Texas AG expands win­ter storm inves­ti­ga­tion into nat­ur­al gas price increases

March 9, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
March 9, 2021

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on March 8 said that he has issued a civil investigative demand (CID) to Intercontinental Gas Exchange, a natural gas exchange.

Paxton’s office said that the exchange “saw massive price increases during the February winter storm that swept through Texas.”

The CID issued to Intercontinental Gas Exchange follows on the heels of CIDs issued to ERCOT and other power companies regarding power outages, emergency plans, energy pricing, and more related to the winter weather event.

CIDs were sent to:

  • AEP Texas
  • Calpine Corporation
  • CenterPoint Energy Services
  • ERCOT
  • Griddy Energy
  • LaFrontera Holdings
  • Luminant Generation
  • NRG Texas Power
  • Oncor Electric Delivery
  • Panda Sherman Power
  • Temple Generation I, LLC
  • Texas-New Mexico Power

The CIDs sent to these entities are available here.

Paxton sues power provider

Paxton on March 1 filed a lawsuit against Griddy LLC “for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act through false, misleading, and deceptive advertising and marketing practices,” Paxton’s office said in a news release.

“During the February freeze, Texas power companies failed to withstand the winter storm and left millions of Texans without power and heat during lethal, record-low temperatures across the state. Compounding this disaster, Griddy passed skyrocketing energy costs to customers with little to no warning, resulting in consumers paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars each day for electricity,” the news release said.

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief from Griddy “to ensure that the Texans it serves will receive truthful and accurate energy service in the future, and to have the court order refunds from available sources,” Paxton’s office said.  

ERCOT in a Feb. 26 market notice said that it had revoked all rights of Griddy Energy LLC to conduct activity under the ERCOT protocols due to a payment breach.  

ERCOT said in the notice that it had initiated the mass transition of Griddy Energy customers on February 26 and that it was working closely with PUCT staff and affected market participants to ensure an efficient and effective transfer of customers to designated providers of last resort.

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