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‘Today will be touch and go’: Power outage fears as Victorian electricity demand predicted to reach six year high

The Victorian Energy Minister has warned there could be power blackouts today as demand surges.

Victorians are being asked to reduce their power usage with Australian Energy Market Operator forecasting the highest electricity demand since January 2014 today.

The surge in demand is due to extreme temperatures combined with unusually high humidity.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio says she can’t guarantee there won’t be power failures today.

“Today will be touch and go,” she said.

Victorians are being asked to reduce their energy usage between 1pm and 8pm to minimise the likelihood of outages this afternoon.

People are being asked avoid running dishwashers, washing machines and pool pumps, and set air conditioners to 23-26 degrees.

“While AEMO is not currently forecasting supply shortfalls or the need for involuntary load shedding, heatwave conditions that drive high electricity demand, combined with unplanned generation or transmission outages, could result in electricity disruptions,” the market operator said in a statement.

Customers who have signed up to receive cash in exchange for reducing their electricity consumption when asked to do so by their energy provider have received messages asking them to reduce their use.

“Last night I received both a text and and email which advised that today there was going to be a summer saver event, this is from United Energy,” Wayne told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“This time it starts an hour earlier, at 5 o’clock and finishing at 8 o’clock.”

It comes after thousands of households lost power in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs last night, and almost 5000 other customers across the state experienced power outages.

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Image: Chris Jongkind / Getty