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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Alanna Tomazin

Ausgrid postpones planned works in Hunter amid heatwave conditions

Ausgrid has postponed its planned works for the Hunter. File pictures

AS a heatwave sweeps across the Hunter energy company Ausgrid has postponed its planned works in the region for Thursday.

Heatwave conditions are set to persist for large swathes of the country with a cool change not expected until later in the week.

Ausgrid Group Executive for Operations Matthew Sweeting said reviewing and cancelling works is part of their standard planning for hot conditions.

"The safety of our customers and our staff is our priority during these periods of extreme weather," he said.

In places where temperatures are forecast to reach 37 degrees planned maintenance work is usually cancelled, except in cases where customers agree to the work going ahead, he said.

Ausgrid is urging customers to prepare now for the higher temperatures to stay cool and save money by setting air conditioning to the correct temperature and use the power save mode if available.

"The optimum range for air conditioning is between 23 and 26 degrees and every degree of cooling below that can add up to 10 per cent to your running costs," Mr Sweeting said.

Senior bureau meteorologist Dean Narramore said the heatwave was unlikely to lead to record-breaking highs, but temperatures in some areas were likely to be similar to those experienced during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfire season.

"A lot of those areas saw temperatures around 48-49 degrees at the time, whereas those inland areas are now looking at probably 47-48 degrees," he said.

"We could even get back to back 39 degrees at Newcastle which is a little bit unusual there and even Maitland getting into the low 40s," Mr Narramore said.

Regional centres including Armidale, Moree, Nowra, Orange and Wollongong are all set to bear the brunt of the heat.

The NSW Rural Fire Service said it expects to see elevated fire conditions towards the end of the week and emergency services have urged people to watch out for signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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