How Texans Are Dealing With Outrageous Power Bills After Freezing Weather Subsides | NBC News NOW

2021/02/27
 
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Many Texans are facing sky high electricity bills, some charged thousands of dollars for just the past few days due to the freezing weather. NBC News’ Stephanie Ruhle talks to a Texas resident who usually spends 49 dollars a month in electricity, and had a recent bill of 4,000 dollars.
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#Texans #FreezingWeather #NBCNews

How Texans Are Dealing With Outrageous Power Bills After Freezing Weather Subsides | NBC News NOW

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  1. Avatar JT W says:

    Texas corporations wanted free market capitalism without regulation, so they lobbied and passed laws to prohibit free market competitors to provide power to Texas through state regulation.

  2. Avatar TheUsername217 says:

    hope they don’t get a bailout, it would be unfair to those who paid their electric bills

  3. Avatar Summer Tea says:

    Next time the people should just disconnect the electrical meter and switch to a gas operated generator or have solar panels in times like these.

  4. Avatar Annie in KC says:

    Wow, Texas. Time to go solar and pellet wood stoves, and propane stove & refrig. My heart goes out to you & my best friend down there. In Kansas City, I pay my light bill twice a year, $300 in June, and $387 ($43 mth avg) in Sept for Sept thru May. That’s a normal utility bill. Regulation can be a good thing.

    • Avatar Vengeance Dragon says:

      KC is a warm place though but I agree about regulation

  5. Avatar kale n says:

    Yea you should have known because greed is good down in Texas. Of course it could fluctuate.

  6. Avatar Thedar71 says:

    and she smiles while she says this man has a $4000 bill.. white privileged out of touch b.

  7. Avatar EclecticOne says:

    Under no circumstances should the federal government bail out the energy price gougers, market manipulators, and disaster profiteers in the Texas energy market. It is evident that Wall Street/Houston energy traders exploited this disaster to extort money from the people of Texas and country. Screw those weasels!

  8. Avatar Susan Young says:

    The Texas utilities should pay for the fact they did not maintain there Equiptmemt. The people of the United States should not pay for the bills. Texas wants to be independent let them figure how to make the utilities pay.

  9. Avatar alexiasts says:

    What a scam 😡

  10. Avatar Glen Whatley says:

    This is ridiculous! The federal government needs to pass laws to protect citizens from companies abusing their customers no matter what state they live in.

  11. Avatar william louie says:

    It’s legal to rob you blind.

    • Avatar Vengeance Dragon says:

      Yes, Jesse James was small time compared to Texas energy companies

  12. Avatar Summer West says:

    Hehe $49 a month for electric. Rest of the country paying 10x more all year every year even in normal weather. Hopefully y’all put aside some of that $ you’ve saved over the years getting such cheap power.

    • Avatar Lou Armstrong says:

      I pay btw $27 to $57 a month for a one bedroom apt in Florida

  13. Avatar Sara Israel says:

    that is insane

  14. Avatar greg williams says:

    Can you say class action suit

  15. Avatar greg williams says:

    How can they charge that if you had no power

    • Avatar BeauTeyMafia Design's says:

      Thank you! That’s just some of the dumbest thing I ever heard. I understand if they used power. But if it’s off how does the meter run to even count the usage. Watch the water company is next billing everyone.

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      providers cause the scarcity. They do not prepare, the government even has cut off Texas from much larger grids (potential backup !! for emergencies) to evade federal regulation, that would have forced them to prepare.

      Providers likely lobbied for that state of affairs.

      Then they fail miserably in a predictable event. 1989 / 2011 * / 2021
      winter strom and cold snap of Feb. 2011 was bad, but the federal commission could only give recommendations, not force Texas to upgrade.

      And now 2021.

      some warning shots **, highly unusual cold snaps. Predictions of Climate scientists that such events will happen more often.

      ** Florida and parts of the Arctic had the same temperature for 1 – 2 days. Around freezing point. During the Arctic WINTER.
      When it should have – 22 F and not + 32 F (- 30 C and not 0). That cold snap did not last long and it was not that cold so it did not do much damage in Florida. THEN.

