(Bloomberg) -- A grid operator in southwest Germany asked users to reduce demand for an hour after requesting imports from Switzerland to help balance its network.

TransnetBW GmBH posted a red alert on its app asking consumers to save electricity starting at 2 p.m. local time. This doesn’t mean that power cuts are to be expected or that the grid is unstable, said Claudia Halici, a spokeswoman for TransnetBW. 

“But it does signal that TransnetBW must do more than usual to keep the power grid stable,” she said.

Cold weather, low wind and France’s struggles to boost its nuclear power capacity are pressuring Germany’s energy systems after Russia cut gas flows. Even though gas storage sites are almost full, the network will be tested as cold weather sets in, with southern regions facing extra stress due to lower renewable-energy capacity.

TransnetBW’s request for more than 700 megawatts from Switzerland was necessary because some reserve power plants in its area weren’t available. However, electricity exports weren’t affected, according to the utility.

The regional grid operator decided to ask customers to save energy so it wouldn’t have to power up fossil-fuel plants, a move that’s not only costly but also contributes to already high electricity pollution.

(Updates throughout with details, operator comment, context.)

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