Governor Looks to Investigate Veteran’s $17,000 Electric Bill
Things are getting wild down in the Lone Star State, and the governor is now looking to right the sort of wrongs that cost one older veteran two used Corollas.
Texas was walloped this week with a incredible amount of wintry weather. Snow, ice, rain, and power outages were soon being reported in Austin, Houston, Dallas and beyond. Power companies who believed that they could keep the grid’s damage to a minimum attempted to execute “rolling blackouts” failed miserably and are now taking a great deal of heat over those tactics.
For example: That fact that one Texan whose power remained on the entire time is now expected to foot thousands in electricity bills.
As the Texas power grid collapsed under a historic winter storm, Jose Del Rio of Haltom City, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saw the electricity bill on a vacant two-bedroom home he is trying to sell slowly creep up over the past two weeks. Typically, the bill is around $125 to $150 a month, he said. But his account has already been charged about $630 this month — and he still owes another $2,600.
“If worse comes to worst, I have the ability to put it on a credit card or figure something out,” Del Rio said. ”There is no one living in that house. All the lights are off. But I have the air at 60 because I don’t want the pipes to freeze.”
When he contacted Griddy, his electric company, they advised him to switch providers, Del Rio said.
That was far from the worst of it.
“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”
The White House, along with the Texas Governor, are looking for ways to mitigate the cost to consumers in this extraordinary case, but not deal has yet been reached between the affected citizens and the Texas government.
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