      I took notice.
      The politicians in the Southern states should have taken notice.

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      the politicians and providers did not prepare. When the cold front hit them (punctually after 10 years) the providers failed miserably. Again ! This time it was worse than in 2011. At the height of the crisis they lost 40 % of electricity production AND have also failed to winterize the natural gas pipelines. They are not in the frost free zone (cutting corners for construction costs, once in 30 or more years lifetime) so instruments, controls fail, water condensates IN the gas and causes problems.

      They do not have enough natural gas storage anyway for emergencies even IF the technology would be cold proof. Storage / reserves costs money.

      NO gas for heating, so even MORE demand for electricity.

      When the providers returned to the grid, to do their job, they asked for extortion prices. In this closed off market (not on the larger grid to evade reasonble federal regulation) they have auctions for electricity and in that situation prices shot up. And they could not import a lot.

      They (politicians likely on behalf of their big donors) arranged for Texas to be a closed market – I think 20 years ago or even longer

      In order to be on the large national grid they would need to accept federal regulations that would mandate to prepare for extreme events (cold, heat, hurricanes) and likely to have some reserves. Maybe also some consumer protection.
      A Tx governor not so long ago sued the EPA to avoid having to winterize. (the very thing that could have avoided the worst now).

      Refusing to abide by common sense regulation meant also no access to the large grid – so no backup form the other Southwestern states and Canada.

      In their Stand Alone Grid they do not routinely export and import a lot of electricity – so they do not have the infrastructure to import a lot in an emergency.

      Since electricity had become a scarce resource in that small “market” hit by a cold snap they neglected to prepare for – the providers demand extortion prices if and when they can do their job (again).

      Why ? Because they can- and way beyond costs of production.

      So they missed out on revenue for a few days, but they can make up for that. And they never had to invest the money to avoid most of the problems in the first place.

      They pushed for flexible tariffs. And allowed for contracts w/o caps. such contracts seem to be reasonable. If Texans reduce A/C use when demand is high they can save costs. Of course they can also save costs if the kwH is slightly more expensive (costs of peparedness added) and that motivates them to consume less electricity. Not only to delay use, but to cut it out.

      On the other hand much more could be saved if the state would mandate other building codes (they should have 30 years ago, would save a lot of energy for A/C in summer, and would have helped now).

      But the providers and politicians do not want that:
      Texas can only run the Stand Alone Grid * at low prices because it has so much energy, but it also needs a lot of consumption (squandering). The providers cannot export (not part of the larger grid) – so they want to sell a lot in Texas. They cannot grow into another region if Texans would become more energy efficient.

      The less energy you need to function the more resilient the system is. so that whole racket gives incentives in the wrong direction.

      * New Zealand or Iceland or the islands of Hawaii also have a Stand Alone Grid, they can’t help it as islands. But they would connect to a grid if they could.
      No nation or region cuts itself off from a larger grid. Only Texas – not sure about North Korea, but if the Chinese will have them they will gladly join up !

      and likely it costs the islands more because they have to provide the emergency reserves all by themselves.

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      btw price gouging during an emergency is illegal and Biden already ! declared an emergency on Feb. 14. The White House did listen to the weather forecast I am not sure Texans were duly warned by their state government. – these flexible plans are likely tied to the wholesale auctions / industry prices.
      And since Texas is not on the large grid and they allowed that emergency situation to happen – prices shot up in the auctions because of the scarcity.

  16. Avatar kettle r says:

    when your bill fluctuates with the market is risky. you can thank biden for your spike in your bill. the market has been down for a week now.

    • Avatar kettle r says:

      @Vanmyster94 awe did the truth hurt your precious little feelings? careful. its 77 degrees out. we don’t want you to melt. fuxking pansy

  17. Avatar john doe says:

    Corporate Public Utility “PRICE-GOUGING” in collusion elected “LIE-MAKERS” allowing ordinary Texas Consumers be made bankrupt, like sheep to be sheered while millions of dollars are doled out in Executive Bonusing and High Paid Lobbyists making donations to Elected “Lie-Makers…. Voters in Texas better wake up soon if they care about their children’s future.

