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Some in Texas say they were charged thousands for electricity amid spotty coverage last week

Winter Weather Texas Power Failures eletrical grid
Posted at 4:29 AM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 07:29:39-05

After unusual icy weather left millions of Texans without power, some are facing another crisis: Sky-high electricity bills.

The surge in pricing is hitting people who have chosen to pay wholesale prices for their power. Those customers are charged for the number of kilowatts of electricity they use per hour.

The cost is typically cheaper than paying fixed rates during good weather, but can spike when there’s a high demand for electricity.

Many of those who have reported receiving large bills are customers of electricity provider Griddy, which only operates in Texas.

The provider charges customers $10 a month on top of the wholesale cost of electricity. But KTRK-TV in Houston reports that the spikes in demand caused by last week's widespread outages have left some people with bills totaling in the thousands of dollars.

Typically, Griddy customers pay less than $1 for a megawatt-hour. The Dallas Morning News reports that price reached $9,000 on Sunday night and stayed there for much of last week.

Joli Ammons told KTRK that her electricity bill totaled $5,500 last week alone.

"We don't have $5,000 lying around. I guess we would have to have a payment plan," Ammons told KTRK.

The state's governor said he's looking into ways to reduce the financial burden but didn't provide specifics.