Power

Skyrocketing power bills raise concerns on citizens; unreasonable increase

Texas power bills

The skyrocketing power bills in Texas are raising concerns among citizens and also authorities; increased to the thousands of dollars, many customers of independent power companies are facing unpayable power bills; after the freezing storm in Texas that boosted prices in a matter of days.

Firstly, across United States there’s a number of companies that allow customers to sign up for a variable-priced power supply; rather than receiving it from the regular power distribution utilities. Those who participate in such plans are now facing unreasonably price swings in their monthly costs.

Secondly, one of those companies is Griddy, a Houston-based company that provides electricity from the whole-sale market at variable rates; for a monthly fee of $9,99. Akilah Scott-Amos, one of Griddy’s customers has to pay a $11,000 electric bill for this month, as Reuters reports.

Thirdly, it is unclear how many customers in the U.S. are currently signed up to such programs; however, according to the Energy Information Administration, nearly 11 million of homes and businesses enrolled in Dynamic pricing programs in 2019.

Moreover, the skyrocketing power bills are likely to slow down state’s government efforts to introduce more competitive pricing schemes; according to John Howat, a senior energy analyst with National Consumer Law Center.

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Power bills mortgage-like

In addition, Texas is not the only state in the U.S. facing this problem; also Oklahoma. State’s Attorney General Mike Hunter said during a Monday press conference he will initiate an investigation upon whether companies violated the state’s laws; as there’s a limit to the increase of prices after an emergency is declared.

“The goal there is to, in as substantive and also productive a way as possible, figure out ways to mitigate the impact of this utility bill phenomenon,” he remarked.

Also, Federal Energy Regulatory commission said yesterday it will investigate if prices were boosted artificially. The Texas pricing issue sparked memories of the California’s 2000-2001 energy crisis; when some companies also artificially boosted prices.

Finally, CPS Energy, based in San Antonio, on Friday tweeted that it was going to differ the cost of power bills for 10 years to its customers. The tweet prompted a fire of criticisms, as customers compare that scheme to a mortgage.

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