Texas power retailer Griddy was the target of a class-action lawsuit filed in Houston on Monday that claimed that the company’s prices were sought after by customers after winter storm Uri cut millions of people across the state.
The main plaintiff in the lawsuit is Chambers County resident Lisa Khoury (Lisa Khoury). According to the lawsuit, his electricity bill during the week of the hurricane totaled $9,340. Khoury’s normal monthly bill averages $200 to $250.
Potts Law Firm in Houston said that Holley’s appeal sought to include all “Texans who have used Griddy’s electricity services and suffered excessive charges due to storms”. Her lawsuit calls for more than $1
“At present, we don’t know how many people will be affected, but there may be thousands of customers who have received these outrageous bills,” said Khoury’s lawyer Derek Potts. “The class action lawsuit will be the most effective way for Griddy’s customers to come together and contend with this predatory pricing.”
A representative of Griddy could not be immediately reached for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that Griddy “allows its customers to charge customers such high electricity bills and therefore violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.”
The bill states that false, misleading or deceptive business practices that “take advantage of the disaster declared by the governor” are illegal. President Joe Biden approved the Federal Emergency Declaration by Governor Greg Abbott on February 14.
In the deregulated energy market in Texas, Griddy and other power suppliers charge customers at wholesale fixed prices. These plans are relatively new and frustrating for customers. Now it takes them a week to pay expensive bills, and many are intermittent.
Griddy made an unusual plea last week because when the spot electricity price soared to $9,000 per megawatt-hour, Griddy told all its 29,000 customers to switch to another supplier. Its customers are fully aware of real-time changes in the wholesale electricity market, resulting in electricity bills as high as $16,000 last week.
By Friday, the Houston-based company said it was seeking relief from the grid operator ERCOT and the state’s Public Utilities Commission to deal with customers with high bills.
The lawsuit alleges that Khoury tried to change the power supplier on February 16, but was not able to switch to the new power supplier until three days after the “sustained” expansion.
According to Houston public media, about 25% to 30% of Texans and energy suppliers are in a floating rate plan, which references the plan comparison website ElectricityPlans.com.
The power outages and rising power costs in Texas have frightened customers who cannot pay their bills, but some companies have seen a considerable windfall.
The Macquarie Group, an Australian investment banking company, injected undisclosed investment funds into Griddy last year. The company said it expects its after-tax net profit to be $215 million. Wall Street Journal.
Comstock Resources Inc., the natural gas company of Dallas billionaire Jerry Jones (Jerry Jones), also cashed in on rising prices. Comstock Chief Financial Officer Roland Burns (Roland Burns) said on the earnings call last week: “This week is like winning some of these incredible prices.”