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According to the Dallas Morning News, some Texans have been hit with power bills totaling as much as $17,000 for only a few days of electricity, many times more than the usual cost of power in Texas.
Specifically, it’s Texas residents who rely on a wholesale power plan, rather than a fixed-rate plan, who have seen their bills climb after the demand for power jumped dramatically across the state this week as Winter Storm Uri struck and temperatures plunged. Texas, which has a deregulated electricity market, has a number of providers, both wholesale and fixed rate.
Fixed-rate customers pay an agreed-upon rate for their power, but wholesale buyers pay a variable rate; whatever the current price per kilowatt-hour of electricity is. Wholesale power plans, such as those offered by Texas energy company Griddy, can be attractive because during good weather, a customer on a variable plan will pay less than one on a fixed-rate plan, according to Public Utility Commission of Texas spokesperson Andrew Barlow.
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