Texas has been at the mercy of an unprecedented winter storm, which has left many of the state’s residents without heat, power and potable water for several days. Several people, some homeless, have died in the freezing temperatures.
As Texans withstand widespread power outages and freezing temperatures this week, many are asking the same question: How much am I going to be charged for the electricity I do receive?
The complex answer, according to experts in the Texas power industry, depends on whether residential customers signed long-term contracts with their providers or decided to take their chances paying wholesale market prices overseen by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the nonprofit charged with managing the state’s electrical grid and its “energy-only” market.
As WFAA reported, electricity supply and demand in Texas has really stabilized now. But when it was grossly out of whack over the past several days, the cost of power in the wholesale market went crazy. It went from about $50 per Megawatt to $9,000. That didn’t affect retail many customers because they were on a fixed-rate plan.
But if you were on a variable or indexed plan, your rate — and therefore, your electric bill — may have skyrocketed. One customer messaged us:
“Mine is over $1,000…not sure how…700 square foot apt I have been keeping at 60 degrees.”
Another couple tweeted at us:
When your electric company tells you to switch but there has been a hold on switching for over a week now. Using as little as possible 1300 sq ft house and this is my bill. . How is this fair. I only paid $1200 for the whole 2020 year @FoxNews @wfaa @tedcruz @GovAbbott pic.twitter.com/AylTS4m0j4
— kat and tony (@katandtonyT) February 18, 2021
“Using as little as possible 1300 sq. ft. house and this is my bill. How is this fair. I only paid $1200 for the whole 2020.”
WFAA spoke with Griddy customer Ty Williams who says bill nearly tripled from $600 last month to nearly $17,000 so far this month. Williams pays for service to his home, guest house and office.
He asked, incredulously, “How can anyone pay that?”
Griddy was among electric retailers who offer low rates based on daily wholesale prices, which recent days spiked from $50 per megawatt hour to over $9000.
Griddy in recent days had actually urged and tried to help all of its 29,000 customers switch service to avoid sky-rocketing costs.
Williams says that he tried several times and was finally picked up by Reliant Energy.
As to how his nearly $17,000 bill will be handled, remains to be seen.
Defenders of green energy and fossil fuels are pointing fingers at each other for the failures that led to dangerous blackouts in Texas — but could both sides be missing the bigger picture?
How big a role did regulations sent from the desk of some faraway bureaucrat play in this catastrophic failure?
They had the capacity to ramp up power generation but needed a the equivalent of a hall pass from some federal environmental hall monitor. Without permission, no power.
The Department of Energy issued an emergency order allowing several Texas power plants to produce as much electricity as possible, a move expected to violate anti-pollution rules that comes amid a deepening electricity crisis in the state that has cut power to millions of homes.
The Energy Department order, requested by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, authorizes power plants throughout the state to run a maximum output levels, even as such a move is anticipated to result in a violation of limits of pollution. —Bloomberg
With their hands tied ERCOT started rationing power due to emissions into the environment & further ordered OUTSIDE power usage which increases power bills to in some cases up to over $ 9000-megawatt hour.
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Conservative US, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Supreme Insider. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!