Texas Power Retailers to Customers in Face of Freeze: Please, Leave Us
By Naureen S Malik February 15, 2021
Some retail power companies in Texas are making an unusual plea to their customers amid a deep freeze that has sent electricity prices skyrocketing: Please, leave us.
One power supplier, Griddy, told all 29,000 of its customers that they should switch to another provider as spot electricity prices soared to as high as $9,000 a megawatt-hour. Griddy’s customers are fully exposed to the real-time swings in wholesale power markets, so those who don’t leave soon will face extraordinarily high electricity bills.
Texas is home to the most competitive electricity market in America. Homeowners and businesses churn power providers there like credit cards. In the face of such cutthroat competition, retail power providers in the region have grown accustomed to offering new customers incredibly low rates, incentives and, at least in Griddy’s case, unusual plans that allow customers to pay wholesale power prices as opposed to fixed ones.
The ruthless nature of the business has power traders speculating over which firms might have been caught short this week in the most dramatic run-up in spot power prices they’ve ever seen.
Not all companies are asking customers to leave. Others are just pleading for them to cut back.