Texans affected by storms facing astronomical energy bills in the thousands

An unprecedented winter storm swept across the southern United States causing Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Louisiana to lose power and water for days in temperatures that dropped below -4F in some areas. Several dozen people have died so far but it is feared that there are more that just haven’t been found yet. So many grim stories came over the weekend. Texans are finding themselves crushed with disasters including loss of property, homes and lives. Some lost income because they couldn’t get into work or work from home without electricity and water. The federal government is sending in FEMA to assist, and the state is utilizing local disaster relief organizations. Houston native Beyonce created a partnership through her foundation BeyGood, with Adidas and Houston’s organization Bread of Life to provide Texans in need with aid up to $1000.

Texans are also facing price hikes and astronomical electricity bills due to deregulation of the service. Some people are receiving electric bills upward of $7000 for the use of energy over a several day period. Dallas, Texas resident DeAndre Shaw is one customer who was sent into shock when he received a $7000 bill in the mail. Another company, CPSE, stated that they will allow their customers to be on a 10+ year payment plan to pay off their energy debt. Below is more on the story from CNN:

Dallas resident DeAndre Upshaw said it was “very shocking” when he opened his latest electricity bill.

“While I’m trying to get gas and groceries and make sure that my pipes don’t explode, the last thing I’m thinking about is a $7,000 bill from my utility company,” Upshaw told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield via Skype Saturday.

As Texas struggles to recover from a deep freeze that has killed dozens, some customers in Texas like Upshaw are facing unprecedented price hikes in their energy bills as a result of the recent snow storm. Texas officials say they are investigating.

Texas’ utility regulator, Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), said Saturday that it is investigating “the factors that combined with the devastating winter weather to disrupt the flow of power to millions of Texas homes.”

“It is unacceptable for Texans who suffered through days in the freezing cold without electricity or heat to now be hit with skyrocketing energy costs,” Abbott said. “To protect families, I am actively working with the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and members of the Legislature to develop solutions to ensure that Texans are not on the hook for unreasonable spikes in their energy bills.”

One energy company called Griddy suggested that their customers look for another provider if the prices were too high.

Upshaw told CNN he attempted to switch from Griddy to another electric provider, but the new company kept pushing back his start date.

[From CNN]

My mom lost her lights early Monday morning so she came to stay with me on Tuesday after sleeping in her below 17F apartment. My water and electricity went out Tuesday. My electricity was out until Wednesday evening and my water didn’t return until Friday. I had spotty cell service for several days and no Internet. All of the food in my refrigerator went bad so I lost a lot of food. My mom and I had to eat one meal a day for four days after waiting in hour long lines at fast food joints as they were the only places opened. Most of our grocery store chains were closed and without electricity we couldn’t cook anyway. We spent hours searching for bottled water in the city and we had to spend twice the amount we usually would to buy water at liquor stores and small mom and pop shops. A good friend of mine posted on Twitter that a co-worker was found dead in her apartment from hypothermia. I spent three days in a rage and dragging folks on twitter for telling Texans that this is our karma. Saying sh*t like that when people are in a crisis and trying to survive is petty, distasteful, and inhumane. It is the equivalent of Westboro Baptist Church at funerals. I also spent a lot of time dragging the hell out of he-goat ass #FledCruz for being a deserter and traitor. I can’t wait to vote him out of office in 2024.

But what sent me over the edge was natural gas and oil companies celebrating the surge in prices. Texans are dealing with astronomic energy bills. The fact that our energy sector has been deregulated since 2002 was news to me. The Republican lawmakers of the state were warned in 2011 that a situation like this could happen. This makes me so angry and sad. I personally cannot live in a society where money is more important than lives.

Those high bills are real. My mom received a text message from her energy company stating that many should expect higher than normal bills next month. The good news is there are several organizations like Baker Ripley and Catholic Charities who are giving up to $1600 to pay for utility bills. I hope that the federal government investigates the energy companies in Texas and the Republicans enabling them. I am also glad to see that Beyonce is doing her philanthropic thing as she has been the last few years, particularly in Houston. The money will help many impacted by this crisis. We definitely need to get Texas back on the federal grid. No state should have to experience what Texas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma has had to in the last two weeks. The loss of life alone should be a wake up call.

