AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas attorney general says more than $29 million in unpaid electric bills charged during the winter storm that devastated the state will be forgiven.
Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday that Griddy Energy will release all outstanding payment obligations for the consumers who were unable to pay their energy bills due to the high prices charged during the February storm.
The relief is part of Griddy’s bankruptcy plan. The energy company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday after the attorney general’s office says it sued the business to hold it accountable for its “escalation of last month’s winter storm disaster by debiting enormous amounts from customer accounts as Texans struggled to survive the storm.”
“I ensured that Griddy’s proposed bankruptcy plan takes an important step forward by offering releases to approximately 24,000 former customers who owe $29.1 million in unpaid electric bills,” said Paxton in a statement in response to the bankruptcy filing. “Griddy and my office are engaged in ongoing good faith negotiations to attempt to address additional relief for those Griddy customers who have already paid their storm-related energy bills.”
Paxton says steps are being taken to ensure Texans are protected, including addressing relief for resident who have already paid their high bills.
Last month’s winter storm was historical in that it wiped out power for millions of Texans for multiple days and left many dead. In the end, at least 57 people across the state died as a result of the storm, according to preliminary data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services on Monday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the group that controls the state’s power grid, has been under intense scrutiny since the power failures seen after the storm. The state’s governor has called for an investigation into the council and since the storm, many members of the council have announced plans to stepped down.