U.S. Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas says 24,000 subscribers are being asked to pay $29 million in electricity debts during the abnormal cold weather.
Earlier, Griddy Energy LLC, an electric utility that lost customers and faced litigation over higher electricity prices during last month’s abnormal cold weather in Texas, filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Southern District of Texas. The company said it did not profit from the winter storm crisis and said its proposed reorganization plan would help its former customers who were unable to pay their electric bills because of high prices.
“I have made sure that Griddy’s proposed bankruptcy plan takes the important step of offering a waiver to about 24,000 former customers who owe $29.1 million for electricity,” the attorney general’s website said in a statement.
The measure would affect those customers who “were unable to pay their electric bills because of high prices during the storm.”
The governor of Texas also said Tuesday that he accepted the resignation of the last of the three chairs of the Texas Public Utilities Commission, Arthur D’Anderea.
The state of Texas in the United States was hit hard by cold and snow storms in mid-February. Extreme weather conditions caused massive power outages, water problems, flooding of homes, as well as disruptions in oil production and rising gasoline and electricity prices.
Some Texas residents who signed up for “floating” rates began receiving thousands of dollars’ worth of electricity bills amid the extreme cold weather. And a class action lawsuit was filed against Griddy on behalf of one of the state’s residents, Lisa Khoury, for $1 billion, and then by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
For example, Khoury herself claimed that her electric bill between February 1 and February 19 was more than $9,500, when on average she paid $200 to $250 a month. According to media reports, the reason was that the wholesale cost of electricity jumped from $50 to $9,000 due to increased demand. Later, the Texas authorities temporarily banned disconnection of electricity supply to debtors and froze the mailing of electricity bills.