  18. Avatar BOKING Performance Fitness says:

    GREED, 1 OF THE ROOTS OF EVIL.

  19. Avatar Simon Davis says:

    Second home …??? Oh boo hoo

  20. Avatar C Shotta says:

    Welp 🤷🏽‍♀️ Texas.. u got what u asked for

  21. Avatar S R says:

    omg.. GET ANOTHER COMPANY TO FIX THIS

  22. Avatar Lex Clav says:

    Very good… new orleans, then puerto rico and now texas…. one by one… our nation is being destroyed… and no one has a problem with this

  23. Avatar Jessica Atkins says:

    Don’t pay the bill. What are they gonna do turn the power off…😏

  24. Avatar Melanie McCauley says:

    That is SO unfair it’s Ercots fault not the customers! The people who were impacted by this shouldn’t have to pay a dime! This is completely the fault of the company.

  25. Avatar Smile One says:

    I miss America

  26. Avatar Kevin Martin says:

    There crying because They got exactly what they asked for
    Fuckum

  27. Avatar Raymon Vincent says:

    Evolution of The Alamo!

  28. Avatar J A says:

    How could you not know? What did they think deregulating meant?

  29. Avatar J A says:

    The federal government shouldn’t pay. They didn’t want the gov let the businesses desk with it

  30. Avatar Bruce Villa says:

    The federal government and blue states should not be bailing out the bad ideas and reckless decisions of red states and their residents. It’s just subsidizing stupidity.

  31. Avatar Puff Of Smoke says:

    This is why I’m curious to know if that class-action lawsuit against the power company has merit. I mean if you sign up for it, they can increase the power based on usage.

  32. Avatar Tamara Henri says:

    How can the power price be so expensive when the power has been off?

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      They had extreme scarcity because they lost 40 % of electricity production (when it was the worst) and also the natural gas for heating, so demand for electricity shot up even more. – To avoid federal regulation (incl. the demand to winterize) Texas has a Stand Alone Grid.

      That means they do not export or import much form other states (if they do that they would be part of the grid and subject to regulation.)

      That means they do not have the infrastruture to get a lot of electricity from out of state in case of an emergency, they do not have the powerlines, never mind the legalities (maybe those could be overcome by emergency orders – of big bad federal government. but not lack of infrastructure)

      Normally Texas can produce the electricity they need. And some consumers opted for the flexible plans. They have higher prices in summer when electricity demand goes up, so consumers can save costs if they reduce consumption then. or they leave during summer and live there in the cooler seasons.

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      providers failed to prepare. Texan politicians wanted a race to the bottome regarding electricity prices. Preparedness was not mandated, it would cut into profits. Worse: some providers have problems with the margins already, they are not going to invest if it is not a level playing field (with mandates).

      Federal regulations would have avoided the worst, at slightly higher prices. TX politicians want to attract industries that use a lot of energy and those companies (big donors) resent modestly higher prices (that would include the costs for reserves and making the equipment cold / heat proof). They could easily pay, they just do not want to. They pay those prices in all other states and in other nations.

      And TX politicians wanted those extremely low prices (with cutting corners) as special attraction of Texas (plus MORE big donors ! for them) so they can lure in companies from other states (states that are now supposed to bail them out via federal government). Tx politicians look good, lots of jobs, also jobs in construction.

      For geographic reasons some nations or regions must have a stand alone grid (separated by deserts, mountain ranges. Or islands) – but a nation or region that can, will connect to a larger grid. Only Texas – or maybe North Korea (If China accepts them, they would gladly cooperate with them, not sure if they are connected).

      Stand alone grids COST more, they also have to provide for all the reserves for emergencies by themselves (they miss out on the backup of other states). Or one nation or province has a surplus, so it helps with costs if they import and export.