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76 Responses to “Texans affected by storms facing astronomical energy bills in the thousands”

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  1. Eleonora says:

    Sorry to hear things are so bad for you! Please give my regards to your mom.

    I’m not American, so I don’t really understand how a normal house can have a 7000 dollar bill for a few days.

    Is it because of extreme privitisation with companies having hiked up prices?

    • Cate says:

      As I understand it, some customers were on plans where they were paying the wholesale rate on power. Wholesale prices fluctuate in real time in response to supply and demand, and when power demand spikes, yes, prices can go through the roof (like 10x typical prices). This might only happen every couple of years, but when it does, look out. In a regulated environment, the wholesale market would still have these spikes, but there are controls on how the energy company passes this cost on. So you might have an event like this and rather than some people getting a $7k bill, the company would make a case to the regulator for everyone’s energy bill to go up by a more modest amount, like maybe everyone is going to now pay an extra $1 a month as extreme event insurance. The regulator would consider the energy company’s case and say yes, sounds reasonable or no, you’re asking too much, let’s try again. There are states in the US that have much more regulation than TX and although the wholesale market sees these fluctuations no individual consumer is going to suddenly see a 10x increase in their bill with no warning.

      • escondista says:

        this is 100% it. My bill didn’t change (other than having no power) but nobody could have predicted anything like this at all. I sincerely hope that the company decides to cap those per hour rates at a reasonable amount that people can afford to heat their house and cook their food – you know, survive.

    • Absurdist1968 says:

      I am on municipal power, where the rates are set by the city council, so I’m lucky that my bill won’t spike all that much, since the company can only charge me for what I actually use. The people who opt out of using municipla power are, alas, on their own as far as what the companies choose to charge.


    Check your insurance policy. They may cover the loss of food because if the power outage.

    • Sarah B says:

      They covered mine this week. I’m with USAA.

      • jensays says:

        I’m in Oregon – we didn’t have power from Friday night through Wednesday afternoon. I lost my food which was larger than usual because it had my emergency food for the pandemic. I called my insurance and they said they do cover food but my deductible applies… its $1000. It’s a bummer. I definitely had a couple $$$ worth of food in there, but I can’t say it was over $1k. Kind of poopy.

  3. Tom says:

    What has happened is an outrage.

    A part of me wants this to be a Teachable Moment for Republican voters.

    The better part of me is really sorry for wanting them to feel it in the checking account.

    • Soupie says:

      Republicans don’t do teachable moments.

      • MM2 says:

        This. And I’m tired of sacrificing people in the name of them hopefully, someday, caring. You can’t turn on a light bulb if there’s no electricity (ie, they will never have empathy because they’ve cut themselves off from their heart).

    • Mac says:

      No one voted for a complete failure of the state’s power grid. Calling a crisis in which people are suffering and dying a “teachable moment” puts you right on the same level as Republicans telling disenfranchised communities to pull themselves up by their boot straps.

      • escondista says:

        Thank you, Mac. As a Texan, people wanting us to learn our lesson while we recover is really traumatic. I feel like nobody cares about us – my own family in Michigan didn’t even ask how i was doing until last Thursday (power out since sunday). My 1 year old couldn’t sleep for days because it was too cold. The light in my bedroom flickered last night because the bulb is old and I started crying. If you ever go through a natural disaster, i hope nobody decides that you aren’t worth caring about because of the politics of your state.

      • Larisa says:

        Plenty of people vote for anyone who wants to deregulate anything. This appears to be the consequence of deregulation to an important degree. State and federal elections are never as simple as “I vote for A to get B, end of story”. They are always about “I vote for A because of B, which may lead to C, some D, and E, and E will most likely lead to F, a compromise on G, and H”, etc.
        So, if you voted for deregulation and didn’t think it could ever lead to this, yeah, there is a teachable moment to be had. Republicans are doing the same with climate change. When we are all going extinct, saying “well, nobody voted for extinction” will not be a good enough excuse, sorry, when you consistently, for decades, voted against any green effort and for anyone who thumbed their nose at climate change.

