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Texas Probes Sky-High Bills Tied to Electricity-Market Prices

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Public Utility Commission of Texas launched an investigation into retail electric providers that “inflicted unusually high bills” on consumers by indexing their rates to wholesale power prices.

Last week’s energy crisis left more than 4 million Texas in the dark and sent spot electricity prices to $9,000 a megawatt-hour for days. Customers exposed to those prices are now experiencing “serious financial consequences,” the regulator said in a statement. The commission will examine whether those retail providers violated any state rules on disclosure.

READ: Texans Slammed by Thousand-Dollar Power Bills After Storm

“While the architecture of these indexed plans are theoretically allowable under state law and Commission rules, an influx of complaints into our Customer Protection Division has caused concerns that questionable business practices might be exacerbating the situation,” Thomas Gleeson, executive director at the agency, said in the statement.

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  • mike muller says:

    This kind of failure emphasises the need for grid operators to ensure that they have adequate reserve capacity contracted. And for ‘offgrid’ users to realuse that, if they want to use the grid for backup, they’re going to have to pay substantially for the privilege, monthly!

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