Griddy claims it billed some customers tens of thousands of dollars due to skyrocketing wholesale electricity prices. Meanwhile, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday calling those price increases “devastating.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Monday against electricity retailer Griddy, claiming it misled customers using deceptive business practices after some customers reported bills costing tens of thousands of dollars.
These charges were incurred during Texas’ devastating winter storm that nearly shut down Texas’ electrical grid and sent energy demand skyrocketing. The lawsuit targets Griddy’s auto-billing system, which began drafting money out of customer’s accounts as the bills rolled in.
“Griddy misled Texans and signed them up for services which, in a time of crisis, resulted in individual Texans each losing thousands of dollars,” Paxton said in a statement. “As Texans struggled to survive this winter storm, Griddy made the suffering even worse as it debited outrageous amounts each day.”
Paxton noted this is the first lawsuit his office has filed against power companies after the widespread outages two weeks ago. A Houston-based law firm accused the company of price gouging and filed a separate class-action lawsuit last week.
Photo: Residents evacuate the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center in Austin on Feb. 17, 2021. The center lost power as a result of the winter storm that hit the state. Credit: The Texas Tribune