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Texas officials investigate outrageous energy bills in storm price surge

February 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23%. 2 min read.

Some customers in Texas are facing outrageous hikes in their energy bill as a result of this week’s storm, causing one energy company to suggest that their customers find another provider with a fixed rate if prices were too extreme.

Some customers in Texas are facing outrageous hikes in their energy bill as a result of this week’s storm, causing one energy company to suggest that their customers find another provider with a fixed rate if prices were too extreme.

Customers in Texas have options in how they are billed for their electricity, according to the Public Utility Commission of Texas' (PUCT) website.

When the winter storm wreaked havoc on Texas' power grid, power prices shot up and so did bills for customers on market rate plans.

According to a statement released today, the utility regulator says they have "launched an investigation into the factors that combined with the devastating winter weather to disrupt the flow of power to millions of Texas homes. "

Griddy added that it was also seeking relief from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT as it is commonly known, and the PUCT for its customers who were exposed to the high prices.

The company also said it also wants to "continue offering innovative products and services in the retail energy market in Texas. "

Larry Wallace, mayor of Manor, Texas, which is outside of Austin, says thousands in his city still do not have electricity or water.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott thanked President Biden for approving a major disaster declaration for the state but noted that the declaration was short of what he asked for.

"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," Abbott said in a statement released today.

Abbott had requested Individual Assistance and Public Assistance in all 254 of Texas' counties, according to his statement.

Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, spoke at a news conference outside the Houston Food Bank where they said they plan to help Texans affected by the winter storm.

"You know, we really need to make sure that we're getting food and assistance to people across the state, as was mentioned here, at the Houston Food Bank, no questions are asked," Ocasio-Cortez said.

President Biden has approved a major disaster declaration for Texas, unlocking more federal resources to assist the state.

Biden, Jr. declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms beginning on February 11, 2021, and continuing," the White House said in a written statement on Saturday.

Biden already approved an emergency declaration for the state last weekend, but the major disaster declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide more resources and assistance, including, for example, supplementing insurance to help individuals with uncovered costs or other costs to make homes habitable.

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