How Texas's deregulated market for power led to exorbitant electric bills

26 Février, 2021, 14:16 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Texas power outage residents

The resignations are the first since the crisis began in Texas, and calls for wider firings remain in the aftermath of one of the worst power outages in USA history.

While the Texas" utility regulator, Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), told CNN it was investigating the "the factors that combined with the devastating winter weather to disrupt the flow of power to millions of Texas homes'.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas that makes federal funds available to individuals who have experienced hardship due to the weather anomaly, including help with temporary housing and home fix aid and low-priced loans.

More than 30,000 customers in Texas remain without power as of Sunday morning, according to poweroutage.us, after almost 3 million were initially without power as the state's power grid experienced a failure due to a lack of generation brought on by the freezing temperatures. "We'll just have to work through it and see", Price said.

A Texas man has been whacked with an eye-watering $16,752 (£11,951) electricity bill after the state was hit with severe weather conditions which took out huge swathes of the power grid. Ms. Talberg lives in MI and Mr. Bulger lives in Wheaton, Illinois, according to their biographies on ERCOT's website. Mr. Cramton and Mr.

Abbott's office said the meeting on Saturday focused on calculating the cost of the rising energy bills and how the state can help to "reduce this burden".

Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, a director for the independent retail electric provider market segment, will also resign her position as a board member with ERCOT. The board does not engage in the day-to-day operations of ERCOT but has tremendous responsibility over its broader administration. The temperatures impacted power production and resulted in power outages.

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Texas' governor Greg Abbott is also calling for an investigation into ERCOT.

The deep freeze caused chaos in the Texas energy system, derailing a wide variety of fuel sources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear and wind.

"The lack of preparedness and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable, and I welcome these resignations", Mr. Abbott said in a statement.

Last week, Texas state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over the revelation that five of the fifteen people serving on ERCOT's board do not live in the state, and therefore did not experience the power failures that left millions of Texans without heat or water. He has defended the outages as a necessity, while Mr. Abbott has accused ERCOT of misleading Texas about the readiness of the grid. The governor noted that the Public Utility Commission has issued a moratorium on customer disconnections for non-payment and will temporarily restrict providers from issuing invoices. The selection of "unaffiliated" ERCOT board members - like most of those who are resigning - must be approved by the PUC. Mr. Bulger got $65,250 and worked an average of eight hours a week. Typically, they pay around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

After ERCOT removed board members' information from the website, Mr. Magness conceded it was public information in a call last week with reporters but did not describe the nature of the threats.

Cramton declined to comment. Talberg, Hepper and Bulger didn't immediately respond to requests for a comment.

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