Critical Care & Critical Load

Critical Care

If there is someone in your home whose health depends on an electrically-operated device, it’s important that you take necessary precautions to prepare for power outages.

  • Plug the device into an uninterruptable power supply, or battery backup, that can provide emergency power for a period of time.

  • Invest in a portable generator that can power life-saving equipment in the event of an extended power outage.

  • Plug electronic devices into surge protectors, which will protect the equipment from potential damage in the event of a power surge.

  • Always keep an adequate supply of prescription drugs and medical equipment on hand in case a storm prevents you from getting refills.

  • Report outages immediately by calling us at 361-364-2220 or toll-free at 888-740-2220. Keep a cell phone or corded landline in your home that can be used to make phone calls when the power is out.

  • Let SPEC know if someone in your home relies on life-supporting medical equipment by filling out application below.  If you’re already on our critical care registry, please notify us of any changes you’ve made to your address, phone number or medical equipment.

Complete the Critical Care application and submit it, along with a physician’s directive or prescription detailing your life-support needs. Please be aware that this designation does not guarantee an uninterrupted, regular, or continuous power supply. If electricity is a necessity, you must make other arrangements for on-site back-up capabilities or other alternatives in the event of loss of electric service.


Critical Load

The criteria for qualification as Critical Load Public Safety or Critical Load Industrial are provided in the Public Utility Commission of Texas Substantive Rule 25.497. Designation of critical load does not guarantee an uninterrupted supply of electricity. It is the responsibility of the Member to make arrangements for alternative sources of electric power should a localized outage or load shed event occur.


Critical Infrastructure for Natural Gas Suppliers

The Railroad Commission has established criteria for the designation of critical gas facilities where electricity is essential for the supplier to operate. During an energy emergency, critical gas facilities may be prioritized during electric utility load-shed and restoration planning for purposes of continued power delivery. Critical status does not, however, constitute a guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of energy. An operator of a critical natural gas facility must provide critical customer information to the utility from which it receives electric delivery service. Critical natural gas facilities located in the ERCOT region must also provide the critical customer information to ERCOT. 

The Railroad Commission has adopted Form CI-D, Acknowledgement of Critical Customer/Critical Gas Supplier Designation, and an Excel Attachment to facilitate the provision of critical customer information. The operator will certify on Form CI-D that it has provided the critical customer information to its electric utility.

Initial filings, including submissions to the utility and ERCOT, must be made by January 15, 2022. Operators must update and refile with all parties by either September 1, 2022 or 30 days following the date the map is produced by the Texas Electricity Supply Chain Security and Mapping Committee, whichever is later. Beginning in 2023, Form CI-D must be filed with all parties bi-annually by March 1 and September 1 of each year.