    • PPP says:

      Not everyone in Texas is a priveleged white Republican. The ones who voted for this are the least likely to feel it.

  4. chimes@midnight says:

    This is unconscionable.

    • UptownGirl says:

      It is, and the fact that they are stating that they will give you TEN YEARS to pay off your electric bill is the antithesis of clueless!!
      I haven’t checked my bill yet as I am afraid actually.

  5. Chris says:

    This is heartbreaking. I can’t imagine going through all of that and in the worst cases people losing loved ones and then being slapped with bills for thousands of dollars. It’s absolutely disgusting.

  6. Jillian says:

    This is an effing disaster. I’m so so sorry Texas

  7. SarahCS says:

    How is this legal?

    Fight this people of Texas, this is not acceptable.

  8. Jojo says:

    Last night I watched a story on the evening news about a man whose bill was $17,000 ,it’s normally about $200. He is also a Griddy customer.Because he is on auto pay the money was withdrawn from his bank account.He said he will have to come out of retirement and get a job now.Hopefully the company will reimburse him some of that money.

    • tempest prognosticator says:

      Oh my god, that’s insane

    • Cee says:

      And this is why I don’t have any utility on auto pay. We get these spikes in prices in Buenos Aires and I learned my lesson once while paying my natural gas bill. It increased over 300% and the money was withdrawn automatically. I was distraught over it.

  9. Noodle says:

    Oya, I’m so sorry you and your mom went through this horrible event. Your poor mom sleeping in 17f – I can’t even imagine. I am so angry that people have been treated so shoddily but the very people and institutions in place to help and serve them.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Omg. The audacity of having no power and hit with a ridiculous bill?!? I’m f@cking fuming. These mother f@ckers have sent me over the edge. I thought I was done after January 20th. I’m back into crafting my dagger emails for mass distribution. “Look for another provider if the prices are too high.” One company told me, “It is what it is.” 😐🤬😠😡 I swear. I’ve had it. I’ve. Had. It. Maybe we do need a revolution.

    • Meghan says:

      I’m fuming as well. “Oh we will give you 10 years to pay it!” No you will give me NO years to pay it because I shouldn’t be on the hook for $7000 WHEN THERE WAS NO POWER.

      We still had power in my state so will there be a utility increase for this time? Yep and that is to be expected. But not $7000! I’m so angry! And feel so much for all the Texans who were affected by this.

    • Noodle says:

      Can you put me on a distribution list for those dagger emails? I’m a letter writer as well, and I’d love to read your work!

  11. Digital Unicorn says:

    My heart breaks for those who are suffering in Texas, shame on those energy companies trying to cash in on this disaster.

    I seriously cannot believe that not only is it legal but they (GOP and the power companies) are likely to get away with it – can Biden issue an executive order for putting Texas back on the federal grid?

  12. Seraphina says:

    My heart goes out to you all in Texas. We were without electricity for two nights and a day where I live and that was enough.
    And it enraged me to see Cruz trying to escape to Mexico while residents had to deal with SURVIVAL and the comes back to make excuses. DEPLORABLE and beyond low.
    Stay safe, stay well.

  13. Snappyfish says:

    I contacted a friend in Dallas & told her to disable “autopay” for her electric after hearing about the high bills people without power would be facing due to deregulation of this failed TX grid. At first she thought I was being an alarmist but called me this AM to say she looked & had she not she would have been charged $1,927 on the 28th. Last month she said her bill was $185.

