Feb 10 2017

Industry working to maintain secure supply in NSW

Heatwave conditions in New South Wales have the potential to push electricity demand to a new record peak today.

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Matthew Warren, said the industry will be doing everything it can to ensure that power supply is maintained during the day.

“Blackouts can occur if there isn’t enough supply to meet record electricity demand levels.  They can also occur as the result isolated faults caused by the extreme conditions.

"Losing power even for short periods during a heatwave can cause real discomfort.  Electricity providers will be doing everything possible today to avoid any loss of power."

Electricity demand has historically been highest on weekdays and usually at the end of a run of three or more hot days. The record peak demand in NSW was 14,764 MW set in 2010-2011.  The Australian Energy Market Operator has forecast demand could reach that level between 4.30-6.30pm.

“Even with more solar panels around now, the increased demand from population growth and more widespread use of air-conditioners means record electricity demand is a possibility. Households can help by managing their demand levels.”

Mr Warren said that any tightening of power supply causing a temporary increase in wholesale electricity prices would not translate into higher power bills.

“It’s normal for prices to go up and down in the wholesale electricity market all the time.  Price spikes caused by high demand do not translate into more expensive power for consumers,” he said.

Heatwaves and electricity supply fact sheet

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 21 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact             Carl Kitchen                0401 691 342

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