The skyrocketing electricity bills amounted to $ 5,000 (over $ 4,100) for some state residents. One resident of the state was presented with a bill for $ 16,000 (more than $ 13,000) for one week’s electricity use.
‘Was to be expected’
“The state should pay these sky-high bills,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told foreign media. “This was to be expected, I warned about this ten years ago,” says Turner.
According to the mayor, it is not the fault of consumers that electricity suppliers are not prepared for problems caused by climate change. “Consumers don’t have to pay the bill.”
The costs rose so quickly for many consumers because the Texas energy market is not regulated by the government. As a result, suppliers can adjust rates at any time, because the price is directly linked to the demand for energy. Due to the harsh winter conditions, the demand for energy has exploded over the past week.
Extreme winter weather
The central and southern United States was hit last week by extreme winter weather, which has already claimed the lives of at least 70 people. An unprecedented winter storm swept the area, bringing cooler temperatures than Alaska:
As a result, 4 million households were left without energy and sometimes also water. According to Governor Greg Abbott, about 30,000 households are now without electricity.
Abott called on politicians in the state to take action against skyrocketing energy prices. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for Texas this weekend. This frees up federal emergency aid for the state.
Ted Cruz, the senator for Texas, called for energy market reform in his state. “This is wrong,” he wrote on Twitter. Cruz angered many Americans last week when he swapped his “stone cold” home in Texas for a vacation resort in Mexico.
Problems drinking water installations
There is no longer any question of winter weather. Afternoon temperatures have risen above 20 degrees in most places in Texas. Yet millions of residents still have to boil tap water before use, due to ongoing problems in drinking water installations.
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