With Sydney having just pushed through its hottest December day on record and more torrid conditions reportedly set to come, the State Government is unlikely to win any new fans after asking residents to delay or avoid using ‘non-essential’ appliances and turning up the thermostat of air conditioning units this Thursday between 5-9pm.
Temperatures are expected to reach in excess of 40 degrees in some parts of Sydney’s west today, with an expectant rise in humidity after Wednesday night’s violent summer storm making conditions even more unbearable.
But the Australian Energy Market Operator has forecast a significant reduction in electricity reserve levels across NSW, which could lead to blackouts and further supply issues across the state, especially in high-density residential areas.
As well as advising residents to adjust AC units to a minimum of 24 degrees, residents are also being asked to delay dishwashers and washing machines until tomorrow if possible.
Sydney residents have already been warned about the extreme conditions expected this summer and the increased risk of power supply issues, and the government has advised it will use days like today to run tests and hopefully improve network capacity into the future - despite the relentless demand for more housing and suburbs springing up quickly in the west. While it may help to alleviate housing issues, it may well be creating further headaches for both the local climate and subsequent electrical supply.
With so much awareness about problems on the horizon, some have asked why a more targeted strategy hasn't already been tested and evaluated.
Notably, none of this evening’s recommendations are legally enforceable.
TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT WITH MINIMAL POWER
With things almost certain to get worse before they improve, here are some small changes you can make that may help ease your burden on the power network.
- Hydrate: Drink a lot of water and try to avoid moisture-removing beverages like Coffee, Tea and alcohol.
- Wear brightly coloured, loose fitting clothing that is breathable and minimises how much heat you retain.
- Close every blind and shade in your house once things start to heat up.
- After the sun sets, open windows and airflow back up again.
- Use ice packs and damp or cold towels on pressure points.
- Sleep with fewer blankets, if any. Take a cool shower before going to bed.