AG sues Texas utility over customers’ sky-high energy bills

US & World

Ivet Cantu, 45, points to her electricity bill from Griddy energy on an app showing her energy cost of $3,114.27, during recent severe cold weather outside of her home in Dallas, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. In Texas’ deregulated electricity market, Griddy and some other power suppliers charge customers wholesale variable rates per kilowatt-hour. (Ben Torres/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ attorney general said Monday he’s suing electricity provider Griddy for passing along massive bills to its customers during last month’s winter storm.

The lawsuit comes days after Texas’ power grid manager effectively shut down Griddy by revoking its access to the state’s electricity market.

Griddy charges $10 a month to give people a way to pay wholesale prices for electricity instead of a fixed rate. But when temperatures plummeted well below freezing last month, wholesale prices spiked and Griddy customers were left with sky-high electricity bills.

“Griddy misled Texans and signed them up for services which, in a time of crisis, resulted in individual Texans each losing thousands of dollars,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement. “As Texans struggled to survive this winter storm, Griddy made the suffering even worse as it debited outrageous amounts each day.”

The lawsuit accused Griddy of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and seeks refunds for customers. The unusually heavy winter storm blanketed much of Texas with snow, knocking out electricity to 4 million customers and leaving many struggling to find clean water.

Meanwhile, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, shifted about 10,000 Griddy customers to other utilities on Friday.

Griddy said in a statement that ERCOT “took our members and have effectively shut down Griddy.”

“We have always been transparent and customer-centric at every step. We wanted to continue the fight for our members to get relief and that hasn’t changed,” the statement said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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