AUSTIN, Texas — The autopsy is now underway after the power died for millions of Texans last week.
A positive tidbit that came from executives from NRG and the parent company of TXU who testified in front of the Texas House Committees on State Affairs and Energy Resources Thursday: The crazy expenses NRG and TXU had to pay last week to keep producing electricity will not be passed on to consumers. Of course, most consumers are protected anyway because they are on fixed-rate plans.
But we've heard about the stratospheric electric bills for people who were on variable or indexed rate plans. Many of those bills have soared to thousands of dollars, and in some cases, beyond $10,000.
Some people on those fluctuating rate plans may not have even known they were on them. In fact, many of them may have been automatically kicked onto one of those plans when the terms of their previous electricity agreement expired.
The governor says he is working with the legislature to help electric consumers hit with staggering invoices. So far there is no timeline or specifics on the relief options being considered. Stay tuned.
If you want to shop for an electricity plan (I do this regularly. And again, if you don’t shop for a new one and you don’t formally renew your plan when it expires, you could be put on a variable plan), beware: there are some websites that look like the official state electricity shopping page.
This is the official electricity shopping and comparison page backed by the Texas Public Utility Commission. After you enter your ZIP code there, on the left panel under "plan type," you might employ a valuable lesson from what happened to so many Texans last week and maybe only select "fixed-rate" plans.
Watch live testimony from The Texas House Committees on State Affairs and Energy Resources about the widespread Texas power outages last week here: