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EXCESSIVE Electric Utility Bills - Send them to AUSTIN ??

Texas Excessive Electric Bill

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#1 360texas

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 05:12 PM

Fort Worth Star Telegram readings:

 

Read about folks getting $3,000 to $5,000 monthly Electric Bills due to recent winter conditions.

Read about Mayor Price suggesting State of Texas should cover these bills because they control various entities that manage power grid.

 

Question is anyone know the Austin address to send these excessive electric bills ?

 

Google Search results:

How do I dispute a high electric bill?
In the case of your electric bill, it might be as simple as calling your state's public utilities commission. Or you might be able to call the National Association of State Utility Advocates, or NASUCA. This is a special group that helps utility consumers in state and federal court.

 

Billing disputes should be directed to your electric company. If disputes cannot be resolved, please contact the Public Utility Commission of Texas Customer Hotline toll-free at 1-888-PUC-TIPS (1-888-782-8477).


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#2 Doohickie

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 06:59 PM

The people with multi-thousand dollar bills already are customers of Griddy or a similar payment scheme.  WIth Griddy you pay $10 per month and your electric rates are pegged to the wholesale electric rate.  They also debit your account every day for that day's power.  When wholesale prices went up from $.82 to $9000 per MWatt-Hr, people with Griddy incurred stupidly high bills.

 

Griddy typically saves people money but in this past week they wiped out years worth of savings.


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#3 Nitixope

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 07:01 PM

Send it to Ken Paxtons office. I would think it falls under price gouging laws like when gas stations were charging $4 per gallon of gas in fact they are still settling class action lawsuits over the matter. What amazes me is how fast the billing cycle closed for all these reports of high utility charges almost within days of the freeze unless it is a pay-as-you-go plan. My billing cycle closes on the 8th of each month and then I have all the way until the 3rd following month until it is due. You would think their credit card had some sort of threshold to protect against a $9000 auto charge or a max daily limit?

https://www.texasatt...sumer-complaint

https://www.texasatt...t-price-gouging

https://www.griddy.c...-high-this-week

#4 JBB

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:58 AM

Sounds like the governor and the legislature are going to work quick to address this.  I receive an email from TXU yesterday assuring their customers that this wouldn't happen to them.  I'm not expecting a four digit bill, but I imagine it's going to be high given how much my heater was working on a lower than normal setting.  My bills due in January and February were already unusually high because of us spending so much time at home due to having COVID and quarantining.

 

I'm curious to see where the price gouging complaints go.  Public utilities enjoy pretty generous liability protections and I'm sure their ability to adjust pricing is just as fervently protected.



#5 hannerhan

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:22 PM

Griddy delivered exactly what they promised to customers: wholesale pricing on power, for $10 per month.  The customers who used them were ignorant of the risks involved, and the company itself undervalued the risk they faced if/when high power prices translated to ludicrous bills that customers couldn't/wouldn't pay. 

 

So both the company and the customer lose in the end.  But they didn't price gouge anyone.



#6 Nitixope

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 04:02 PM

Griddy delivered exactly what they promised to customers: wholesale pricing on power, for $10 per month.  The customers who used them were ignorant of the risks involved, and the company itself undervalued the risk they faced if/when high power prices translated to ludicrous bills that customers couldn't/wouldn't pay. 
 
So both the company and the customer lose in the end.  But they didn't price gouge anyone.

 
I would say that's accurate how you described it.  Bottom line is you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip so who wins and who loses.  Those pay-as-you-go plans are awful.  It's basically signing a blank check and handing it over.  Unless you're watching their rate spikes on your phone like a stock market ticker, and are willing to shut down your entire house at a moment's notice (like physically shut off the main breaker)...I'd say run run run.  This type of deal is not for the faint of heart of passive consumer.  Just a bad business model all around especially with how hot it gets in Texas.  The failure in this logic is that you use the most electricity during the periods that the rates are the highest based on supply and demand.  I run hardly any heating or cooling during certain months and then it gradually increases as it gets hotter and colder.
 
Here's what's on Griddy's website....it's all sound like a tease especially you notice the 3.3% line your price swing is enormous and it just goes from bad to worse from there.

You can view the LMP price of electricity in real-time in the Griddy app at any time. The price ranges from below 0.0¢/kWh - $9/kWh, which is the market cap. Here is a breakdown of prices:
96.1% of the time, prices are lower than 6¢/kWh
3.3% of the time, prices are between 6¢/kWh 30¢/kWh
0.5% of thetime, prices are between 30¢/kWh - $1/kWh·      
0.1% of the time, prices are above $1/kWh
 

 
The big "once in a generation" winter storm is not the only issue at-hand. Peak load shedding and demand response is a big deal in Texas.  What this means for the average consumer is we should be listening to ideas like the Tesla's Powerwall and considering what's involved in some of the lithium-ion and PV technology to take you off the grid for a while if needed or selling back electricity to the grid when not needed.  There's no quick solution to this problem so it's really on the consumer to figure out what they're going to do in the meantime.  We can ask to tap into the other power grids, but this last event revealed the sad truth that Texas has no redundancy outside of its power grid.  I'm not talking varied energy sources within our power grid, I'm just talking about any sort of outside connection to allow a backfeed into our grid if necessary.  The bigger more immediate question in my mind is this...if all energy production sources within Texas' grid are operational and healthy, do we still have enough supply to accommodate our growing demand during a heat wave and how bad has this imbalance gotten that no one is willing to admit?
 

Here is ERCOTs supply and demand graphs during the event....

