Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helps raise millions for Texas

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kenny41

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#21
Griddy customers face $5,000 electric bills for 5 freezing days in Texas

https://www.dallasnews.com/business...face-5000-bills-for-5-freezing-days-in-texas/

In our deregulated market, Griddy and some other power suppliers charge customers wholesale variable rates. Those plans are relatively new — and left customers frustrated after the storm.

Some Texans are facing yet another crisis: how to pay enormous electric bills.

The Texas power supplier Griddy, which sells unusual plans with prices tied to the spot price of power on the Texas grid, warned its customers over the weekend that their bills would rise significantly during the storm and that they should switch providers.

Some quickly looked into doing that but found the actual changeover of service wouldn’t happen for days.

Now customers say they never dreamed they’d be billed in the four figures for five days of service.

Karen Cosby said her cost is $5,000 for usage since Saturday at her 2,700-square-foot house in Rockwall.

DeAndre Upshaw of Dallas said the electric bill for his 900-square-foot, two-story townhouse was also $5,000.

Other customers on social media expressed frustration with similar bills from Griddy, the power supplier that told its 29,000 customers on Saturday, after spot electricity prices soared, to quickly shift out of its network and find a new supplier.

Those spot prices hit $9,000 per megawatt-hour. That means $9 for a kilowatt-hour that usually costs Cosby around 7 cents, and sometimes as little as 2 cents.

In Texas’ deregulated electricity market, Griddy and some other power suppliers charge customers wholesale variable rates per kilowatt-hour. The plans are relatively new. Most Texans pay fixed rates.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, set a cap of $9,000 per megawatt-hour as an incentive to electricity suppliers to add natural gas-fired generating capacity, said Jere Thompson, retired co-founder of Dallas-based Ambit Energy.

“We all believed it [hitting that cap] would happen in the summer with peak cooling demand, but the possibility was always sitting out there,” Thompson said. Prices might hit the cap for a few hours, but no one thought they would stay at the cap for this long.

The price per megawatt-hour reached $9,000 around 10 p.m. Sunday night and stayed there for much of Monday and all of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning, it fell to $35 and kept dropping. At 4 p.m., it was 85 cents.

Watching the events unfold was mesmerizing, Thompson said. The retail providers are the shock absorbers when prices rise, and those companies are going to be hurt.

Customers hit with these bills should know they “are not alone in their predicament,” said Andrew Barlow, a spokesman for the Texas Public Utility Commission.

Wholesale rate-based plans “can be tantalizing to consumers when the sales emphasis is placed on the possibility of very low rates during times of pleasant weather,” he said. “But they can be financially devastating when harsh hot or cold weather creates scarcity in the wholesale energy market.”

As a rule, the PUC encourages fixed-rate plans, he said. Those plans “may not offer the super-low pleasant-weather prices that are so attractive with those other plans,” he said, “but they moderate risk throughout all seasons.”

The wholesale-rate-related plans are available within the Texas retail market because that market is based on consumer choice, he said.

Houston-based Griddy said Friday that it was seeking relief from ERCOT and the PUC for its customers who were exposed to the high prices.

“Griddy is continuing these efforts and is committed to crediting customers for any relief, dollar-for-dollar,” the company said in a statement, adding that it wanted to continue to offer “innovative products and services in the retail energy market in Texas.”

While the PUC cannot offer financial relief for the consumers hit with astronomical bills, Texans can check with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which recently received a federal block grant that includes some relief funding for utility bills.

It is also within the Texas Legislature’s purview to address the concern in the course of a deep dive into this crisis that will begin in earnest next week, said the PUC’s Barlow. Finally, he said, “those customers should also consider switching retail electric providers as soon as humanly possible.”

Griddy customer Upshaw said he’s in limbo. He tried to switch to TEPCO Energy Partners but was told the switchover wouldn’t happen until Monday, then Wednesday, then Friday. “Now they’re saying Feb. 22.”

Upshaw’s bill for this week is equivalent to what he would normally pay over three or four years, he said. “$5,000 for five days is outrageous. No one could have anticipated this except the people who manage the service and the power grid.”

