Griddy vowed to be a market ‘disrupter.’ Mission accomplished to electric customers’ chagrin
By John C. Moritz (Corpus Christi Caller Times) March 1, 2021
When a new company burst onto the Texas electric retail market in 2017 promising to sell residential customers power at the prices wholesalers pay, it billed itself as “a disruptive tech-based energy retailer.”
That boast came true with devastating accuracy in mid-February when Texas lay hunkered under a record five-day deep freeze that knocked power plants off line as demand skyrocketed and sent wholesale prices thousands of times higher than normal.
And customers who signed up with the Houston-based startup called Griddy Energy saw their electric bills soar as high as five figures for just a few days worth of power. And even amid the extended periods when their homes were without electricity for hours and days at a time with temperatures in the single digits and colder.
“I got hit with $2,500 a day, and so now my bill is a little over $11,000,” Houston resident and Griddy customer Akilah Scott-Amos said in a video that went viral.
Late Friday, Griddy said it was facing a $2.1 billion shortfall and the operator of the Texas electric grid “took our customers and effectively shut down Griddy.”
“We wanted to continue the fight for our members to get relief and that hasn’t changed,” the company said in a statement, adding: “No choice but to power down.”
Then Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Griddy, accusing the company of “misleading and deceptive advertising and marketing practices.”