      The Texas sitution is unique, because they have so much fossil fuels and they have a lot of consumption to match that. So they CAN be cheap despite being a closed “market”.
      Their politicians will also do nothing to promote energy saving. After all their buddies cannot export much – not part of a larger grid – so they NEED high ongoing consumption _IN Texas._

      but when they lose so much production they have extreme scarcity.

      They also do not store oil or gas. They get that from ongoing extraction. Well they had a lot of technical problems with that too because of the unusual cold.

      Then the providers returned to the grid. Households and companies got power again (sometimes). But the closed “market” had much higher demand than usual. Because of the cold and because they also lost natural gas for heating.

       No imports from out of state possible – the prices would be slightly higher but no extortion prices, the Southwest grid is large and includes Canada, some providers have reserves – ’cause federal regulations – and would gladly activate them for a reasonable price.

      If in a large net all keep _some_ reserves and can deliver the resources (power, food, staff….) in an emergency to the other participants than all participants can make do with less reserves and can still have a high level of resilience – compared to when they are on their own in an emergency.

      Some consumers have those “flexible” plans where the consumer prices are tied to the auction wholesale prices. Consumption is very differently throughout the season in Texas, normally it is the highest in summer. I guess it made sense for some consumers and no doubt was skillfully marketed.

      The wholesale auction prices rose to extrem levels because of the scarcity – because of an epic failure of political and industrial leadership.

    • Avatar Xyz Same says:

      I read that during an emergency price gouging is forbidden. Now the hotels might get away with it (the wife of Ted Cruz complained about high hotel prices in Texas, that gave them the idea to flee to Cancun. Cost flyin’ Ted likely his 2024 presidential run 😉 – but the energy providers are easier to catch, their business model is more standardized.
      And in the hotels the consumers at least knew the high prices in advance and could make an informed choice, we can assume that only wealthy individuals checked in for 1000 USD per night (I hope that was at least for 2 persons in a double).

  33. Avatar Stop the greedy money printing crooks for Ashli says:

    Hard to say who was at fault here but why did the power company’s shut down in the first place.

  34. Avatar Stop the greedy money printing crooks for Ashli says:

    Probably tied to all these Bill Gates green energy mandates.

  35. Avatar NoVacantNames says:

    This is what happens with deregulation! SURPRISE, IDIOTS.

  36. Avatar Lou Armstrong says:

    If I was Biden, I would say you want bailed out. Fine, here is the money and there is going to be a tax on electricity to pay for it in Texas, and a nice little extra for the taxpayers in the rest of the country…we will reduce their electric Bill’s by a corresponding amount

  37. Avatar BeauTeyMafia Design's says:

    😒WTF! 💡🧾🔦💸That’s just some of the dumbest thing I ever heard. I understand if they used power. But if it’s off how does the meter run to even count the usage. Watch the water company is next billing everyone.

  38. Avatar nathan nataatmadja says:

    And now y’all want the government to be involved to save the day.

  39. Avatar CAUTIOUS1 says:

    First they fail to keep the power on, then they price gouge insanely. Law suits for a long time.

  40. Avatar T H says:

    Cannot wait Texas turns blue lol

  41. Avatar over9000 says:

    Ahhh my old boi CAPITALISM. Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL my fellow Texans/Americans?

  42. Avatar Incog Spectator says:

    Apparently this is funny to the rest of the country so much for “United”.

  43. Avatar Tadowsky says:

    Zero sympathy for warming your second home.

  44. Avatar K Cuzz says:

    Band together Texans and go after these privately owned energy companies and go after your state government for allowing this to happen. Sue the crap out of them!

  45. Avatar Lilia says:

    Ted Cruz should pay for all of Texan residents..

  46. Avatar Dillinger R. says:

    I don’t care about them, that’s what they get for voting Republican, I hope they all suffer & have to pay all those thousands of dollars to those huge electric companies…

  47. Avatar Sionnach MacBradaigh says:

    This is the kind of things Texans celebrate. They made their collective bed now they need to lie in it. They need to understand that unregulated capitalism has its consequences.

  48. Avatar Colino Deani says:

    Wow..

