Below is the letter we will send to members of the 87th Texas Legislature:
Tell the Texas Legislature to Hold ERCOT Accountable for Exploiting Winter Storm Uri for Profit! #ReclaimingOurPower
In February 2021, Winter Storm Uri devastated Texas’s electric infrastructure, leaving 4 million without power and heat amid historic subfreezing temperatures. With the COVID-19 pandemic having robbed Black, Disabled, and low-income households of emergency savings, vulnerable residents were left to freeze as wealthier residents booked warm hotel rooms for up to $1,000 a night. The majority of Texas residents encountered barriers to accessing food (75%) and water (61%), while tens lost their lives to hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. And despite the burdens imposed by the Power Crisis, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) put profits before consumers, and increased the wholesale price of electricity by 7,400% and overcharged power companies by $16 billion. The result: those enrolled in variable wholesale electricity plans were sent astronomical monthly utility bills, some of which totaled more than $17,000 (or the equivalent of 50 times the normal payment).
This is unacceptable. Texas consumers should not bear the brunt of ERCOT’s failure to prepare for Winter Storm Uri. ERCOT failed to adequately winterize its equipment (e.g., through the maintenance or installation of heat traces, insulation, and/or windbreaks), failed to anticipate how extreme weather would affect power generation, and failed to incorporate the lessons learned from another historic winter storm just ten years prior. ERCOT must pay.
The Texas State Legislature is currently stalling on SB 2142, a bill that would mandate the repricing and correction of wholesale power and ancillary services sold in the ERCOT market during the 2021 Texas power crisis. Tell your Representative to vote “yay” for SB 2142, and hold ERCOT accountable for its multi-billion-dollar billing error. #ReclaimingOurPower
Here is the Petition:
Dear Representatives:The 2021 Texas power crisis was irresponsibly and greedily managed. Amid statewide shortages, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) increased the wholesale price of electricity by 7,400% and overcharged smaller energy providers by a whopping $16 billion. In the aftermath of ERCOT’s decision, some Texans were sent utility bills of up to $17,000.This is unacceptable. ERCOT is a monopoly provider that has demonstrated a willingness to manipulate the market for corporate greed, and at the expense of public good. As Black, Disabled, and low-income households grapple with the financial burdens imposed by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 Texas power crisis, we are strongly urging you to reconsider and enact SB 2142.Texas consumers deserve protection. Weather emergencies should not be treated as money-making opportunities.Sincerely,[Your Name]