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March 14 (Reuters) - Texas power retailer Griddy Energy LLC is planning to file for bankruptcy after the state grid operator cut off the company’s access to customers for unpaid bills following the Texas freeze, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
Officials at the company were not immediately available for comment.
Griddy sold power to customers at market rates. When power prices spiked to $9,000 per megawatt hour (MWh) and remained at that lofty level for days during the extreme cold in February, some customers received monthly bills of over $10,000.
That compares with an average price for power of $22 per MWh in 2020 in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s power grid.
“ERCOT took our members and have effectively shut down Griddy,” the company told customers on its website after ERCOT transferred Griddy’s roughly 10,000 customers to others.
In addition to losing its customers, the Texas attorney general is suing Griddy, saying it engaged in deceptive trade practices by issuing excessive bills.
Griddy has said that it urged customers to switch to other providers with a fixed rate before the worst of the storm hit in February.
High gas and power bills from the Texas freeze have already forced two other firms to seek bankruptcy protection - Just Energy Group Inc and Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Kim Coghill