Texas retailer Griddy is the subject of a lawsuit filed in Houston on Monday, claiming the company’s prices were taken out by customers after the winter storm Uri reduced the capacity of millions in the state.
The lead plaintiff in the case is Chambers County resident Lisa Huri, whose electricity bill for the week of the storm is $ 9,340, according to the lawsuit. Khoury’s normal monthly bill averages between $ 200 and $ 250.
Khoury’s lawsuit seeks to include all Texans who “used Griddy̵
“At this point, we don’t know how many people could be affected, but there are probably thousands of clients who have received these scandalous bills,” said lawyer Derek Potts, who represents Huri. “Class action will be the most efficient and effective way for Griddy’s customers to come together and fight this predatory pricing.”
Griddy’s representatives could not be found immediately for comment.
The lawsuit alleges that Gridy violated the Texas Fraudulent Commercial Practices Act by “allowing their customers to be charged such excessive amounts for electricity.”
The law states that false, misleading or fraudulent business practices “taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor” are illegal. President Joe Biden approved a request for a federal declaration of emergency by Gov. Greg Abbott on February 14.
In the deregulated energy market in Texas, Griddy and a handful of other electricity suppliers charge customers variable wholesale energy prices. These plans are relatively new and have disappointed customers, who are now dealing with expensive bills for a week, where for many people the electricity was cut off.
Last week, Griddy made an unusual request when he told all 29,000 of his customers to switch to another provider as spot electricity prices jumped to $ 9,000 per megawatt-hour. Its customers are fully exposed to real-time fluctuations in wholesale energy markets, with electricity bills reaching $ 16,000 last week.
By Friday, the Houston-based company said it was seeking relief from power grid operator ERCOT and the state utility commission for its high-priced customers.
Khoury tried to switch electricity suppliers on February 16, but failed to switch to a new one three days later after a “permanent” scope, according to the case.
About 25% to 30% of Texans are on a variable rate plan with their energy supplier, according to Houston Public Public, which cites the comparison website ElectricityPlans.com.
The Texas eclipse and rising electricity prices have been appalling for customers left to pay their bills, but some companies are seeing a financial surprise.
Australian investment banking company Macquarie Group, which pumped undisclosed investment capital into Griddy last year, said it expected a $ 215 million after-tax profit, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Dallas Natural Gas Company, billionaire Jerry Jones, Comstock Resources Inc. also cashed in the price jump. Comstock CFO Roland Burns said in a call for revenue last week that “this week is like hitting the jackpot with some of these incredible prices.”