The public is being asked by the government and the Israel Electric Corporation to conserve energy and be prepared for brownouts as the summer’s oppressive heat continues.

The announcements came amid reports of power outages in the South and along the coast, including in the city of Ashdod. National Infrastructure  Minister Uzi Landau and Israel Electric Corporation Chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal asked for the public’s assistance and offered reassurances that preparations have been underway for some time to deal with heavy demands for power.

The electric company stated that Thursday’s outages were not due to a lack of electricity supply but rather to a failure in production equipment at the Rutenberg Power Station in Ashkelon. “This was not a forced outage due to a lack of electricity, but rather an outage that occurred due to a technical problem at a production unit. Within 25 minutes electricity was restored to all places,” a statement said.

“Today, tomorrow and in two days, and for the rest of the summer, we have a problem. We are in need of the public’s help to ensure that are no more power outages,” Landau said. Requests to the public included minimizing use of computers, air conditioners and other appliances.

Ron-Tal said the press conference had been called in order to inform the public that “things are going to be difficult for the next week.” He said the Israel Electric Corporation spent about three billion shekels a month on fuel, and that while the Finance Ministry was flexible in allowing the Company to raise rates, the price of electricity was still “very low.”