Texas Cold Snap Caused High Power Bills From Griddy Energy : The Indicator from Planet Money The recent winter storm caused thousands of Texans to see their power bill climb to hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Can economics explain what happened?
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The $1,000 Power Bill

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The $1,000 Power Bill

The $1,000 Power Bill

The $1,000 Power Bill

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/971125969/971132137" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The snowstorms that hit Texas earlier this month left millions without heat, power and water. That included Kaitlyn Pham and her boyfriend, Jordan. They had no power in their Houston apartment for three days.

But right before their power went out, they got an email from their power company with the subject "URGENT". The email read: "We advise our members to immediately switch to another provider, as unprecedented price surges are forecasted."

Kaitlyn and her boyfriend were busy preparing for the storm, so they stuck with their company. But when they got their bill, they wished they had listened to that email. It was higher than they ever dreamed it could get.

What's at the heart of the issue? Economics of course. On the show, we talk to Kaitlyn and Joshua Rhodes, a researcher with the Webber Energy Group with the University of Texas at Austin, to explain what happened, and why it happened.

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