    The Name “Giddy” Sounds like a company you create just to collect, bankrupt and fold… Buut since theres no regulations theres no rules so that’d be totally legal.

    Texas, you are FOOLS if you continue to vote Republican.

  49. Avatar Lord Vader says:

    I paid the bill with Monopoly money and I received a text reply a few days later… “Thank you for your payment.”

  50. Avatar Edmund Casey says:

    ITS A SET UP!!!!,. management knows there’s money to be made!! Similar to gas refinery explosion,. RESULTS HIGH GAS PRICES!!!

  51. Avatar DJT lying POS Sucks says:

    Texas wants to be its own government, nothing but stupid Republicans. Wake up America you can’t fix stupid

  52. Avatar Bork Bork Bork says:

    It’s funny how the Jesus freaks don’t see ANY of this, as “God” giving them a sign that Conservative politics is going to destroy this country. 🤣

  53. Avatar RainMan says:

    Someone is LAUGHING ALL THE WAY to the bank. Probably a buddy of Rick Perry too.

  54. Avatar I Am Me says:

    This video failed it’s title. It did not even slightly explain how Texans are dealing with their power bills. I expect better of you, NBC.

  55. Avatar Xyz Same says:

    Electricity leans strongly into direction of natural monopoly. Texas chose to have a race to the bottom regarding prices and to evade federal regulation (with the small costs for preparedness that the large energy use do not want) they chose to have a STAND ALONE GRID. It is a closed scene (to avoid the word “market”).

  56. Avatar Xyz Same says:

    1) they do not winterize and go as far as having a *_stand alone grid to evade federal regulations_* (no one else does that if they CAN connect to a larger grid. Texas and maybe North Korea). 2) no backup from other states or Canada IF their (unprepared) providers fail 3) they fail misearbly 4) when they return to the grid they make up for lost revenue by price gouging. Which is illegal during an emergency btw

    3) when it was the worst they lost 40 % of electricity production AND a lot of natural gas for HEATING (pipelines also not winterized) so people TRIED to compensate with electricity

    4) when the unprepared providers finally returned to the grid they were able to charge extortion prices, way beyond their production costs.

    They had no or reduced revenue for a few days, but they can easily make up for that.

    There is no power from out of state that would solve the scarcity situation (so they could not profit from the scarcity situation THEY crated.

    Not only have the clients to live with the blackouts, and the damages (frozen pipe situation would have been much better)

    They pushed flexible pricing (which is not even a thing in other states).

  57. Avatar Trevor Chapman says:

    Boo hoo to them. They voted for this. They should have to pay. Then maybe they’ll wake up and vote progressive

  58. Avatar C U says:

    Thought about leaving California for Texas screw that is either going to be Vegas or Arizona now

  59. Avatar Alex says:

    it’s time for Texas to join Russia, Putin does everything for the people, taxes are low, and health insurance is free

  60. Avatar Joe Hiku says:

    Well Repugnants…..free capitalism

  61. Avatar Boris Kovacic says:

    Beautiful wright wing of capitalism , keep voting republicans

  62. Avatar Tracey Edwards says:

    A judge said don’t pay those huge bills.

  63. Avatar Micah Schweitzer says:

    Utility Strike, people! Nobody pays until ERCOT dies and we get on the national grid! They can’t shut us off if they can’t pay their workers!

  64. Avatar Anne ONeill says:

    Jacking energy bills after refusing to weatherize leaving the entire state in a crisis, is a crime.
    The company caused this problem. Tax payers should not have to foot the bill.

  65. Avatar Florida Black Bear says:

    Perhaps before Texas secedes it should first learn to take care of itself.

  66. Avatar Jason Le says:

    What’s your “Governor ” for ??? Too busy for tanning

  67. Avatar George Turner says:

    The utilities are NOT paying more. That is a LIE!!!! They are raking in massive profits!!!!

  68. Avatar Lana Bern says:

    It’s still heavy traffic in the Bay Area, CA highways. More people need to leave to move to Texas or anywhere where there’s Arctic freezing weather.

