LUBBOCK, Texas — Saturday morning, Lubbock Power and Light customers will start the switch to the ERCOT power grid — a move that will cause temporary power outages for tens of thousands of people in the Hub City.
“We know that customers don’t want an interruption and in many cases might fear this interruption. Just know that we’re going to work through this as quickly as we possibly can,” Matt Rose, spokesperson for LP&L, said.
The planned power outages start Saturday morning at 8 a.m., and each one is expected to last for about 30 minutes. The outages are designed to move 70 percent of LP&L’s company, approximately 83,000 customers, to ERCOT. The second switch for the remaining 30 percent is expected to happen in May 2023.
The City Emergency Operations Center will be activated Saturday morning before the outages start, and over the weekend, it’s going to be all hands on deck for the crews at LP&L. Ahead of the switch, the company, along with local electricity experts, offered some tips to help customers before they find themselves in the dark.
The company is encouraging customers to do the following:
- Unplug sensitive electronics, such as computers or TVs
- Keep freezers and fridges closed during the outage so perishable foods stay as cold as possible
- Notify security systems for your home or business that your power will go out
“It’s a good idea to notify your security company because if your power goes out, a lot of times that will trigger the alarm,” Rose said.
The outages will also temporarily affect traffic intersections, so expect to see increased police officers out directing traffic. As for people with medical devices, LP&L said it has already worked out a plan with them individually.
The company added it has already taken the weekend’s severe weather forecast into account, and as of now, the rain “shouldn’t have a big impact” on LP&L crews.
Victor Rotramel, construction project manager for Amp Electric, offered tips ahead of the power outages too.
“Get batteries for flashlights, [have a supply of] water,” Rotramel said.
Since February’s winter disaster, the electric company has seen an uptick in people buying generators, solar systems and other alternative energy sources.
Rotramel said it’s always a good idea to be prepared for power outages in general.
“People take electricity for granted. Of course. We all do. I do,” Rotramel said.
He added what’s happening this weekend is not out of the ordinary.
“It’s pretty much just a glitch … You may have a temporary blackout, and then, it will come right back on,” Rotramel said.
LP&L ultimately promised customers that the power will come back on and resume as normal.
“There’s never a good time to have a planned outage. There’s never a good time to interrupt a customer’s service,” Rose said. “We realize that it’s not ideal, but this is a necessary step for us to get where we need to be for the future of power supply in Lubbock. We just appreciate everybody’s patience and understanding as we work through this process this weekend,” Rose said.
If you’re an LP&L customer, you can check to see when your power is scheduled to go out, along with an outage map, here. If your power outage lasts more than an hour, you can call LP&L at (806) 775-2509 or email them at email@example.com