Californians Asked to Voluntarily Cut Electricity for Sixth Time Since Mid-June

As heat waves continue to broil the West, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued another Flex Alert asking residents to voluntarily limit or cut their power, the sixth request since June.

A Flex Alert, described by the ISO as "a call to consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity" when it expects to need more power "to meet demand," was issued for Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. These alerts help the ISO avoid disruptions in the power grid.

Dry and warm conditions were expected across the Los Angeles area through Thursday, with similar conditions again returning Sunday and early next week, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The ISO press release issuing the Flex Alert said residents are encouraged to pre-cool their homes by lowering the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees, closing all blinds and drapes, limiting major appliance usage and charging any electronic devices before the Flex Alert period.

Between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, residents are asked to turn off all unnecessary lights, avoid using major appliances and set their thermostats to 78 or higher, health permitting.

The ISO previously issued Flex Alerts on June 17, June 18, July 9, July 10 and July 12.

Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures up to 110 are possible in the next few days, the NWS said.

The NWS has advised residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun and in air-conditioned rooms, and check up on relatives and neighbors during the extreme heat.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services has made an updated statewide list of cooling centers available to residents during the heat wave.

Besides extreme heat exceeding 100 degrees, drought conditions have hindered daily living in California this summer. Governor Gavin Newsom recently asked residents to voluntarily cut their water use by 15 percent. As of July 8, 50 of the state's 58 counties were under a drought state of emergency.

"We're proud of the tremendous strides made to use water more efficiently and reduce water waste, but we can all find opportunities this summer to keep more water in reserve, as this drought could stretch into next year and beyond," Newsom said in a statement.

The extreme heat and drought are also contributing to the state's extreme wildfires. The Associated Press reported that wildfires in the West have become more frequent, more destructive and harder to combat because of the dry conditions and heat waves.

Earlier this month, the ISO, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission said they would work together to procure additional power capacity again this year.

"Summer has barely begun and we have already had repeated extreme heat events creating dangerous conditions and shattering records across the country," the agencies said in a combined statement. "Climate change is here and with increasing intensity that presents a host of new challenges we must collectively meet head-on."

Newsweek reached out for comment to the ISO, which provided information on the Flex Alerts.

California's Growing Solar Power Capacity
California residents are being asked to cut down on their power usage, the sixth request since mid-June. Above, a solar farm near Newman, California, on May 31. George Rose/Getty Images