AUSTIN, TEXAS — (Mar. 25, 2021) A group of Texas consumers and energy retailers announced today the formation of Texans for Fair Energy Billing (TXFEB). TXFEB educates consumers on how the decisions made by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) during Winter Storm Uri will pass substantial costs on to ratepayers and taxpayers.
When the February 2021 Winter Storm struck Texas, demand on the state's energy infrastructure increased as multiple generation units tripped offline. Potomac Economics — an independent market monitor that oversees ERCOT activities on behalf of the PUCT— found that the PUCT erroneously instructed the power grid operator to fix prices at $9,000 per megawatt per hour. State Energy Regulators claim this decision was necessary to incentivize more generators to come online. In reality, none did, and lives were lost. Now, ratepayers and taxpayers will foot the bill for years to come.
The Texas Legislature declined to take action during the thirty-day repricing window. Now, Texans face higher electricity bills and ancillary costs from Winter Storm Uri. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton already wiped out $29.1 million in debt held by Houston-based electric company Griddy Energy. TXFEB urges the leadership of Texas to take similar actions to protect all Texans from rising costs.
"We're asking our state leaders to do the right thing and protect Texans who are already hurting," said Brandon Young, CEO of Payless Power and Coalition Member. "The Texas Legislature created the PUCT to protect consumers, but their actions last month passed billions of dollars on to Texans, approximately
$4,600 per household. Unless the state takes action, energy bills will go up significantly."
In addition to correcting the unnecessary overpricing which occurred in February, TXFEB calls on state officials to investigate the actions taken by state energy regulators during Winter Storm Uri to hold those involved accountable and seek justice for impacted Texans.
Consumers wishing to share their experience with high energy bills due to February's storm or join TXFEB's coalition should visit TXFEB.com.
About TXFEB: Texans for Fair Energy Billing is a statewide consumer coalition amplifying the voices of Texans impacted by inflated energy prices by advocating for the Texas Legislature to mitigate the harms of auxiliary energy charges from the February 2021 winter storm.