In the largest US state, the electricity grid is largely separated from the rest of the US and the market is highly deregulated.
22 Feb. 2021, 08:40
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The peculiarities of the electricity market in Texas led to a jump in prices during the winter storm. Now some households will have to pay giant electricity bills, dunavmost.com reports
A winter storm in Texas left four million people without electricity for days. It turns out that those who had electricity also suffer – they will pay huge bills.
In the largest US state, the electricity grid is largely separated from the rest of the United States and the market is highly deregulated. Therefore, consumers have a great choice between different providers.
However, some companies charge wholesale prices, which can be cheap for customers in normal times, but can also be extremely expensive during periods of extreme weather, as demand is greater than supply. During the storm, the wholesale price rose to 10,000 percent.
Therefore, some households now expect bills of $ 5,000 or even $ 17,000 for five-day consumption, according to photos on social media.
According to Dallas Morning News, at least one of the suppliers called on its customers to switch to another provider shortly before the storm.
Betsy Price, mayor of Fort Worth, and Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, believe the state and Washington are responsible for paying the bills. “If people get these excessive bills and also have to fix their houses, then they shouldn’t be held accountable,” Turner told CBS News.
Gov. Greg Abbott called an emergency meeting over the weekend to discuss this with the House of Representatives. Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched an investigation into electricity suppliers, their contingency plans and pricing patterns.
US President Joe Biden has already approved the declaration of a severe disaster for Texas, which frees up funds from the federal budget, such as the restoration of destroyed or damaged buildings and emergency accommodation of those affected.
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