$1 Billion Lawsuit Filed Over Texas Power Bill

A Texas woman has filed a proposed class action against the power provider Griddy Energy LLC for over $1 billion in damages.

Lisa Khoury’s complaint stems from the February 2021 Winter Storm Uri which taxed Texas’s power grid and caused about 3.5 million people in Texas to lose power.

Khoury asserts that Griddy Energy LLC charged her $9,546 from February 1 to February 19, 2021. The complaint cites that electricity prices rose to $9,000 per megawatt hour when the rate beforehand had been $50 per megawatt hour. It further alleges that this hike allowed by Griddy amounted to illegal price gouging during a declared disaster.

The complaint goes on to state that Griddy placed the burden on consumers to track market prices and switch power providers if they believed prices through Griddy were too high. Griddy uses a variable pricing model where customers are charged according to the price of power on the wholesale market at the time they use power. However, the complaint asserts that Griddy’s customers could not switch power providers because other providers were not accepting new customers due to the storm.

Notably, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) also faces lawsuits for its alleged failure to plan for the cold weather, including a suit by a family whose young son died allegedly as a result of hypothermia from the power outages.

Additional Reading

Lisa Khoury v. Griddy Energy LLC, Case No. 2021-10004 in Harris County, Texas (February 22, 2021)

Texas Electric Company Sued for $1 Billion Over Sky-High Bills, Courthouse News Service (February 23, 2021)

Suits multiply over Texas power outages; is power grid operator protected by sovereign immunity? ABA Journal (February 24, 2021)

$100M lawsuit alleges negligence by power company, grid operator led to Texas boy’s death during winter storm, The Hill (February 21, 2021)

How Winter Storm Uri Impacted the United States, Smithsonian Magazine (February 19, 2021)

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