WTF is going to happen with Texas? [NOT 2/3/21]

jesus fucking christ

Hi, friends, I keep thinking about what is going to happen for folks living in Texas and their utility bills from the folks impacted last week.

Ignoring all people with water damage from burst pipes, and ignoring all the people who had to scramble to get into hotels that still had electricity, all the other unplanned expenses, etc…

Those who didn’t lose power are going to have massive bills that are not feasible for people to pay.

Let’s talk about this late-stage capitalist dystopia here.

So folks can pay “Griddy” (which sounds close enough to Gritty that it pisses me off because I love that doofy-ass whackjob mascot, especially the memes during the election when Pennsylvania went blue), $9.99/month to access electricity at something kinda like wholesale prices?

From the article above —

A Griddy customer who lives in Arlington, Texas, said in her complaint that the company took more than $1,000 out of her bank account — a shocking rise from the usual range of $49 to $61 she paid each month. 

There’s no fucking guardrails because Texas legislators are too busy deepthroating unregulated capitalism. Customers can apparently be charged whatever the “market price” is that day??? Yeah market price works when you go to a restaurant and find out you don’t want to spend $35 on fish and get a chicken dish instead, doesn’t work for a utility.

And then today a coworker asked if I saw what happened with the Brazos Co-Op. Brazos is the largest electrical co-op in Texas and they filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because fucking ERCOT billed them $2.1 BILLION for the 7-day period of the storm.

The price for wholesale electricity was set at the maximum price of $9,000 per megawatt hour for more than four straight days. ERCOT also imposed other ancillary fees totaling more than $25,000 per megawatt hour

The maximum price WHOLESALE for ERCOT is $9000 per megawatt hour. For contrast, Ameren (my electrical provider) charges customers $00.1181 per kilowatt hour in summer when usage is higher. Soooo that would be $118.10 for a megawatt hour if that were their wholesale price.

Also, what the fuck is up with the $25,000 per megawatt hour ancillary fees??? Douchebags.

I would love to know the pay and bonus structure at ERCOT because you know some motherfuckers made bank with all the price gauging they are allowed to do thanks to Texas deregulation policies.



  1. Sort of like the power version of Martin Shkrely and his drug price heist?

  2. Again:  this is a feature, not a bug.  Oh, sure , there’s a bunch of wailing and gnashing of teeth because it looks appropriate for them to feign their outrage.  But these fuckers who set this system up–and continued to defend it even after the 2011 storm which proved that this shit isn’t a black swan event–knew EXACTLY how this was going to work when the shit hit the fan.  There will be no reckoning and there most certainly will not be any reforming of the system–much less joining the national grid.  By summer time, Texans will laugh about their $75 electric bills and yelling how they don’t want no damned soshulizm screwing up their low prices and taking away their freedumb.

    • I agree it’s a feature not a bug.

      However, those bills are still there. Unless ERCOT decides to not charge what they’ve charged already, someone has to pay. Some of the co-ops are looking at spreading the costs out over YEARS to the customers. 

      I dunno…. I don’t know where this is going to end up because as far as I can tell there are literally no guardrails on how ERCOT operates because Texas legislators are fucking stupid. 

      • I think it’ll go the way that Jake mentions, below.  They’ll simply have the feds (meaning, the rest of us who don’t belong to a free market fundamentalist shithole) bail them out after they oh-so-graciously “forgive” the bills.

  3. …somewhere down the line…most likely after it’s fucked with a bunch of people’s credit ratings & they’ve been hounded to pay the crazy bills…the power companies are going to help themselves to a big chunk of any federal relief money that gets allocated to texas…on the basis that they need to be reimbursed for the expenses they incurred

    …none of that considerable profit will be spent on winter-proofing their infrastructure…in fact they may well demand that the federal government pitch in & pay for anything like that…because texas apparently just loves to suck down that federal money…to the tune of tens of millions more dollars each year than it pays into the system from taxes or whatever…while here & there it has politicians willing to do things like concoct bills about seceding from the union

    …which I find hard to wrap my head around to be honest…you’d think this kind of fiasco would be the sort of thing that would tank the republican vote & boost the chances for democrats flipping all kinds of seats at every available level of government next time they come up for election…but I don’t know that I’d hold my breath on that result

    …something, something…sunk costs fallacy…rinse…repeat?

  4. Griddy also sounds similar to Shitty.  Hence Shitty Power Company

    • Looking forward to the headline in a month which points out that Texas is the #1 location on the planet for covid infections and deaths.

      • Is your estate still on the hook for your Gritty bill if you die of covid?

        • Good question.  Probably.  Part of the settling of an estate is the paying of debts incurred by the person who died.  But all that shit is different from state to state.

          • Tough call though. Like if renters die and the estate doesn’t cover the $4000 bill, then you know the landlords wouldn’t be paying the bill. 

    • I told a friend who lives there that DUH Abbott gave them the freedom to breathe all that maskless free air to distract them from the freedom to be destroyed economically by their unregulated electrical grid!

  5. Where’s the gif of bugs bunny sawing off texas?

  6. Is that a residential customer? 1,956 kWh in 19 days is alot. Typical usage in MA for a residential customer is 600 kWh/month.

    • TX homes are on average a lot less insulated than up north, and have more square feet for the same price, plus are often heated by electric heat pumps instead of gas which drop in efficiency in a cold snap because they depend on temperature differential to work.
      Add that all up: more $ per BTU heating more cubic feet with more thermal leaks and less BTU per KWH of electric power.
      In other words: Freedom, y’all!

  7. I texted a friend from college who lives near Amarillo if they’ve gotten reamed on their electric bill yet.
    His reply: “Naw, we are not on the secessionist grid. Thank god.”

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