While searching for a new provider, Cosby flipped the breakers connected to her heating units and moved into a small bedroom with an air mattress and her two dogs, Onie and Birkin, and shut off the rest of the house. Her energy use was limited to a space heater, making a cup of coffee in the morning and using the microwave for four or five minutes to heat her meals.

“It’s been 43 degrees in the house since Monday, and I still have a $5,000 bill,” she said.

Cosby tried to find a new provider, but the companies all said it would be several days before a switch could happen. Besides, she said, normally she likes the service. Her husband, who died in August, picked the plan over a year ago.

Griddy’s customers can monitor their electricity use daily and adjust their thermostats or cut back on appliance use to control their monthly costs.

Cosby said her average monthly bill had been $125 to $150, sometimes under $100. She thought: What could it be, 10 times higher? She knew she could afford that for a short period and finally decided to stay.

She guessed wrong.

She emailed Griddy, asking the company to work with her. “I didn’t want to play the widow card,” she said, “but I did because my financial situation has changed dramatically.”

Cosby was not able to reach the company by phone but got an emailed reply saying Griddy had a plan that would allow her to pay the bill over five months.

“I felt helpless,” she said. “My husband handled all these plans for phones, cable and insurance; he just had the brain for all these things and could quickly grasp it.”

Every place she called said it could hook her up on Monday after the freeze was over.

“I’m not trying to get out of this; I just want them to work with me,” Cosby said.

She said she believes that when Griddy sent out the email, the company knew the prices customers would have to pay would reach $9,000 per megawatt-hour. “If they had put that price in their email, that would have made a difference to me.”
 
Oct 29, 2016
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US
#22
AOC is an opportunist. Is what she doing commendable? Sure. Do I think she's doing it because she simply wants to help? Absolutely, 100% no. She's capitalizing on Ted Cruz' idiotic trip to Cancun, and doing her part to turn Texas blue. It's extremely smart (politically), and liberals will point to this when all GOP politicians are up for re-election in Texas. I think it will work too. Ted Cruz had his Gavin Newsom 'French Laundry' moment, and it could be devastating news for Republicans in Texas.
Have you ever donated money to those in need? Or maybe you've started a donation campaign?

I work in social services, and I'm an administrator on a board. I won't get more specific than that. I know of countless ways you may help those in need. Just shoot me a direct message and we'll go from there.
 

PrincetonPoke23

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#23
Have you ever donated money to those in need? Or maybe you've started a donation campaign?

I work in social services, and I'm an administrator on a board. I won't get more specific than that. I know of countless ways you may help those in need. Just shoot me a direct message and we'll go from there.
I have, and I give back every year. Props to you for what you do. What does that have to do with AOC?
 
Jul 5, 2020
717
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43
57
Broken Arrow
#24
I see AOC has many of you fooled with her true intentions. How many different states in the country have experience various “disasters” since she’s been around without her help, yet NOW she decides to fly to a declining Red state for humanitarian assistance? Yea, sure, that’s just a coincidence, rrrrrright.
 

Birry

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Feb 6, 2007
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#25
Griddy customers face $5,000 electric bills for 5 freezing days in Texas

https://www.dallasnews.com/business...face-5000-bills-for-5-freezing-days-in-texas/

In our deregulated market, Griddy and some other power suppliers charge customers wholesale variable rates. Those plans are relatively new — and left customers frustrated after the storm.

Some Texans are facing yet another crisis: how to pay enormous electric bills.

The Texas power supplier Griddy, which sells unusual plans with prices tied to the spot price of power on the Texas grid, warned its customers over the weekend that their bills would rise significantly during the storm and that they should switch providers.

Some quickly looked into doing that but found the actual changeover of service wouldn’t happen for days.

Now customers say they never dreamed they’d be billed in the four figures for five days of service.

Karen Cosby said her cost is $5,000 for usage since Saturday at her 2,700-square-foot house in Rockwall.

DeAndre Upshaw of Dallas said the electric bill for his 900-square-foot, two-story townhouse was also $5,000.

