A NYSEG substation in the Town of Dickinson. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

New York state residents are being encouraged to take immediate action to lower electricity usage to protect the power grid.

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday urged New Yorkers to conserve power as persistent high temperatures and humidity place heavy demand on generating and distribution facilities.

Cuomo directed state agencies to turn off lights, raise air conditioning temperatures and close window shades to reduce electricity consumption.

The governor said the extreme heat in recent days has resulted in near-record electricity usage.

Heavy use of air conditioners and fans can drive up the demand for power during heat waves. High demand can result in instances of low voltage or can trigger power outages.

The state's electric grid is managed by the New York Independent System Operator. Its managers also are calling on consumers to conserve electricity.

The National Weather Service said the heat index would rise into the upper 90s in parts of the Southern Tier as the very warm conditions continue through the weekend. Forecasters said the heat index in the New York City area could soar to between 105 and 110 on Saturday.

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