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The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) is expecting record electricity usage this weekend across the ERCOT portion of the state's electric grid.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, encompasses all, or parts of 212 of Texas' 254 counties. While Lubbock, Gaines, and some other South Plains counties are not currently included in ERCOT; the vast majority of the South Plains and Texas Panhandle counties are included in the ERCOT grid.  Also included in ERCOT, is Midland/Odessa, Wichita Falls, and Abilene.

“While people often associate the dog days of summer with high electricity consumption, plummeting temperatures predicted for the next few days will place significant demand on the ERCOT grid,” said Chairman DeAnn Walker. “The electric system response under stress will, as always, require significant coordination between the Commission, ERCOT, and all entities responsible for providing safe and reliable power.”

According to information released by the PUC, based on the current load forecast and predictions of record low temperatures, ERCOT could set a new all-time winter peak demand record on the morning of Monday, February 15. (The current winter peak demand record of 65,915 MW was set on Jan. 17, 2018 between 7 & 8am).

ERCOT - Load Zone Map, PUC of Texas

Just like during peak electrical usage periods during the summer, consumers can help limit the load on the electrical grid by limiting usage of appliances and practicing safe electrical usage by not overloading circuits or outlets.

The PUC has set up a Storm Resources webpage online at: http://puc.texas.gov/STORM for helpful advice and features like a statewide outage restoration map.

In Lubbock, on Sunday, the high has been revised downward to 11 degrees, with snow. Sunday night's low in Lubbock is now forecast for -4 degrees. Abilene's weather on Sunday will be similar, a high of 18 degrees, with snow; and then a low of 0 (zero) degrees.

On Sunday, in Wichita Falls, their high will be 19 degrees, with snow, and a low of 5 degrees. Wichita Falls' low temperature will be even lower on Monday night at 0 (zero) degrees.