Energy companies in the US state of Texas are no longer allowed to send bills or disconnect residents from electricity because they have not paid. It’s a move Gov. Abbott took after reports that many Texans were getting thousands of dollar bills for just a few days of power. In the meantime, the state wants to see how residents can be better protected against sky-high bills.
The extreme winter weather in Texas left millions of state residents without power, and demand for electricity skyrocketed in areas where power was still running. Some suppliers in Texas sell power at prices that rise with demand, suddenly causing some people to pay thousands of dollars for just a few days of electricity. There is even a known case of a $ 16,000 bill. Texas is the only state in the US to have an independent electricity grid.
Power has since been restored to most of Texas. According to Governor Abbott, about 30,000 people are still without electricity. There are still problems with the water supply. In many areas, people are advised to boil water before use. The National Guard and the Army are handing out bottled water. Plumbers from other states are also deployed to repair cracked pipes.
The extreme cold in Texas led to the deaths of at least 70 people, including from carbon monoxide poisoning, fires from stoves and hypothermia. The bodies of people believed to have been frozen to death in recent days were also found in several places.
President Biden declared the state yesterday to disaster area because of the problems with the electricity and water network. As a result, money can be made available at the federal level for affected residents. The wintry weather in Texas is now over.