Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced that Griddy Energy will forgive more than $29 million in unpaid electric bills because of the historic winter storm.
Last month’s unprecedented polar surge left millions of Texans stranded in freezing temperatures without power.
Paxton had already sued the energy company last month, claiming that he wanted to hold them accountable for people’s plight during the unexpected polar plunge.
As people struggled to return to their normal lives affected by the winter storm, Griddy debited its customers with an unprecedented amount of electric bills. Paxton sued the electric company under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act but later on dropped his charges when the company agreed to work in good faith to resolve the issue.
Attorney General further claimed that his office and Griddy were working together in good faith to address the issue by negotiations, and providing a solution to Griddy customers who already have paid a staggering amount in electric bills.
Griddy has proposed a bankruptcy plan which is filed under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, blaming the malfunction on ERCOT- Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
ERCOT is responsible for managing almost 90% of Texas’ electric load. Because of the polar plunge, electricity usage soared that led to a price hike to $9000 per megawatt-hour.
This surge in price per megawatt-hour resulted in many Griddy customers receiving bills totaled to hundreds and thousands of dollars.
An official statement was released by the CEO Michael Fallquist of Griddy, in which he has claimed that ERCOT let the situation got worse by continuing to charge customers a set price of $9000 per megawatt-hour even after they were directed not to charge customers with an unprecedented amount in bills. The customers paid 300 times more than the normal price during that time period. This has resulted in financially harming the customers and destroying Griddy’s business.
ERCOT has not made any comments on the alleged accusations made by Griddy.
Attorney General’s statement might bring some respite for the customers of Griddy who have faced a huge financial dent in the form of electric bills. The commission that is mainly responsible to regulate Texas Power Grid has been under immense criticism for the way they handled the February storm situation and its aftermath.