LUBBOCK, Texas – Nearly two and a half years after the majority of Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L) customers made the big switch to the ERCOT grid, the remaining 30% will make that move December 9-11.
“We have to do this so we can get 100% across the line, and we can move into the next phase of how folks are going to get their electricity here in Lubbock,” said Matt Rose, spokesperson for LP&L.
The journey to electric competition has been in the works since 2018. This transition is the last step needed for customers to begin shopping for a new provider which LP&L said will be a six-week window starting Jan. 5. The provider list is out now, but you can’t register with anyone until that shopping period opens.
“For months, our folks have been going through and doing this very meticulous planning, so that when we come to that weekend, hopefully, we run through it efficiently enough that folks see a very minimal impact,” Rose said. “We were successful in doing that in 2021, and that’s what we’re going to look at doing again.”
Around 20,000 customers will be impacted by this move compared to the 83,000 in 2021 Although smaller in volume, Rose said it’s actually more work.
“This time, it’s a little bit different in that we’re not needing to go substation by substation, but instead, we’re needing to connect distribution lines to other sets of lines, but from a customer standpoint, the impact and what they experience is almost the same.”
Just like in 2021, those affected will get a note in the mail notifying them of an expected 30-minute power outage during the transition. In 2021, LP&L customers lost power for an average of 16 minutes.
“It’s going to cause a disruption for the customers and we understand that, but this is necessary work to get us to where we need to be,” Rose said. “Once we complete this final transfer, this type of work will be done, it will be behind us, and we don’t have to worry about any type of these outages going forward.”
Rose said customers part of the final move are spread out across the city, and will not done by neighborhood or region.
“We’re working very closely with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and with the Lubbock Police Department (LPD) to make sure that as we go through this, we give enough information to customers so that they can plan, but we also stay safe in that we don’t put them in a situation where folks know that they’re out of power and can take advantage of that.”
There will soon be a tool available on LP&L’s website where customers can enter their meter number off their bill for a more accurate day and time of when they’ll lose power.