13:05 GMT19 April 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched a legal action against the Griddy Energy utilities power providing company, saying it boosted energy consumers' bills after failing to make adequate preparations to deal with severe winter weather, a court document said on Monday.

    "[T]he State alleges that Defendants engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive acts and practices in violation of ... the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act," the document said. "Griddy was fully aware of the reality of the risk in its pricing scheme - sky-high energy rates at a time when consumers are the most vulnerable".

    Texans who relied on the electric provider Griddy to heat their homes and protect their families were shocked to learn that they were incurring astronomical electricity bills, Paxon noted in the filing.

    "[T]he company that promised Texans cheap 'wholesale' prices that would consistently beat traditional energy costs, blatantly contradicted these promotional representations as it auto-debited hundreds of dollars from Texans’ checking accounts daily", the document said.

    February winter storms left millions of Texans without power, leading state officials, including Governor Greg Abbott, to blame the utility companies. Griddy said in a statement on its website that the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid's operator, had shut the company down and claimed it was scapegoated.

    power grid, power outage, Winter Storm, Texas
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