    People really should understand what their elected officials are “up to”. Deregulation allowed the GOP to pad the pocket of their corporate friends & enrich themselves on kickbacks while providing a sub standard service they thought would never be tested

  14. Faithmobile says:

    Honest question. Why wouldn’t you keep your food outside of the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling? I lived off the grid for a couple years and we had an outside pantry in the winter. So many questions. Why did some people like my grandma(Dallas) not loose power or water? I thought there was only one energy company in Texas. In California many businesses owners were fined for price gauging in real time during the fire storms.

    • ennie says:

      I am guessing not everybody lives in a house with a yard. I don’t have much insight on how are apartments designed, or if everyone has balconies. I guess it might get freezing cold in them.

    • Laura says:

      If you lived next to certain protected assets, like a hospital, you were ineligible for your power to be cut. (Some people in those areas still lost power because of physical reasons, like tree branches pulling down electric lines.) My apt complex is down the road from a fire station, and we didn’t lose power at all. However our water was cut, and heating along with it.
      Does your grandma live near a hospital, or some other building they wouldn’t have cut power to? Thank goodness she was able to have power and hopefully had as comfortable an experience as possible!

    • Sarah B says:

      We tried our best with that. I buried a cooler and a plastic storage tub with food as best I could. I salvaged as much as we could. One thing to remember though is that with the power off, every time you step outside in 7 degree weather you introduce the cold temps inside and then come back inside with no way to warm up.

      In Texas we have multiple utility companies (suppliers) but one GRID (source). I’m lucky to live in Austin, where we have a regulated utility company whose rates have to be approved by city council.

  15. KellySunshine says:

    I’m Canadian, we have some horrible winter weather… it baffles me that a home could get to minus 8 (of 17F). My dumb question of the day.. are homes not insulated down in Texas? I am so thankful that our energy companies are prepared for winter weather.

    I can’t imagine what Texans went through in the past week, especially since most of the state had never seen temperatures like that before.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      We do not insulate homes and pipes like you do in Canada. For half of Texas sub freezing weather is very rare. Even in the northern half of Texas insulation is probably nowhere near the level required in Canada.

    • Bryn says:

      Canadian here as well, with relatives in Texas. Homes are not insulated down there like they are here. This is a very rare storm and they just aren’t prepared for that kind of weather. Its terrible. My heart is with everyone affected

    • Jedi says:

      Our cities also have infrastructure to deal with the ice and snow. I think Ottawa spends over $78 million per year on snow removal in the city (we blow our budget every year too) and our machines are insane. They aren’t just plows – they are fleets of dump trucks and huge machines that suck up snow from the road. Montreal has a similar system too.

      Dealing with winter weather is a whole, expensive industry and if its not your typical experience, god help you. Its no joke.

    • Sarah B says:

      Newer, more energy “efficient” homes fared better than the older homes. My home was built in 2013 and we stayed at 50 degrees without power for 5 days. We have a lot of pier and beam homes, which means they are elevated instead of on a concrete foundation. It essentially lets the whole house be enveloped by cold air. We have no furnaces and not much need for fireplaces except for aesthetics.

  16. Eni says:

    I’m so sorry Oya. I’m painfully aware right now that I have been enjoying this website for years, for free! @CB Is it possible for the team to set up a gofundme or something similar? I would gladly help out and consider it money well spent. Anything above target (would be wonderful) could be redirected to Bey’s project or something.
    I know if I was hit with a bill in the thousands I just couldn’t cope.

    • Megan2 says:

      I like this idea!!

      Canadian Question (I know, you all are getting SO MANY from us!!): my main concern when contributing to an American gofundme or other organization is that I’m not sure if any contribution in Canadian $$ would even add value? I don’t have a lot, so I can’t contribute thousands of dollars… but is a small donation amount of $100 or less worth much in American dollars?

      Basically, I’d really like to help, but I don’t know if my contribution limits would be enough to make a difference when your $$ is much higher than ours. Does anyone have any thoughts?

      (I can only give so much because I’m trying like heck to donate to Alberta political parties and charities that can help to get rid of our a$$hole premier, who by the way is good friends with that craven a$$hat Ted Cruz. Birds of a feather and all that.)

