Staff on call for emergencies for predicted power shortage
UPDATE 2pm: ESSENTIAL Energy is "planning and preparing the network" for this afternoon's predicted power supply shortage.
A statement issued after the power company's emergency meeting this morning said they will " follow emergency communications protocols during any load shedding incidents."
Load shedding is when a group of customers' power is switched off to rebalance the power system.
It is expected to happen between 3.30pm and 5.30pm today.
The statement also announced all planned power outages on the North Coast this weekend have been postponed due to the extreme weather forecast.
It was decided Essential Energy crews would be better off focusing on minimising the impact of power outages and responding to any emergency network incidents.
Follow these steps to minimise the need for load shedding:
1. Don't overcool your house. Adjust air conditioners to 24 degrees or warmer.
2. Keep windows and doors closed and blinds and curtains drawn to keep heat out.
3. Keep the fridge temperature at five degrees and limit the number of times the door is opened.
4. Use fans rather than air conditioners.
5. Switch off lights and appliances when not in use.
UPDATE 11.45am: AN ESSENTIAL Energy meeting is underway on the North Coast, to discuss the heatwave's impact on the region's energy supply.
The Australian Energy Market Operator has continued to forecast tight electricity conditions today due to the increased electricity consumption.
Blackouts are expected occur between 3.30pm and 5.30pm across the state, which may trigger the need for localised load shedding.
Load shedding involves switching off power to groups of customers in rotations, to rebalance the power system.
If the community can cut down on their power usage during that time, load shedding may not be necessary.
FRIDAY 8.40am: THOUSANDS of people around New South Wales may experience blackouts during the hottest part of today, it has been warned.
The Australian Energy Marker Operator has issued a warning for between 3pm and 5.30pm as the state faces a shortfall of 419 megawatts of power.
Unless additional generating capacity can be found, AEMO may be forced to repeat the load shedding order that saw 90,000 homes in South Australia have their power supplies cut earlier this week.
Load shedding is when the AEMO directs power companies to start switching off customers' power supply.
Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin has encouraged the public to help play their part in easing the strain.
"The NSW Government is doing everything we can to ensure a power outage is avoided but we encourage the community to reduce their energy use where possible," Mr Harwin said.
"Where you can please do your best to save energy - turn up your air con to 26 degrees, adjust fridge temperatures, switch off unused electrical appliances and turn off lights where it's safe to do so.
"While a hot weekend is expected AEMO and the networks are comfortable that supply will be available."
There will be a North Coast Essential Energy meeting this morning about 10.30am on today's heat and power situation.