Texas electricity retailer Griddy hit with $1 billion class action lawsuit for ‘price gouging’ after outages – About Your Online Magazine

Texas energy retailer Griddy is the target of a class action lawsuit filed in the Houston district court on Monday, alleging that the company took part in a price hike after the winter storm Uri cut power to millions across the country. the state.

The lawsuit was filed by Chambers County resident Lisa Khoury, whose electricity bill for the storm week totaled $ 9,340, according to the lawsuit. Khoury’s normal monthly bill averages between $ 200- $ 250.

The proposed class action will include all Texans who “used Griddy’s electricity services and were hit by excessive charges resulting from the storm,” according to a Houston statement. Potts Law Firm.

The suit seeks more than $ 1 billion in financial relief for affected customers, as well as an injunction to prevent Griddy from being paid “excessive” bills.

“At this point, we don’t know how many people can be affected, but there are probably thousands of clients who have received these outrageous bills,” said lawyer Derek Potts, who represents Khoury, in a statement. “Collective action will be the most efficient and effective way for Griddy customers to come together and fight against this predatory price.”

The lawsuit alleges that Griddy violated Texas’ Misleading Business Practices Act when he “allowed his customers to pay such exorbitant amounts of electricity”.

The law states that “false, misleading or deceptive” business practices “taking advantage of a disaster declared by the governor” are illegal. President Joe Biden okay a request for Federal Emergency Declaration from Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday, February 14.

In the deregulated energy market in Texas, Griddy and a handful of other electricity providers charge customers variable wholesale energy fees. These plans are relatively new and frustrated customers now dealing with expensive accounts for a week when the energy was intermittent for many.

About 25-30% of Texans have a variable rate plan with their energy supplier, according to Houston Public Media who cited the plan comparison website ElectricityPlans.com.

Houston’s Griddy made an unusual appeal last week saying its 29,000 customers quickly leave its network and find a new supplier. On Friday, the company said it was seeking relief from ERCOT and PUC for its customers who were exposed to high prices.

Khoury tried to switch power providers on February 16, but was unable to switch to a new one until three days later, after a “persistent” disclosure, according to the lawsuit.

Texas blackouts and rising energy costs were appalling for customers who paid the bills, but some companies are seeing financial luck as a result.

Australian investment bank Macquarie Group has capitalized on rising demand and energy prices and expects a $ 215 million after-tax profit, according for The Wall Street Journal. Comstock Resources Inc., natural gas company of Dallas billionaire Jerry Jones also drew in an increase in prices. Comstock’s chief financial officer, Roland Burns, said in a earnings conference call last week that “this week is like winning big luck with some of these incredible prices.”

Paula Fonseca