      • Oya says:

        Every cent counts hun. I sometimes can only give $25 at a time. Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot, you never know when your small amount is what push everything over the edge.

  17. Tx_mom says:

    I live on the outskirts of Houston and am somehow the ONLY person on my street not to have water damage from broken pipes. Every house but mine has a pile of rubble at the curb. Every pile of rubble is somebody’s $4-$6k insurance deductible.

    I’m INCANDESCENT a with rage at the idea of Baker Ripley and other important local charities pouring cash into the pockets of these greedy utilities! That money should be spent in healthcare and schools and food and all the important things these charities usually do! I used to tutor at several different neighborhood centers and this just guts me.

  18. emmy says:

    What exactly is the reasoning behind these bills though? I know nothing about the laws in the US but here, you can’t charge for things you don’t provide? Shouldn’t bills be lower?

    I have experienced one power outage in my life and I was living in Greece then. It lasted 3 hours. I habe never experienced that here in Germany. I know people make fun of Germany for its crazy regulations and in many cases, it’s kinda justified. We go overboard. But sometimes regulation is your friend.

    I hope everyone is doing better in Texas.

    • Cee says:

      In Argentina private companies can do whatever the F they want to. If there is an issue and they can’t provide service they usually CHARGE you anyway and you have to file a public and legal complaint against them, go to mediation and you’re usually awarded the money you didn’t have to pay but were forced to pay anyway. So you pay (because they charge you upfront) and months later, if you’re lucky, you get credit on your next bill.

      Even though filing a complaint is free (well, funded by taxes) it takes time most people don’t have, and too much energy. You get into a rage just trying to get the company to address your complaint.

      The same thing must be happening here. They will be charged, they will have to pay (and some might even go further into bankruptcy due to everything else they’ve lost) and they MIGHT get their money back someday.

    • rrabbit says:

      As you’re in Germany, think about how Deutsche Bahn time and again get surprised by winter weather, as if snow and ice were something impossible to prepare for.

      In Texas, there’s a maximum electricity price of $9/kWH. Some Texas electricity customers are on a variable rate rather than on a fixed rate, and thus, if there is a serious electricity shortage, those customers might have to pay up to $9/kWH.

      The Texas grid is (except for a few areas such as El Paso) a separate grid not connected to any out of state electricity provider. Thus, if there is any serious electricity shortage, it is not possible to reduce the impact of that shortage by getting electricity from providers in other states.

      There then are very few regulations in Texas, the electricity providers were not forced to winterize, and thus they didn’t. Texas electricity providers were not forced to keep significant capacity on standby, and thus they didn’t.

      Texas homes, in turn, are poorly insulated, and relatively large.
      About 60% of Texas homes have electric heating, thus electricity demand will spike in cold weather. Most of the remaining Texas homes have gas heating, and thus gas demand will also spike in cold weather.

      Countries such as Germany have large amounts of natural gas in storage, sufficient for approximately the total natural gas demand of two winter months. Texas does not have anything like that; if natural gas production is insufficient for demand, a shortage will occur very quickly.

      Moderate winter weather which Texas gets every few years, but Germany and Canada get several times per year, is sufficient to bring the Texas grid to its knees, higher demand combined with some non-winterized power plants failing in winter conditions.

      • emmy says:

        Thank you for the explanation!

        As for DB… I don’t own a car and travel by train a lot so yeah, a hamster on the damn tracks will stop everything. But they do refund. That was my question, thanks for answering. These bills in general seem crazy high. I have never paid more than about €600 per year in my apartment. But heating is separate from that as well.

  19. Becks1 says:

    Ugh Oya I’m so sorry. I’m glad you have power back now. It sounds like a nightmare in Texas and I hope people are able to get help, the electricity bills are criminal.

  20. Cee says:

    So while people are slapped with outrageous bills while they spent DAYS without power, some even DYING because of it, Ted Cruz had no qualms about fleeing to Mexico to enjoy the sun and warmth provided by a third world country*?