Other customers on social media expressed frustration with similar bills from Griddy, the power supplier that told its 29,000 customers on Saturday, after spot electricity prices soared, to quickly shift out of its network and find a new supplier.

Those spot prices hit $9,000 per megawatt-hour. That means $9 for a kilowatt-hour that usually costs Cosby around 7 cents, and sometimes as little as 2 cents.

In Texas’ deregulated electricity market, Griddy and some other power suppliers charge customers wholesale variable rates per kilowatt-hour. The plans are relatively new. Most Texans pay fixed rates.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, set a cap of $9,000 per megawatt-hour as an incentive to electricity suppliers to add natural gas-fired generating capacity, said Jere Thompson, retired co-founder of Dallas-based Ambit Energy.

“We all believed it [hitting that cap] would happen in the summer with peak cooling demand, but the possibility was always sitting out there,” Thompson said. Prices might hit the cap for a few hours, but no one thought they would stay at the cap for this long.

The price per megawatt-hour reached $9,000 around 10 p.m. Sunday night and stayed there for much of Monday and all of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning, it fell to $35 and kept dropping. At 4 p.m., it was 85 cents.

Watching the events unfold was mesmerizing, Thompson said. The retail providers are the shock absorbers when prices rise, and those companies are going to be hurt.

Customers hit with these bills should know they “are not alone in their predicament,” said Andrew Barlow, a spokesman for the Texas Public Utility Commission.

Wholesale rate-based plans “can be tantalizing to consumers when the sales emphasis is placed on the possibility of very low rates during times of pleasant weather,” he said. “But they can be financially devastating when harsh hot or cold weather creates scarcity in the wholesale energy market.”

As a rule, the PUC encourages fixed-rate plans, he said. Those plans “may not offer the super-low pleasant-weather prices that are so attractive with those other plans,” he said, “but they moderate risk throughout all seasons.”

The wholesale-rate-related plans are available within the Texas retail market because that market is based on consumer choice, he said.

Houston-based Griddy said Friday that it was seeking relief from ERCOT and the PUC for its customers who were exposed to the high prices.

“Griddy is continuing these efforts and is committed to crediting customers for any relief, dollar-for-dollar,” the company said in a statement, adding that it wanted to continue to offer “innovative products and services in the retail energy market in Texas.”

While the PUC cannot offer financial relief for the consumers hit with astronomical bills, Texans can check with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which recently received a federal block grant that includes some relief funding for utility bills.

It is also within the Texas Legislature’s purview to address the concern in the course of a deep dive into this crisis that will begin in earnest next week, said the PUC’s Barlow. Finally, he said, “those customers should also consider switching retail electric providers as soon as humanly possible.”

Griddy customer Upshaw said he’s in limbo. He tried to switch to TEPCO Energy Partners but was told the switchover wouldn’t happen until Monday, then Wednesday, then Friday. “Now they’re saying Feb. 22.”

Upshaw’s bill for this week is equivalent to what he would normally pay over three or four years, he said. “$5,000 for five days is outrageous. No one could have anticipated this except the people who manage the service and the power grid.”

While searching for a new provider, Cosby flipped the breakers connected to her heating units and moved into a small bedroom with an air mattress and her two dogs, Onie and Birkin, and shut off the rest of the house. Her energy use was limited to a space heater, making a cup of coffee in the morning and using the microwave for four or five minutes to heat her meals.

“It’s been 43 degrees in the house since Monday, and I still have a $5,000 bill,” she said.

Cosby tried to find a new provider, but the companies all said it would be several days before a switch could happen. Besides, she said, normally she likes the service. Her husband, who died in August, picked the plan over a year ago.

Griddy’s customers can monitor their electricity use daily and adjust their thermostats or cut back on appliance use to control their monthly costs.

Cosby said her average monthly bill had been $125 to $150, sometimes under $100. She thought: What could it be, 10 times higher? She knew she could afford that for a short period and finally decided to stay.

She guessed wrong.

She emailed Griddy, asking the company to work with her. “I didn’t want to play the widow card,” she said, “but I did because my financial situation has changed dramatically.”

