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Texas AG says more than $29 million in unpaid electric bills will be forgiven as he sues Griddy Energy

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“My firm sued Griddy Energy, under the Texas Misleading Business Practices Act, to hold them responsible for the escalation of last month’s winter storm disaster, loading huge amounts of customer accounts while the jeans were struggling to survive the storm, ”AG Ken Paxton said in a statement.
The company Monday requested Chapter 11 bank protection, by pointing out more than $ 29 million to the Texas Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT), which operates the state’s power grid. This form of bankruptcy allows a company to restructure its debts and reorganize itself to pay off creditors over time.

Through the bankruptcy plan, Griddy “will release all outstanding payment obligations for Texas consumers who were unable to pay their energy bills due to the high prices charged during the storm,” the attorney general’s office said.

And Paxton said his office is working with the company “on ongoing good faith negotiations to try to address additional relief” for customers who have already paid storm energy bills.

Griddy did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. In an online publication announcing the filing of bankruptcy, Griddy blamed ERCOT.

“ERCOT’s actions destroyed our business and caused financial damage to our customers,” Michael Fallquist, CEO of Griddy, said in a statement.

“There is no choice but to shut down”

While most jeans and Americans pay a flat rate for electricity, Griddy works by connecting customers to the wholesale (which is more volatile) electricity market for a monthly fee of $ 9.99. When power generators failed in last month’s storms and heating demand increased, ERCOT raised the price of electricity to the legal limit of $ 9 per kilowatt hour and kept it there for several days.

Customers who did not lose power were hit with massive electric bills that charged automatically of your bank accounts. The state attorney general’s office received more than 400 consumer complaints against Griddy in less than two weeks, he said earlier.

ERCOT within days of the storm revoked Griddy Energy’s right to work in the state’s electricity market for non-payment. After that decision, Griddy said he had “(n) or no choice but to turn it off.”

The Attorney General announced this month sued Griddy Energy and Griddy Holdings for “false, misleading and misleading advertising and marketing practices.” alleging that the company deceived customers and minimized the incredible risk of its pricing scheme, which charges more when customers are more vulnerable.

An independent monitor from the Texas Public Utilities Commission recently found that ERCOT kept prices too high for nearly two days during the storm, leading to a $ 16 billion overhead.

Another public utility commissioner resigns

Meanwhile, another commissioner from the Texas Public Utility Commission resigned this week, according to a statement from Gov. Greg Abbott. Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea resigned at Abbott’s request, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“In the next few days I will appoint a replacement who will be responsible for charting a new and new course for the agency,” Abbott said. “Texans deserve to have confidence in the Public Utility Commission and that action is one of many steps that will be taken to achieve that goal.”

Commission President DeAnn Walker and Commissioner Shelly Botkin also resigned after the winter storm, CNN reported. D’Andrea has been the PUC commissioner since 2017 and was appointed by the governor to serve as head of the commission after Walker’s departure.

CNN’s Eric Levenson and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

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