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Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:29 AM

Those Outrageously High Texas Utility Bills

were probably generated automatically by a computer algorithm. They won't stand, but, meanwhile, lots of people had them automatically taken out of bank accounts or credit cards. Correcting that is going to take a long, complicated process, I suspect.

First, the Texas state legislature is going to have to pass a bill, which will have to be signed by the state's idiot governor. Then, whatever entity charged those outrageous prices will have to refund their customers. Meanwhile, however, the customers are royally screwed with their banks and credit card companies, which are also completely automated.

More reason for people to reject Abbot and the Republican legislators in Texas.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Those Outrageously High Texas Utility Bills (Original post)
MineralMan Sunday OP
yardwork Sunday #1
MineralMan Sunday #2
yardwork Sunday #3
alphafemale Sunday #4
ananda Sunday #15
drray23 Sunday #16
XanaDUer2 Sunday #21
alphafemale Monday #23
blueinredohio Sunday #20
c-rational Sunday #5
dalton99a Sunday #6
MineralMan Sunday #7
dalton99a Sunday #8
MineralMan Sunday #9
ret5hd Sunday #10
MineralMan Sunday #11
ret5hd Sunday #12
MineralMan Sunday #19
dlk Sunday #13
Autumn Sunday #14
drray23 Sunday #17
Snarkoleptic Sunday #18
gratuitous Sunday #22

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:31 AM

1. I'm sure they'll blame Hillary.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:32 AM

2. That won't work with people who got hit with those bills.

They know who is responsible.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:34 AM

3. I hope you're right but half the country believes in lizard people and death rays.

I'm seeing videos of people who are convinced that the Rothschilds manufactured this storm.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:35 AM

4. That's why I will never check that auto bill box

Except for NetFlix

Which is a tiny bill I was always forgetting.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:29 AM

15. Same here.

Except for streaming tv, I pay all bills by the month.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:29 AM

16. exactly. I pay most of my bills online but I initiate the payment myself everytime via my bank

I dont use autopay and also never pay from the company website. I dont want them to retain my payment info and start automatically debit the money.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 01:21 PM

21. That's exactly what I do

I refuse autopay. My water authority wants autodraft; I still mail a check.

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Response to XanaDUer2 (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 06:24 AM

23. Well, I don't mail checks.

I have had the same supply of checks for probably 5 years.

I send a payment from my screen.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 01:18 PM

20. Agreed! No auto pay for me!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:35 AM

5. I hope you are right. In the meantime, for many there is going to be an awful lot af angst that

need not have been. Maybe I am getting wiser to the reThuglican playbook, but their lies about the cause of this is disgraceful, including the cover they get from corpoRat media.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:39 AM

6. The last time any Democrat won a statewide office was in 1994.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:40 AM

7. Perhaps that will change. I hope so.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:43 AM

8. The GOP's death grip on Texas will end.


Nothing lasts forever. Trump's reign of terror didn't last forever

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:44 AM

9. I suspect that there are many Texas Republicans who

are asking themselves some serious questions right now. Not the right-wing creeps, of course, but others.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:49 AM

10. The instances I am hearing about have to do...

with people that signed contracts for their electrical service that based their rates on the wholesale price of electricity. I don't know how granular this pricing is (weekly, daily, minutely, secondly?) but let's say daily. They agreed to these because the rates were slightly lower per kWh...during normal times. They essentially put themselves in the same "market" as the big-boy wholesale energy traders, but without the same abilities to hedge. Not a smart move, IMO.

I read a news story yesterday that one of these companies had been contacting their customers and telling them to find another provider NOW. Not tomorrow...NOW! They stated their reasoning was they would be better off in the long run by being honest with their customers.

Most people (our household included) have a contract that specified a price per kWh. Those bills were unaffected. I checked ours online yesterday and it was high compared to most months...but the heater was working harder also. But definitely not bankruptcy numbers. Not even close.