Cosby was not able to reach the company by phone but got an emailed reply saying Griddy had a plan that would allow her to pay the bill over five months.

“I felt helpless,” she said. “My husband handled all these plans for phones, cable and insurance; he just had the brain for all these things and could quickly grasp it.”

Every place she called said it could hook her up on Monday after the freeze was over.

“I’m not trying to get out of this; I just want them to work with me,” Cosby said.

She said she believes that when Griddy sent out the email, the company knew the prices customers would have to pay would reach $9,000 per megawatt-hour. “If they had put that price in their email, that would have made a difference to me.”
I mean....they chose a market-based, variable rate provider. Risk is inherent. Now they're all complaining about the spike??? I don't feel especially sorry for them.
 
Mar 11, 2006
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#26
I mean....they chose a market-based, variable rate provider. Risk is inherent. Now they're all complaining about the spike??? I don't feel especially sorry for them.
A 5.4K% increase from one day to the next seems more than a little excessive. With that cost increase also being charged to universities and government building that use the gas provider ...it is going to be a hit to taxpayers.
 
Last edited:

PF5

Cowboy
Jan 3, 2014
970
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#27
I see AOC has many of you fooled with her true intentions. How many different states in the country have experience various “disasters” since she’s been around without her help, yet NOW she decides to fly to a declining Red state for humanitarian assistance? Yea, sure, that’s just a coincidence, rrrrrright.
so if she would have done something sooner, or in a blue state, that would be good for you? no, cuz you only see a far left person and you don't like her so nothing she does is good!
it's called compassion and caring for fellow Americans!
 

cowboyinexile

Have some class
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#28
I mean....they chose a market-based, variable rate provider. Risk is inherent. Now they're all complaining about the spike??? I don't feel especially sorry for them.
I do. Most people don't understand basic finance. They were adults and this is a lesson you learn as an adult. I learned it with my student loans. When I consolidated I took a graduated payment plan. I forgot that I did that and 5 years later my payment doubled. I looked into it and was shocked when I found out that all that time I'd been only paying interest. That was an expensive lesson.

The people affected by this, well they also got an expensive lesson. But instead of $75 per month going to $140 like me, they get a 4 or 5 figure bill due next week. And for many of them they also have another 4 or 5 figure bill for home repair due to service interruptions.

Even if someone understood the risk, the expectation was we get cheap electricity in the winter and if we get a heat wave in the summer it'll cost us $500.

This was an unexpected outcome.
 

cowboyinexile

Have some class
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#29
I see AOC has many of you fooled with her true intentions. How many different states in the country have experience various “disasters” since she’s been around without her help, yet NOW she decides to fly to a declining Red state for humanitarian assistance? Yea, sure, that’s just a coincidence, rrrrrright.
Regardless of her intentions, you should see this as a good thing.
 

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
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#30
AOC is an opportunist. Is what she doing commendable? Sure. Do I think she's doing it because she simply wants to help? Absolutely, 100% no. She's capitalizing on Ted Cruz' idiotic trip to Cancun, and doing her part to turn Texas blue. It's extremely smart (politically), and liberals will point to this when all GOP politicians are up for re-election in Texas. I think it will work too. Ted Cruz had his Gavin Newsom 'French Laundry' moment, and it could be devastating news for Republicans in Texas.
Have you ever donated money to those in need? Or maybe you've started a donation campaign?

I work in social services, and I'm an administrator on a board. I won't get more specific than that. I know of countless ways you may help those in need. Just shoot me a direct message and we'll go from there.
Lol. Weird response.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
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#31
I mean....they chose a market-based, variable rate provider. Risk is inherent. Now they're all complaining about the spike??? I don't feel especially sorry for them.
A 5.4K% increase from one day to the next seems more than a little excessive. With that cost increase also being charged to universities and government building that use the gas provider ...it is going to be a hit to taxpayers.
Wouldn’t you need to know all the details to know if it is excessive or not?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

drbwh

Federal Marshal
Sep 20, 2006
10,290
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#32
I mean....they chose a market-based, variable rate provider. Risk is inherent. Now they're all complaining about the spike??? I don't feel especially sorry for them.
I do. Most people don't understand basic finance. They were adults and this is a lesson you learn as an adult. I learned it with my student loans. When I consolidated I took a graduated payment plan. I forgot that I did that and 5 years later my payment doubled. I looked into it and was shocked when I found out that all that time I'd been only paying interest. That was an expensive lesson.

