About $29 Million in Texas Electric Bills Will Be Forgiven, According to the Attorney General
Over $29 million unpaid electric bills charged during the disastrous winter storm in February will be forgiven following a declaration from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Ken Paxton, who sued the energy company this month, said he hoped to hold them accountable for leaving millions of Texans without power during the unprecedented winter storm last month.
Paxton said that during the economic crisis, Griddy debited vast amounts from customers' accounts. Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, he had filed a lawsuit against the company.
Nevertheless, Paxton later decided to drop the lawsuit in consideration of the company's reasonable efforts to resolving the customer's unpaid bills.
"I ensured that Griddy's proposed bankruptcy plan takes an important step forward by offering releases to approximately 24,000 former customers who owe $29.1 million in unpaid electric bills," he said.
Call (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online if you are experiencing price gouging. https://t.co/pPnbJczjZ2— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 17, 2021
At the moment, Griddy and his office are conducting ongoing good faith negotiations to seek additional help for Griddy customers who have already paid their storm-related energy bills.
An online statement from Griddy, which provides wholesale pricing to consumers for a $9.99 monthly fee, said the company had declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming ERCOT.
Governor Greg Abbott has continually blamed the ERCOT for the power outages in Texas.
ERCOT & other energy cos have slipped & fallen on their faces & it’s not the ice’s fault. They have left 3+ million homes w/o power for days, including my own.— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 18, 2021
What do they do in response? Jack up prices, go silent, make excuses, & play the blame game. It’s unacceptable! https://t.co/e3KvWz49eq
Electricity usage in Texas skyrocketed when the winter storm hit. According to Griddy, ERCOT set prices at $9,000 per megawatt-hour; the seasonally average is $50 per megawatt-hour.
ERCOT's actions destroyed the Griddy company and caused financial harm to the company's customers, according to Griddy CEO Michael Fallquist in a statement.
The company said that filing for bankruptcy protection would assist in its reorganization. ERCOT noted that they are reviewing the filing; however, they have no comment on the allegations.
Governor Greg Abbott has continually blamed the ERCOT for the power outages in Texas. Furthermore, Abbott also wants the council to conduct an investigation.
Great news for Texans. https://t.co/oHo05yADuW— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 18, 2021
Following the devastating storm, the ERCOT Board announced four members would be stepping down immediately. After two days, a seventh member stepped down.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said last month that he wants to sign federal disaster aid for Texas once the Governor's request reaches his desk. He also said he could visit Texas if it weren't a burden.