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As many are aware, Texas has extremely low temps, and since it covers the state, authorities are concerned about the power grid and are planning rolling blackouts.
My dsil's friend got a phone call from the power company that his electricity prices for his business, would rise 200 TIMES  what he was previously paying.  He can't just "shut down", and he can't let it get below freezing or the cold will destroy multi-million dollar equipment.  He had  less than a day's notice.

What recourse is available?  this is for his business, not his home.


here's the Texas law:

  • After a declared emergency, "selling or leasing fuel, food, medicine, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price."
  • Subject to civil penalty of up to $20,000 per violation (up to $250,000 if the victim was over 65 yrs. old) and injunctive relief.

*The governor declared a state of disaster due to COVID-19.  

§ 17.46(b)(27)



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DH works for a power company (not in Texas). He said that power on the open market is going for $3,000-7,000 per whatever unit of power they usually sell it at. Normally, it goes for $20-$25/unit.  [Don't quote me on those numbers]

That is what the power companies have to buy extra for. Supply & demand...

ETA: the article Perky linked is a great explanation!

@gardenmom5Your friend needs to check the contract his business has with the power company. My guess is that this sort of thing is allowed.

Edited by RootAnn
Added eta
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I am seeing reports locally that the wholesale price has gone from about $30 MWh to about $8000 MWh--with some prices over $10,000.  I am lucky that I have power.  My mom says that hers is on 25 minutes/off 25 minutes.  My university campus is closed today and everyone is supposed to teach virtually; I had a number of my students who did not have electricity.

OP, I wonder if his electric rate is directly tied to wholesale rates as part of his contract. 

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