The blackout threat for NSW has subsided but catastrophic fire conditions are still predicted as a scorching heatwave settles in across the state.
Demand on the state's power network reached unprecedented levels as temperatures on Friday soared to highs of 45C in western Sydney and 47C in the western Riverina town of Hay.
There were some power outages due to localised faults, but the state was able to avoid rolling blackouts, Energy Minister Don Harwin said.
"I want to thank the people of NSW for their patience and understanding, particularly to those who reduced their energy use this afternoon," he said in a statement.
While the worst has passed, households and businesses should still remain vigilant and limit their energy use over the weekend, Mr Harwin said.
NSW managed to dodge the rolling power outages, or load shedding, "predominantly due to reduced electricity consumption across the state", the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said.
The operator also commended one of the state's biggest electricity users, aluminium smelter Tomago, for shutting down its power during the peak evening period.
About 11,000 people lost power on Friday afternoon because of a fault on the local network, Ausgrid said, with power restored to most homes within two hours.
Minister Harwin said the abnormal weather event had highlighted the "pressing need for energy market reform in NSW" - an issue he would raise at the COAG Energy Council next week.
"I will also be establishing an Energy Security Taskforce. This Taskforce will report to me on ways we can better manage the impact of extreme weather on energy security, including our readiness, planning, preparation and response capability," he said.
A state-wide total fire ban is in place for Saturday and Sunday, with Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons warning the following three days will be very difficult for firefighters as temperatures rise to above 40C.
The state's northwest will cop the burnt of the extreme heat with Wilcannia, Ivanhoe, Bourke and Menindee all tipped to reach 47C on Saturday.
In the Hunter region, Singleton and Cessnock are predicted to reach 46C on Saturday and 43C on Sunday.
Mr Fitzsimmons warned of a potential "catastrophic" fire danger warning on Sunday "largely around the Hunter, from the coast, mid-north coast, out through the Central Tablelands, the top end of the greater Sydney region and out to the central west".
He said people should have their bushfire survival plan ready.
"We need everybody in these most-at-risk areas to do their part," he said.
Sydney will get no relief over the weekend with high 30s and low 40s forecast across the city.
The state's Forestry Corporation has closed all forests between Sydney and Kempsey in the state's north, along with forests in the Pilliga region and the Talleganda State Forest on the Southern Tablelands on Saturday, with the situation to be reassessed for Sunday.
Saturday's Randwick races have been postponed to Monday due to concerns about the welfare of horses and riders.
Newcastle's A-League soccer match against Melbourne Victory has also been postponed until Monday, while Football NSW has cancelled all Saturday trial games for under-18s and below and shifted under-20s and first grade trials to evening start times.
NSW's three NRL trial matches will however go ahead on Saturday evening, as will the Sheffield Shield clash between NSW and Queensland. Cricket NSW has cancelled all grades of Premier Cricket, while most school and children's sport has been cancelled.
With many people heading to waterways to cool off in the heat, parents are being urged to keep an eye on children following a tragic summer of drownings.
Health experts are reminding people to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and look out for people most at risk, while NSW clubs say they will provide water and respite for vulnerable people.