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California’s energy grid manager extended flex alerts for the eighth consecutive day to avoid rolling blackouts during a scorching heatwave that began just before labor day. 

The California Independent System Operator asks residents to conserve electricity from 4 to 9 p.m. in order to reduce strain on the electric grid and avoid rotating power outages. 

Voluntary conservation measures have worked so far, as the power stayed on Tuesday despite record demand for electricity. Energy officials called for an Energy Emergency Alert 3 just before 6 p.m., calling for maximum conservation efforts. 

Alerts were sent out to cell phones across the state, warning “conserve energy now to protect public health and safety”, and warning “power interruptions may occur unless you take action”. 

By late Tuesday afternoon, electricity demand reached 52,061 megawatts, breaking the record of 50,270 MW set in 2006, according to the ISO. Wednesday's load is forecast at 49,868 MW. Officials ended Energy Emergency Alert 3 at 8 p.m., declaring “consumer conservation played a big part in protecting electric grid reliability.''

The following steps are recommended to save power: 

   — setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;

   — avoiding the use of major appliances;

   — turning off unnecessary lights; and

   — avoid charging electric vehicles.

State officials advise residents to pre-cool their homes as much as possible and close blinds and drapes to keep interiors cool. State health officials advised residents to stay in air-conditioned spaces if possible, and avoid strenuous activity in extreme heat. 

Children and pets should never be left in unattended vehicles for even one minute.

The National Weather Service extended an excessive heat warning until 8 p.m. Friday.

“Strong high pressure to the north will continue the heat wave through Thursday for inland areas, with the heat continuing through Friday for the coast and valleys,'' according to the NWS. "For next weekend, a weakening tropical system will bring increasing moisture, breezy conditions, and a chance of more widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms. Showers and higher humidity will linger through early next week.''

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