Lest we forgot:
 
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#7 elpingüino

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 07:57 AM

ERCOT has now barred Griddy from participating in the state's power market
https://www.bloomber...-payment-breach

#8 Doohickie

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 11:21 AM

I got my electric bill with a meter reading on Thu, Feb 18:  $86.


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#9 Nitixope

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Posted 03 March 2021 - 12:26 PM

I got my electric bill with a meter reading on Thu, Feb 18:  $86.


You must have a gas furnace? I do not have a gas meter so I was curious how high the usage and rates were/are comparatively to an all-electric system?



#10 Doohickie

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:09 PM

Yeah, gas furnace.


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#11 Nitixope

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 12:38 PM

I haven't had an Atmos bill since 2006 however my electric bill during certain months can be a bit expensive, nothing too crazy though.  We'll see here in another week how Feb shakes out.  These mild next few weeks will be a nice relief.



#12 JBB

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 01:16 PM

I average my bill, so it's a little bit tricky to tell where it ended up.  The averaged amount was $455 and $75 was knocked off of that for what they called a courtesy credit for doing my part to cut back use during the extreme weather.  It looks like my actual bill was just a shade of over $800.  That's an all electric house, no fireplace in use, 3 adults at home for most of the day (my mother in law was with us), and a 10 year old.  Thermostat set on 65, ceramic heater running for several days in a row to keep plumbing from freezing.



#13 Nitixope

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 02:52 PM

I average my bill, so it's a little bit tricky to tell where it ended up.  The averaged amount was $455 and $75 was knocked off of that for what they called a courtesy credit for doing my part to cut back use during the extreme weather.  It looks like my actual bill was just a shade of over $800.  That's an all electric house, no fireplace in use, 3 adults at home for most of the day (my mother in law was with us), and a 10 year old.  Thermostat set on 65, ceramic heater running for several days in a row to keep plumbing from freezing.

 

Oh, wow.  I get a bit flustered if my bill creeps too far past $225/month in the peak seasons on an all-electric system.  I guess it depends on the size of the home and how many zone's you're running too.  I hope Feb for me isn't over $300 but should find out in a few days.  I'm right around 8.9 cents per kWhr all-in.  I wonder if those rates will disappear for a few years while they sort this mess out?

 

I've been meaning to sign-up for this, I just need to read through the privacy policy a little more on what a "Market Participant" is defined as.

https://www.smartmetertexas.com/home

 

 

The site stores daily, monthly and 15-minute interval energy data recorded by digital electric meters (commonly known as “smart meters”), and provides secure access to that data to customers and authorized market participants (including through the use of a “Green Button”).

 
In addition to acting as an interface for access to smart meter data, SMT s provides a convenient, easy-to-use process whereby customers can voluntarily authorize market participants other than the customer’s Retail Electric Provider ( Competitive Service Providers ) access to their energy data information .
 
By providing timely access to energy data, SMT enables customers to better manage their energy consumption to lower their monthly electric bills, and benefit from new products and services offered by Retail Electric Providers and Competitive Service Providers.

 



#14 John T Roberts

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 03:41 PM

My electric bill went down about $25 this month.  The billing period only covered about half of the cold snap, so there is more coming.  I pay 9 cents per kWhr and I'm in the middle of a 5 year contract.  My 92 year old house is heated with gas.  Cooking is also with gas.  As of today, I have not received my gas bill that will include the cold weather heating.  I am sure that bill will be very high. 



#15 txbornviking

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 09:24 AM

My electric bill ended up being $20 more than the same month last year and gas bill came in at $60 more than the same month last year.

I was pleasantly surprised.



#16 360texas

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 12:20 PM

any update on what is going on in Austin about the power outage issue ? .... read the FWST few weeks ago... an opinion piece - something about the State can't do anything.. and going to pass the costs on to consumers with future electric rate up charge.

 

Arrrggg


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#17 elpingüino

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Posted 03 April 2021 - 12:29 PM

any update on what is going on in Austin about the power outage issue ? .... read the FWST few weeks ago... an opinion piece - something about the State can't do anything.. and going to pass the costs on to consumers with future electric rate up charge.
 
Arrrggg


The Texas Tribune writes about it frequently, five articles in the past week.
https://www.texastri...m-power-outage/

#18 360texas

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 10:10 AM

Thank you for that link.  I bookmarked it. 


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#19 JBB

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 09:31 PM

Our state government is too busy trying to find a way to make it harder to vote to do anything about the recent electrical crisis.



#20 Nitixope

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Posted 21 January 2022 - 06:12 AM

ERCOT Dashboard:
https://www.ercot.co...info/dashboards

#21 Nitixope

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Posted 02 February 2022 - 12:08 PM

Here's the current grid conditions with it being in the mid-40's right now on 2/2/22.  Will be interesting to check back on this over the next couple of days:

JHHvbRC.png

 

And here's 2/3/22 Day Ahead Demand Forecast.  Comparing this to above, the current capacity is at just under 68,000 MW with tomorrow's demand expected to be 66,559.  Let's hope they bring some more plants online to expand that committed capacity especially if we're going to be in the mid-teens on 2/5 and 2/6.

o2q8q0G.png

 

From my post last year (above) I think the "oh crap" point in demand is somewhere above 70,000MW.  This is right before it all went wrong.  Thankfully we're not headed to the single digits but we'll see how the grid handles this one to get a better idea.

 

7PYoIUi.jpg

 

And here we are sitting in the cold / in the dark:

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