    *his words

  21. Mireille says:

    CPS Energy response: “We understand that it would be unacceptable to have customers bear the costs on their monthly bill, so we are working diligently to find ways to spread those costs to 10 years or longer to make it more affordable.”

    Are you f*&king kidding me with this sh*t? You are going to force pandemic ridden people — many of which who are not working right because of the shutdown OR retired OR on limited income — to incur this debt that will take YEARS to pay off!!!! Texans had to endure a majority-statewide power failure and a collapsing infrastructure that will take YEARS to repair and rebuild and Republican leadership is responsible for all of this. Their cronies are capitalizing off of this and ordinary citizens are going to suffer.

    This is utter bullsh*t. Texans deserve better than this.

    • Veronica S. says:

      LOL, if somebody put me on a ten year plan to pay for a company’s incompetence and greed-driven laziness, I’d pay extra postage to deliver that shit in penny rolls per month. Every single cent of it.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That hit me, too. The utter gall of that statement.

  22. Veronica S. says:

    The people who agreed to wholesale rates were naïve, but frankly, there’s no reality where is acceptable to charge somebody that much for a basic utility. If any of them have moral sense, they’ll collectively agree to refuse to pay and toss that shit on Abbott’s doorstep.

    • Oya says:

      it is the same as those damn flexible mortgage rates that folks got into during the late 1990s early 2000s. Most folks I know didn’t know how bad that sh*t was and banks and mortgage companies purposely targets Black people. It is criminal

  23. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    This was meant for faithmobiles thread:

    When our power was out, I wasn’t worried about fridge and freezer food because it was freezing lol. I was figuring out ways to heat shit up! We saw our breath the entire time. My son had on maybe ten pairs of socks, five t-shirts, a couple of hoodies, his Boba Fett robe, ski gloves and a Russian ushanka for his noggin. Fun times.

  24. Leah says:

    I just hope Texas remembers this next time that there is an election because her republican representatives did squat. The rumor mongers on Twitter even tried passing off her governor as a democrat. He isn’t, he’s a dyed in the wool Trump supporting republican.

    They could have had Beto. Obama was right, elections have consequences.

    I just don’t understand how a power company can just charge thousands in a week. My power company (LADWP) bills once every two months, and it’s only high in the summer. Are Texans billed once a week?

  25. Annalise says:

    Honest question; how were the airports even able to function during the power outages??? Doesnt it require electricity on the ground to fly and land planes??? In fact, I would think that an airport (ESP one as HUGE as Dallas/Ft Worth) uses an UNFATHOMABLE amount of electricity. Please don’t tell me that what little electricity the state could scrape together went to helping Cancun Cruz flee the state….
    I’m wrong, right? Please tell me I’m wrong…………

    • Oya says:

      no you aren’t. AND THIS MUTHAF*CKER used a police escort to the airport. He flew out of Houston.

      • Annalise says:

        And the governor had the NERVE to claim that Texans would happily endure a few MORE days of no electricity/no water to keep the feds off their power grid. I think it’s safe to say that at this point, NO Texan gives A HAIRY-ASSED F*CK whether or not their power is federally regulated.
        One of the very few silver linings is that I don’t think Cancun Cruz will ever fully recover from this. 2024 isn’t NEARLY far enough away. I predict Texans will be every bit as furious at him then as they are now.

    • Oya says:

      Annalise Gov Abbott, whose entire bid for governor was mostly funded by these very same energy corps was fucking lying. Most Texans didn’t even KNOW that our grid wasn’t connected to the federal grid. We didn’t know we were deregulated. We just kept seeing the price of our electricity going up but not knowing why. We are kicking his ass out too in 2022. Mark my words.