The people affected by this, well they also got an expensive lesson. But instead of $75 per month going to $140 like me, they get a 4 or 5 figure bill due next week. And for many of them they also have another 4 or 5 figure bill for home repair due to service interruptions.

Even if someone understood the risk, the expectation was we get cheap electricity in the winter and if we get a heat wave in the summer it'll cost us $500.

This was an unexpected outcome.
No matter how you see it. There was a risk. They took that risk to save money. Now it’s time to pay for that risk. If they have been a customer long enough maybe it is still a wash or a benefit to them. Ignorance is no justification for making a poor choice. Trust me, I have made many very expensive poor choices. I have never expected someone to feel sorry for me or fix it for me. Maybe I am just old fashion. It seems I say this more and more these days.


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drbwh

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Sep 20, 2006
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Well I guess I don’t expect the government to solve my problems. Maybe I am just different than everyone else.
Maybe they should be around to help fix the statewide problem they helped create. Nah, let those 11 year olds freeze to death in the name of Texas independence from the Feds.
I know this sounds crazy to lefties, but unless their parents or guardians froze to death with them, I blame them. Honestly, even If they did, I still blame them. I can assure you, I could be homeless and I would have found a way to keep my children warm enough not to freeze to death, or I would have died trying, including giving them every single piece of my clothing. They would have found me frozen buck naked. I haven’t looked, but I don’t need to to know this is not what happened.


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TheMonkey

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I know this sounds crazy to lefties, but unless their parents or guardians froze to death with them, I blame them. Honestly, even If they did, I still blame them. I can assure you, I could be homeless and I would have found a way to keep my children warm enough not to freeze to death, or I would have died trying, including giving them every single piece of my clothing. They would have found me frozen buck naked. I haven’t looked, but I don’t need to to know this is not what happened.


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I’m not a lefty, and I still think you’re crazy (for multiple reasons). The story I read was about an 11 year-old boy in Conroe, TX. His parents checked on him and his 3 yo brother in the middle of the night. They were both fine. The 11 yo was dead when they tried to wake him up in the morning. Turns out, even if you pile blankets on your kids, the cold can come through a thin mattress.

But yes, let’s hold the parents responsible for having no electricity to keep their trailer warm.

Whatever happened to compassionate conservatism? Are we hellbent (literally) to hold individuals responsible for EVERYTHING in order to absolve government and corporations of any accountability?
 

wrenhal

Federal Marshal
Aug 11, 2011
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#35
I see AOC has many of you fooled with her true intentions. How many different states in the country have experience various “disasters” since she’s been around without her help, yet NOW she decides to fly to a declining Red state for humanitarian assistance? Yea, sure, that’s just a coincidence, rrrrrright.
It's a red state that has had a large influx of blue voters from California. It's easy to see why she did it.

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PF5

Cowboy
Jan 3, 2014
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#36
It's a red state that has had a large influx of blue voters from California. It's easy to see why she did it.

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compassion for others? helping out American people? IF there is an ulterior motive, so what, it is helping people!!
 

Rack

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#37
It's a red state that has had a large influx of blue voters from California. It's easy to see why she did it.

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Are you suggesting that AOC is a politician?
1614012669222.png

She's a massive humanitarian...didn't you see her grandstanding....errr I mean doing such good deeds in Texas????
 
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TheMonkey

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compassion for others? helping out American people? IF there is an ulterior motive, so what, it is helping people!!
I have no doubt that scoring political points was part of her motivation. Why else would she go into frozen Houston instead of vacationing in Cancun, like a good father would. What a monster!
 
Sep 12, 2008
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#39
I have no doubt that scoring political points was part of her motivation. Why else would she go into frozen Houston instead of vacationing in Cancun, like a good father would. What a monster!
Or stay in New York, where her governor is killing old people..