Melbourne: 42,000 homes in dark, no fans left at Kmart. Power outages due to “secret” air conditioners?

Melbourne: 42,000 homes in dark, no fans left at Kmart. Power outages due to “secret” air conditioners? By Joanne Nova.

The temperature reached 38C in Melbourne (100F) on Sunday — something it has probably done most summers since 10,000BC.

CitiPower, Powercor and the United Energy spokeswoman Emma Tyner said that as of 9.25pm, about 41,190 homes were without power across those three networks. – Sydney Morning Herald

Now why would that be? Ms Tyner puts a lack of supply in the nicest possible way:

“The extreme heat has significantly increased electricity use and this has resulted in localised power outages,” Ms Tyner said.

It’s not that governments didn’t plan energy policy — it’s the users who wanted too much (i.e your fault.) Though Victorians used to use more power than this. On Sunday, peak electricity demand was 9,124MW, about 13% less than the all time peak of 10,496MW in 2009. (In case you are wondering, Hazelwood (now closed) produced 1600MW or about 25% of Victorian baseload power.)

Mr Armstrong from Ausnet Services (another power company) blamed unreported air conditioners:

“There are a lot fuses blowing in the hot weather and a significant power pull with people having put in air-conditioners they didn’t tell us about,” Mr Armstrong said. — The Age

Who knew you needed to tell your power company when you put in an air conditioner? Gone are the days when people could willy-nilly run down to Retrovision and just buy an air con.

For a tale of government stupidity and obfuscation, read it all.