ROCKPORT, Texas — A Rockport man was stunned last week when he found out his electric bill had run into the thousands of dollars.
Randy Thach was left with just one thought.
“I don’t know how we’re going to pay that bill," he said.
The home he shares with his wife averages around $250 per month for electricity, but his power provider had an explanation for his bill hitting $9,500 as of Monday morning.
Thach has what's known as an indexed rate plan with Griddy, and that company posted on its website that a move made by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas is behind its customers' high bills.
On February 15, Griddy says the PUCT ordered the price of electricity to be raised to approximately 300 times the normal wholesale price which is what indexed rate plans like Thach's are based on.The PUCT says the increase was necessary to encourage any and all power generation to come online amid an unprecedented strain on the state's power grid, but Griddy says it resulted in the company's customers having to figure out how to pay sky high bills.
“We’ll have to dip into our retirement account in order to pay it," Thach said.
Griddy suggested to its customers that they switch providers to get a fixed rate plan ahead of the deep freeze.
Thach says he tried to do that, but he wasn't able to make the switch until Monday. By then, he'd run up that huge electric bill and his questions to Griddy weren't being answered.
“I can’t get ahold of them, so I don’t know," he said. "I don’t know what’s going to happen."
Thach has also reached out for help to elected officials in Austin and Washington, D.C.
“I’d like to see the governor and the state legislature compensate us for this, because this was no fault of our own," he said. "And put some kind of regulation in so that it never happens again."