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: