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Sky-High Texas Power Bills Will Be Forgiven

Some customers got bills for thousands of dollars after February crisis
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2021 1:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Electricity customers in Texas who received astronomically high bills after last month's devastating blackouts won't have to worry about paying them, and those who have already paid all or part of the bills might be getting some money back, officials say. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says electricity company Griddy, which filed for bankruptcy this week, has agreed to forgive more than $29 million in unpaid bills from around 24,000 customers in return for his office dropping a lawsuit against it, NBC reports. Negotiations are ongoing "to address additional relief for those Griddy customers who have already paid their storm-related energy bills," Paxton said. One woman got a bill for more than $9,500.

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Earlier this week, Paxton said his office was suing Griddy for "debiting enormous amounts from customer accounts as Texans struggled to survive the storm," CNN reports. The company, however, blames the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for the sky-high bills—and the destruction of its business. Griddy sold electric plans tied to the price of power on the grid, which rose from a normal price of around $25 to $30 per megawatt-hour to $9,000 during the crisis, reports the Dallas Morning News. "ERCOT made a bad situation worse for our customers by continuing to set prices at $9,000 per megawatt-hour long after firm load shed instructions had stopped," says Griddy CEO Michael Fallquist. "Our customers paid 300 times more than the normal price for electricity during this period." He says Griddy did not profit from the crisis. (Read more Texas stories.)

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