While conservatives and gas boosters were busy trying to falsely blame Texas’ widespread grid and power failures on renewable energy, retail power companies in the state were scrambling to convince their customers to buy electricity from their competitors. Yes, from their competitors. As Bloomberg reports, Texas’ highly competitive electricity market has left power companies, and thus their customers, exposed to skyrocketing electricity prices. Some companies are waiving early termination fees and offering as much as $150 to customers who will leave, but customers of Griddy are in a uniquely vulnerable position.
Griddy customers pay a $9.99 monthly fee plus the cost of spot power traded on the Texas grid, so while some customers were getting paid to use electricity at night earlier this month, they were also exposed to power prices about 20 times the usual rate. Hector Torres, an energy trader and Griddy customer, told Bloomberg he spent days trying to find another company who would even let him switch. “I’ll find out in the next week if I’m getting a huge bill,” he said. (Bloomberg $; False causation claims: The Guardian, AP, Texas Tribune, Media Matters)