A historic cold spell has hit the state of Texas in recent days, depriving many residents of water and electricity. Others have received electricity bills sometimes amounting to $ 17,000, report several American media including the Washington Post, NBC5 and CNN.
On Twitter, a couple from Texas posted a photo of their electricity bill for the beginning of February: they are being asked to pay nearly $ 5,000 for 1,772 kWh used between February 1 and February 19. “Updated Griddy Bill. Heating set to 15 degrees, no laundry, no dishwasher, no cooking in the oven / microwave, only the robot, lights off during the day, candles in the evening most of the time, sometimes the TV ”, writes the couple on the social network.
David Astrein, a Houston resident, told the Washington Post that he received a bill for $ 2,800. “It’s funny, but if you watch TV and social media, you see the images posted and I have one of the lowest bills,” he told the American newspaper.
Scott Willoughby, from Royse City, also received several hefty bills for his electricity use during the cold snap. The first was $ 13,926, the second nearly $ 17,000. “I have to use all my savings to pay these bills,” he told NBC5. “For the seven days of frost, I received a bill for $ 16,752.68 and my brother for $ 9,000. We are both retired veterans on fixed incomes, and this has ruined us. My bill was taken from my credit card and, once paid, it almost completely consumed all my savings, ”he said on the online fundraiser page he created with the aim of claiming help. He has already raised $ 9,000.
Electricity supplier Griddy had asked its customers to terminate their variable-price contract, feeling that the situation would be untenable for some. The company advised to turn to another supplier. “When I started looking for a new business, everyone told me it took 7-10 days for the change to take effect,” said Scott Willoughby.
Texas elected official Michael McCaul hopes the federal budget released following the state of emergency can help Texans pay their bills: “Federal aid must allow homeowners to repair the damage – there are a lot of leaks , pipes that have burst – but also their electricity bills, ”he explained on CNN.
An investigation will be opened and will help understand why 70,000 Texas homes were deprived of electricity during the cold snap. The company ERCOT, in charge of the state’s energy distribution, has already been singled out, because it notably cut certain power sources during the night from Saturday to Sunday to avoid saturation of the network. Griddy, the electricity supplier, blames this company. The company “promises to fight alongside customers to find out why such increases have been possible”. Supplier Griddy is under investigation by State Attorney Ken Paxton, along with ERCOT and ten other energy suppliers.
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