In the US state of Texas a fuss has arisen as electricity prices soared as a result of the cold snap that hit the United States. Invoices run in the thousands of dollars.
On Sunday, 30,000 Texan families were without electricity, according to the website poweroutage.us. The emergency services have not yet been able to repair all power lines damaged by the winter weather. But many Texans now also have other problems: energy bills are skyrocketing, sometimes up to $ 16,000.
That’s because Texas is the only US state where the energy distribution network functions independently. In addition, the electricity market has been fully liberalized. As a result, many families have contracts whose monthly price varies according to demand. And since the cold snap, it has skyrocketed.
‘Not responsible for disaster’
“Those bills, those unreasonable charges, should be paid by the state of Texas, not individual consumers, who are not responsible for this disaster,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on NBC Sunday. “Everything that happened this week was predictable and avoidable.” Turner said it had long been clear that Texas’s independent power grid is vulnerable to extreme weather.
“We have a responsibility to protect Texans from increases in their energy bills resulting from the very harsh winter weather and power cuts,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday.
President Joe Biden declared the situation in Texas a disaster to free up resources that could serve to help residents pay their electricity bills, Republican MP Michael McCaul said in turn. “That’s the plan now, to help the owners with federal help,” he told CNN news channel.
Federal and local authorities are now calling for an investigation into the energy crisis. At least 70 people were killed by the winter weather in the south and central United States this week, according to American media.
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