Texas Probes Sky-High Bills Tied to Electricity-Market Prices

The Public Utility Commission of Texas launched an investigation into retail electric providers that “inflicted unusually high bills” on consumers by indexing their rates to wholesale power prices.

Last week’s energy crisis left more than 4 million Texas in the dark and sent spot electricity prices to $9,000 a megawatt-hour for days. Customers exposed to those prices are now experiencing “serious financial consequences,” the regulator said in a statement. The commission will examine whether those retail providers violated any state rules on disclosure.

“While the architecture of these indexed plans are theoretically allowable under state law and Commission rules, an influx of complaints into our Customer Protection Division has caused concerns that questionable business practices might be exacerbating the situation,” Thomas Gleeson, executive director at the agency, said in the statement.

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