  69. Avatar Grand Master Yodafarts says:

    They’ll probably keep talking about this till 2022.

  70. Avatar Marcus Danchision says:

    The left waitress pathomorphologically subtract because event simultaneously raise beyond a high-pitched october. unhealthy, attractive key

  71. Avatar J CR says:

    Sorry Texas, but you guys signed up for that. No federal help without change.

  72. Avatar ki P says:

    The people of Texas chose this system believing their Governor would put regulations ( a cap ) on the amount the companies could increase payments but he failed to do so most likely because he is getting some type of kick backs.

  73. Avatar Wake Up says:

    They don’t deserve any handouts and they should have to pay every cent! After all that’s what an insensitive is. Plus if they do except any help it’s Socialism and I don’t think anyone in Texas wants Socialism!

  74. Avatar Counter Intelligence says:

    only if they had solar penels things would have been cheaper.

  75. Avatar voluptuouslypretty says:

    It is non preparedness for disaster and lack of leadership…Texas have Senator who goes to vacation in the middle of a disaster and a governor who lacks accountability except to blame others for his lack of disaster.

  76. Avatar Herman Rogers says:

    They must pay

  77. Avatar Herman Rogers says:

    They either pay or they will cut the electricity off again

  78. Avatar dotdot pointpoint says:

    So no one read the fine print?

  79. Avatar Irritating Indiana says:

    It’s not confusing , evil companies.

  80. Avatar Greg Rizal says:

    Lol isnt it ironically funny that their electric bills were jacked up by a company named Griddy?

  81. Avatar 2jzk says:

    Didn’t the private business fail to keep their system “winterized”??

  82. Avatar Katie T says:

    “Greedy “?

  83. Avatar Yo Boo says:

    Texans: Keep your government out of our lives and business!

    Also Texans: Help Help! Someone in the government save us!

  84. Avatar Richard Vazquez says:

    Idiots !

  85. Avatar Dave C says:

    Ask Ted Cruz! WTF! 🐑🐑🔥💩

  86. Avatar Capitano the Great says:

    Texas is a Republican State, the Whole World knows that, infact the Whole Milky Way Galaxy knows that too lol , and this Failure is the Result of their Policies.
    That Governor of Texas Greg Abbott needs to be Fired or he must Resign but instead he blame others, pointing fingers except himself .
    He is the “Cancer” of all Problems Texas is Facing now…

  87. Avatar Capitano the Great says:

    Texas the Epicenter of those Mega-Churches with Rich Millionaire Pastors ,they all have to Start Paying Taxes ASAP!

  88. Avatar pandabearmadness says:

    What was that about California again

  89. Avatar United Space Pirates says:

    “Who needs food water and heat when you have good government?”
    -Old Soviet Proverb

  90. Avatar hawk6978 says:

    Really if we can spend millions on foreign aid you would think our spending crazed political reps would just write a check. Its their corporate overlords demanding this ridiculous rate.

  91. Avatar mary hershelman says:

    Let’s make sure that FEMA funding doesn’t line the pockets of stockholders. Use that funding for home repairs. Allow the electorate to vote out those who think this is a great idea.

  92. Avatar JeepZJ 101 says:

    What a scam on the people… Were sorry about the electric system breaking down now pay us for your 2-4K power bill.

  93. Avatar B says:

    Individuals signed up for market pricing, betting they would come out ahead over set pricing from the power company, they lost that bet. If you’re going to Vegas you don’t get to wine when you lose.

  94. Avatar Carlos Hernandez says:

    File bankruptcy

  95. Avatar Jarred 333 other channel says:

    Charging 1000s of dollars and not giving them power hahahahahaa robber’s and crooks at its finest!!

  96. Avatar C S says:

    How do you have an outrageous power bill for Electricity you never Got????

  97. Avatar asdf says:

    hahaha capitalism at its finest

  98. Avatar Michael Toney says:

    Dear Texans deregulation SUCKS.

  99. Avatar Lady Quick says:

    I guess moving from California to Texas was a waste…$$$

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