ODESSA, TX – Outrageous utility bills are becoming part of the fallout of the massive winter storm that covered Texas with snow and life threatening bitter cold.
While millions spent days without power, those who had power consumed energy in an effort to stay warm during sub-zero temperatures.
As a result, some Texas residents have received utility bills for thousands of dollars.
Texan residents who were most affected by the sudden increase were on plans pay based on cost per kilowatt.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick addressed the issue during a visit to Midland.
“Maybe someone on a regular plan was paying 9 or 14 cents a kilowatt per hour and someone else was paying 4 or 5 not knowing it could go up into the dollars or to the hundreds or the thousands,” explained Patrick.
According to Patrick, Governor Abbott will prevent all utility companies from shutting off power to customers who are unable to pay the high bills.
The lieutenant governor also explained the state is working on a plan to allow all residents to pay a fair rate.
“My goal is to make sure we address that if not 100%, then near 100%,” said Patrick. “That’s a ways down the line. I’m just saying don’t worry about it today. We’re not going to unplug anybody’s power.”
Additionally, Patrick stated he wants the state to investigate current business practices and even possibly pass regulations to prevent Texans from having thousand dollar utility bills in the future.
State Representative Brooks Landgraf of Odessa who represents District 81 stated he is working on finding a way to combat the exuberant bills.
One of the steps he has taken is to write a letter to the public utility commission demanding they rescind the order that raised utility prices.
“I don’t believe that Texans who are left in the cold should be forced to bear the burden and pay the costs of the mistakes that were made by others,” said Landgraf.