Illawarra homes could have power cut for one or two hours

Beach-goers cool down at City Beach on Friday. Photo: Robert PeetStatewide total fire ban issuedCricket cancelled due to extreme heatKembla Grange to go aheadHeat can be a killer this weekend​Endeavour Energy customers could be without power for several hours this afternoon if it is ordered to cut supply.

Over the coming days, the temperature is expected to climb into the 30s –reaching as high as36 degrees in Wollongong and 39 degrees in Albion Park on Saturday.

There are concerns over whether the electricity network across the state will be able to cope with the increased demand from people running airconditioners and fans.

State Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwinsaid the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) informed him the networks would be able to cope over the weekend.

However, there was a two-hour window on Friday afternoon where demand for power in NSW will hit a record high.

It is possible that load shedding –where power is switched off to some areas – may be needed manage overall demand.

“If load shedding is needed, Endeavour Energy must follow the direction of the AEMOas they are responsible for the overall stability of the electricity grid across the eastern seaboard,” an Endeavour Energy spokeswoman said.

“At this stage, Endeavour Energy does not know if load shedding will be required later today when energy consumption is expected to peak.

“It depends on several factors including temperatures, the amount of supply and how much electricity is being consumed.”

The spokeswoman said that, if Endeavour Energy was directed to load shed,supply to some customers would be interruptedat short notice, possibly for up to one or two hours.

Areas may be rotated to minimise interruption times and the spokeswoman said these areas wouldbe published on the Endeavour Energy website and tweeted.

“Affected areas will be spread across the network to minimise the impact on the public,” she said.

“We try to avoid interrupting supply to areas where there are major hospitals or where the loss of electricity represents a serious risk to public safety.”

To help save electricity and help avoid load shedding, Endeavour Energy is encouraging customers to reduce electricity use where it is safe to do so by the following methods:

Turning up the thermostat on air conditioning units to 23- 26 degreesshifting the operation of pool pumps to after 8pm.Using fans to circulate cool air within homes; and,Switching off unused electrical appliances.The NSW Food Authority advises freezers will usually not defrost and allow food to spoil for at least 24 hours, provided the door is kept shut.

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