ERCOT Board Members Resign Before Investigation

Daniel Fowler
February 26, 2021

Katrina Tanner typically pays around $120 a month for her electric bill during the winter.

Announced on Tuesday, their resignations will become effective at the conclusion of a public board meeting on Wednesday morning.

The governor said they are working quickly to calculate the total cost of these bills and find ways that the state can help "reduce this burden".

He said the Public Utility Commission of Texas will order electricity companies to pause sending bills to customers, and will issue a temporary moratorium on disconnection for non-payment.

"This pause will ensure that the state has time to address these bills and develop a solution for Texans", Abbott's office said in a statement posted on the governor's website.

Another candidate for a director position, who also does not live in Texas, said he was withdrawing his name.

Texas' energy market is wildly unregulated and, as the Times writes, "allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system".

Over the last few days, Twitter has been full of people warning their fellow Texans to take their utility accounts off of auto-pay, especially those on variable-rate plans, where the price of electricity varies based on demand.

How exactly did these customers get such high bills?

'The bill should go to the state of Texas, ' Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in an interview with CBS News on Sunday.

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'When they're getting these exorbitant electricity bills and they're having to pay for their homes, fix their homes, they should not have to bear the responsibility'.

Plumber Randy Calazans with One Call Plumbing repairs a burst pipe in a home on February 21, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, an independent, told CNN Sunday that "it would be unconscionable for bills to go up and for bills to be put on the backs of residents of the state that have been suffering and freezing their homes for the last week, through no fault of their own".

"This is WRONG", Mr Cruz wrote on Twitter.

"This Arctic blast highlighted weakness in our energy infrastructure that will likely be challenged and stressed more often in the future as a result of more frequent extreme weather events", Behnam said.

A major disaster declaration has been issued by FEMA for all counties in Texas following the historically cold storm that hit the state and many parts of the south last week.

ERCOT president Bill Magness has said Texas' power grid - which is uniquely isolated from the rest of the USA - was on the brink of collapse in the early hours of February 15 as power plants froze in the cold and a record demand for electricity to heat home overwhelmed the system.

However, concerns still remained about water supplies, with millions of Texans being advised to boil water before using. As lawmakers step in to get answers to ongoing questions about who and what's to blame for the meltdown in utilities statewide, another long term ripple effect looms: the impact to Texas' reputation.

Texas is also bringing in plumbers from out of state to help fix burst pipes, the governor said.

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