I don't know what the answer is. They gambled and lost...but don't deserve THAT.

on edit: I see someone else has mentioned this:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215140216

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:59 AM

11. Yeah, I understand how it works. Folks thought they'd save money

that way. Surprise! However, this unexpected spike was not in anyone's mind at all. Something will have to be done to correct the situation, or those companies who are brokering those "wholesale" pricing schemes are going to be going broke soon.

We pay monthly, directly to our utility company, which is regulated by the state of Minnesota. Nothing like this could happen with our billing. I understand that the people who signed up for the "wholesale" scheme did so to try to save money. They made a mistake, but were not warned that something like this disaster might occur. Unfortunately, probably the automatic charges were probably required when they signed up.

It's never a good idea to allow anyone to automatically withdraw funds that are not fixed in nature.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:08 AM

12. So what would be the answer if someone had a variable rate mortgage?

And suddenly interest rates shot to obscene levels?

That scenario sounds kinda familiar for some reason. Some went bankrupt and lost their homes.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 12:11 PM

19. Yes, exactly. That's why I never did that.

However, with the energy thing, we're talking about 1000% increase or more. Not exactly the same.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:18 AM

13. Knowing how stubborn and hardheaded Texans are, I wouldn't count on any reform

As they saying goes, people don’t change until they have to. Until Republicans are voted out of office, Texans will continue to be exploited. Too many billionaires are raking in the dough and they fully intend to keep it that way.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:28 AM

14. Griddy sent out an email to all 29,000 of its customers urging them to switch to another provider.

The problem is many other providers wouldn't take the ones who tried. They were warned. They also know what they were signing up for. Cheap rates with money back when energy was cheap and the knowledge when and if energy prices would go up, so would their bills. It's a risk that they knowingly gambled on and they lost.

https://6abc.com/griddy-gridy-texas-power-bills-what-is-energy/10350795/




https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2021/02/16/electricity-retailer-griddys-unusual-plea-to-texas-customers-leave-now-before-you-get-a-big-bill/
Griddy, however, is in a different position. Its service is simple — and controversial. Members pay a $9.99 monthly fee and then pay the cost of spot power traded on Texas’s power grid based on the time of day they use it. Earlier this month, that meant customers were saving money — and at times even getting paid — to use electricity at night. But in recent days, the cost of their power has soared from about 5 to 6 cents a kilowatt-hour to $1 or more. That’s when Fallquist knew it was time to urge his customers to leave.

“I can tell you it was probably one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made,” he said. “Nobody ever wants to see customers go.”

Griddy isn’t the only one out there actively encouraging its customers to leave. People were posting similar pleas on Twitter over the holiday weekend from other Texas retail power providers offering everything from $100 rebates to waived cancellation fees as incentives to switch.

Customers may not even be able to switch. Rizwan Nabi, president of energy consultancy Riz Energy in Houston, said several power providers in Texas have told him they aren’t accepting new customers due to this week’s volatile prices.

Hector Torres, an energy trader in Texas, who is a Griddy customer himself, said he tried to switch services over the long weekend but couldn’t find a company willing to take him until Wednesday, when the weather is forecast to turn warmer.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:32 AM

17. It may tilt the scale but I doubt it.

The people that are affected are few. The company offering this scheme where you pay wholesale price for the electricity only had 29,000 or so customers. It is for sure making the news however so it might have some effect.

I think AOC and Beto raising money and helping Texans will have a greater impact.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:36 AM

18. The financial drama will keep getting worse for these folks.

NSF fees, late charges, possible repossessions/eviction notices, all in the name of freedumb.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 01:27 PM

22. Gov. Abbott has it covered

He says that the federal government should just cover those bills. We can have energy companies taking it in the shorts, and people shouldn't lose their homes just because the dice finally came up snake eyes this month. So let's have the American taxpayer pay for every last overpriced erg of electricity. Oh, and keep your federal regulation out of the Texas energy scheme! Now, when can the One Star State expect payment, hmmmm?

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