delay washing clothes and dishes until bedtime and to keep their thermostats at 78 degrees or higher.


California ISO predicted peak energy usage would be between 4 and 6 p.m. and cautioned that high energy demands in other states would limit the availability of importing more power.

The state — particularly in Southern California — has been enduring more than a week of high summer temperatures. The heat combined with the fifth year of drought has sparked two major wildfires, one in the Santa Clarita Valley and a second in Central California north of Big Sur.

The two fires have burned more than 51,000 acres combined and killed two people.

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