According to ABC News, Chambers County resident Lisa Khoury filed the suit on Monday (Feb. 22). She said her average monthly bill is usually $200 to $250 and the electric retailer overcharged thousands of clients “knowing consumers would be harmed.” She also said the company withdrew $1,200 from her bank account from Feb. 13 to 18 and her overall bill from Feb. 1 to 19 was $9,546. Other customers had bills that reached as high as $17,000.
Khoury said she and her husband were hit with the extreme charges even though they were without power for most of the storm.
Griddy released a statement saying they “charge the wholesale, real-time price of energy, which changes every 5 minutes. You effectively pay the same price as a retail energy provider or utility.” Prior to the storm, the company advised its customers to switch to another provider that would give them fixed rates, however, many were unable to change electric providers due to the approaching weather.
According to the lawsuit, Griddy’s wholesale rate soared to $9,000 per megawatt-hour during the storm due to a shortage of supply and increased demand for power. Before the storm, the rate was only $50 per megawatt-hour.
Derek Potts, who represents Khoury, told ABC News that the lawsuit could impact 29,000 customers in Texas.
“What happened financially to all of the customers of Griddy, both in terms of the exorbitant prices charged and the manner in that they were collected from peoples’ bank accounts and credit cards literally in the middle of a catastrophe while many were without power, heat and water, is clearly contrary to Texas laws in place to protect consumers,” he said.