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Texas officials are investigating shocking energy bills amidst storm price spikes



Upshaw told CNN’s Frederica Whitfield via Skype on Saturday: “Although I tried to get gasoline and food and make sure my pipeline would not explode, the last thing I thought of was the utility company opening The $7,000 bill issued.”

The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUCT), the public utility regulator of Texas, said on Saturday that it is investigating “combined with severe winter weather that disrupts the power supply to thousands of Texas homes.”

If the current supplier is unavailable, it also provides customers with a way to use an emergency supplier, but the program may not apply to people who voluntarily change power companies.

CNN asked PUCT for clarification, but did not immediately respond.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is holding an emergency meeting to investigate the situation.

Abbott said: “It is unacceptable for Texans who have suffered for several days in the cold and cold without electricity and heat, but are now suffering from soaring energy costs.” “To protect the family, I am working with the deputy The governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and members of the legislature actively cooperate to develop solutions to ensure that Texans do not get into trouble due to unreasonable increases in energy bills.”

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An energy company called Griddy suggested that if the price is too high, their customers will look for another supplier.

Upshaw told CNN that he tried to switch from Griddy to another power supplier, but the new company has been delaying his start date.

Dallas resident DeAndre Upshaw received $7,000 in electricity bills this month.

Griddy charges customers at market rates that change according to current electricity prices. Its website says that customers “pay exactly what we paid for the electricity.” But as the winter storm caused severe damage to the Texas grid, the price of Griddy soared.

In Texas, customers can choose to pay for a fixed plan, and Griddy began encouraging them to do so in a statement on Monday.

The company said: “Although we value members, we even want to have what is most beneficial to their wallets and family members, even if it means helping them turn to competitors.”

Griddy said on Thursday that it is seeking assistance from the Texas Public Utilities Regulatory Agency and “committed to crediting any relief provided to customers (in U.S. dollars).”

Currently, Dallas resident Upshaw has switched his credit card on file on Griddy to a depleted credit card to ensure that no more fees will be charged. He said that although he has been conserving power, his bills are still rising.

Neighbors and friends who have a Griddy account told Upshaw that these fees “make their entire checking account disappear, into a savings account, and they can’t pay the rent,” he said.

Upshaw added: “We have friends who have not had electricity for 48 hours come to my house (my house), I mean, we have to pay for this electricity, otherwise others may use it.” He is very grateful, he is still alive And very healthy.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Texas Railroad Commission stated that it is working to get natural gas into the state to “avoid the possibility that customers may receive unusually high bills in the coming weeks.”

The state agency said it is working with “energy producers, pipeline operators and power regulators to provide the support they need for natural gas transmission”.

According to the commission’s website, although the commission was originally established as a railroad regulator, it has supervised the oil and gas industry in the state for nearly 100 years.

Commissioner Wayne Christian (Wayne Christian) said in a statement: “Texans have experienced enough hardships during this winter storm without worrying about unexpected additional energy costs.” “Our agency will Do everything we can to ensure that utilities have enough time to deal with these unexpected expenses, so they will not cause too much burden on consumers.”

CNN’s Melissa Mahtani and Adrienne Vogt contributed to this report.


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