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Texas officials are investigating outrageous energy bills in storm price surge

February 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41.7%. 2 min read.

Dallas resident DeAndre Upshaw said it was "very shocking" when he opened his latest electricity bill.

New York (CNN Business)Dallas resident DeAndre Upshaw said it was "very shocking" when he opened his latest electricity bill.

As Texas struggles to recover from a deep freeze that has killed dozens, some customers in Texas like Upshaw are facing unprecedented price hikes in their energy bills as a result of the recent snow storm.

Texas' utility regulator, Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), said Saturday that it is investigating "the factors that combined with the devastating winter weather to disrupt the flow of power to millions of Texas homes. "

One energy company called Griddy suggested that their customers look for another provider if the prices were too high.

Upshaw told CNN he attempted to switch from Griddy to another electric provider, but the new company kept pushing back his start date.

Its website says that customers "pay exactly the price we buy electricity at. " But with the winter storm wreaking havoc on Texas' power grid, Griddy's pricing shot up.

On Thursday Griddy said that it is seeking relief from Texas utility regulators and is "committed to crediting customers for any relief, dollar-for-dollar. "

Neighbors and friends who have accounts with Griddy told Upshaw that the charges "knocked out their entire checking account, went into their savings account, they can't pay their rent," he said.

"We have friends who are without power for 48 hours who came (over to my house), and I said, I mean, we're paying for this electricity, might as well have other people use it," said Upshaw, adding that he's thankful he's alive and healthy.

In a statement released Friday, the Railroad Commission of Texas says it is working to keep natural gas flowing into the state in an effort to "avoid situations where customers may get unusually high bills in the coming weeks. "

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