      • Annalise says:

        I would not be at ALL surprised to see Texans give the GOP governors AND senators the boot in 2022 and 2024, Georgia-style (although yes I know Georgia still has a Republican governor, Georgians will give him the boot too just watch)

  26. Lunasf17 says:

    This is insane! My in laws live in TX and they are always telling us how they can shop around for energy rates and switch to different companies for deals. I live in NM a we just have the public utility provider (unless you do solar, then there are several companies to use I think). I’ve always been confused about the Texas energy market but I guess if it’s more private you can shop around but also get stuck with these huge bills?! I really hope regular folks don’t have to pay these huge amounts!

  27. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    I’m sorry for what you’re going through and I’m glad you and your mother are safe. It sounds like no matter how, through charity and the federal relief included, the bills will get paid and rich get richer from taxpayers far below their own income bracket. Honestly, 10 years of preparation time and nothing was done to make the grid better and deregulation crippled the system. A system that somehow manages, simultaneously bring in a huge jackpot for some. It’s so frustrating, lethal and heartbreaking.

  28. Kilo Tango says:

    This is heartbreaking. As a Brit I complain about my combined electricity and gas bill going up $50 a year if I forget to switch providers. I can’t imagine living with the uncertainty of ever changing costs, particularly when the service is as shoddy as it sounds.

  29. Mattie says:

    I have a question (about the grid system) for those who live in Texas.

    The state didn’t want to follow the Federal guidelines for the Windmills so they went the cheap way. Does anyone know how much money they saved (pocketed) by doing this?

    Will they now be mandated to change what they didn’t in the first place?

    • Oya says:

      I wish we knew Mattie. My understanding is the “savings” was in the billions. It is despicable that they put money before lives. I honestly don’t believe that we didn’t want the Federal regulation but more that Gov Perry at the time wanted a lot of money. Mind you who put in as the energy secretary by Trump so he got a lot of privileges for selling Texans out. Remember Bush was the governor for years before him and didn’t deregulate. This is more about corrupt politicians and Perry was def. one of them. As for the mandated change, I think nothing will be fixed until we voted these ppl out

      • Mattie says:

        That is crazy! Now is the time to mobilize and kick them all out. I hope things turn around quickly ….stay safe and sane

  30. Lissdogmom02 says:

    I’m so sorry you are suffering. Never should money be more valuable than life, changes need to happen. Be safe.

  31. Nikki* says:

    Oya, we have family in Texas who were without power for 5 days days; it was a nightmare for them with 2 little kids and 2 elderly grandparents to care for. I hope Texan lawmakers and government get to the bottom of all the GREED that’s causing these bills; nobody should have to pay that!! Best wishes to y’all.

  32. Kiddo says:

    I have never commented here before. However, as lifelong Texan, I don’t appreciate the “teachable moment” comments. Many people seem to lump all Texans into one unnuanced label of the racist, redneck, stupid Republican caricature who FINALLY got what we deserved. Let me tell you, I know way more people here in Texas, myself included, who have NEVER EVER voted for a Republican in our lives. We are TRYING. We vote. But you have to realize sometimes there isn’t even a non-Republican on the ticket! No one deserves a natural disaster, and no one deserves this situation. Try having some compassion. Or wait for your personal disaster and see how it feels when people say, “Here’s your teachable moment.”

  33. JRenee says:

    This is another slap in the face on top of the hardships they’ve already suffered.

  34. mlouise says:


  35. JanetDR says:

    I appreciate hearing your personal story Oya. So glad that you and your mom could get together. It seems so unbelievably awful that the utility is allowed to price gouge like that. It just shows that the government should have some kind of control over utilities, or at least that people are fully informed about their options.
    I messaged with a friend in Texas in the midst of the crisis and she said that the floors at the perimeter of their house were iced up for at least 2 feet. She’s from NYS, so used to much better insulation and heat retention. It makes me wonder why homes aren’t better insulated to protect from heat as well, but that’s hardly on anyone’s mind at the moment. Maybe because the utilities benefit from air conditioning as well?

  36. Kate says:

    Some good news! I’m in Houston – and our energy provider sent an email today saying everyone in a variable rate plan will pay the January rate.

    We are in a fixed rate plan, but I’m relived that not every company is trying to cash in on this disaster 🙂