US Texas Electricity Bills Reach $ 17,000
Energy-rich Texas suffers energy nightmare with ongoing power outages
Even mighty Texas, the energy powerhouse of America, is feeling the wrath of Mother Nature. © Matthew Busch/Bloomberg/Getty Images Pump jacks operate in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. The arctic freeze gripping the central U.S. is raising the specter of power outages in Texas and ratcheting up pressure on energy prices already trading at unprecedented levels. Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images A deep freeze this week in the Lone Star state, which relies on electricity to heat many homes, is causing power demand to skyrocket.
Faced with a historic cold spell, many Texans have an energy contract that the amount varies according to the request.
In recent days, temperatures have dropped to -18 ° in Texas. Like part of the United States, this state is facing a historic cold spell. In addition to cuts to electricity or drinking water, some of its residents are facing another problem: the explosion in the amount of their electricity bills. Asor explain, Texas is the only US state where the energy distribution market operates in a vacuum, with an additional deregulated electricity market. Many Texans have contracts whose price varies according to demand: with the cold, energy consumption has exploded, and the bills to pay with it.
Who's actually to blame for the Texas power disaster?
With millions of Texans still without power in the wake of a winter storm and frigid temperatures, everyone is looking for someone to blame. © Ron Jenkins/Getty Images FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 16: Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) Many Democrats are blaming Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for failing to adequately prepare for the storm.
A 63-year-old army veteran tells the NYT he owes his utility company $ 16,762 (about $ 13,500) - 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. Griddy, an energy supplier pointed out, even advised its 29,000 customers to break their contracts, as its prices have skyrocketed to $ 9,000 per megawatt hour (from $ 50 per megawatt hour on a seasonal average), reports the. “We want what's right for our consumers, so we encourage them to leave. We believe that transparency and that honesty will bring them back ”, Michael Fallquist, CEO of Griddy.
The solutions are long overdue
A client of Griddy explains in the NYT that she had to pay an electricity bill of 6,200 dollars in January, five times more than for the whole of 2020. On Twitter, many residents sent a photo of their electricity bill to Ted Cruz, senator from Texas who went on vacation to Cancun, or to Greg Abott , the governor of the state. "It is unacceptable that Texans who suffered for days in the freezing cold without electricity or heating are now hit by skyrocketing energy costs," said the latter, assuring "to work on solutions to ensure that the Texans are not required to pay unreasonable peaks in their energy bills. ”
Texas' woes foreshadows future climate-change disasters
Hot-weather infrastructure and an isolated power grid have left the state unprepared for extreme weather.The storm, which froze nuclear facilities, coal and gas power stations, and wind turbines, offers a cautionary tale of how extreme weather can paralyze critical energy facilities and throw vast swaths of country into chaos. Across the U.S., experts says, states like Texas are largely unprepared for a range of climate emergencies, from Arctic-like cold in warmer regions to widespread flooding, droughts, wildfires and other symptoms of a rapidly heating planet.
Productive meeting with Republican & Democrat legislators to discuss the spike in energy bills affecting many Texans following the recent power outages.
We are moving quickly to alleviate this problem & will continue to work collaboratively on solutions.- Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott)
Meanwhile, an investigation has been opened by the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the regulator of Texas utilities. This commission has also tentatively banned it has energy suppliers to shut off water or electricity to people who have not paid their bills, and has "strongly urged" them to delay sending energy bills, reports. No state aid has yet been released to enable the thousands of people affected to cope with their skyrocketing energy costs.
Electric firm Griddy loses access to Texas grid, customers shifted to rivals .
Electric firm Griddy loses access to Texas grid, customers shifted to rivalsHOUSTON (Reuters) - Texas's grid operator on Friday shut Griddy Energy LLC's access to the state's power network for unpaid bills and shifted its 10,000 customers to other utilities, as new signs of a financial crisis rose after a state-wide blackout.