HOUSTON – A Chambers County woman has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the electric company, Griddy.
According to a news release, Mont Belvieu resident Lisa Khoury said the company engaged in “unlawful price gouging” during last week’s winter storm.
Khoury said her average bill is usually between $200 and $250, but the electric bill from Feb. 13 through Feb. 19 came out to $9,340 because the company “began making withdrawals from her bank account daily.”
According to the release, Khoury was only without power for one day and, even when she had power, was cognizant of usage out of fear for a high electricity bill.
The lawsuit claims the company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and is seeking an injunction to prevent Griddy from “billing and collecting payment for excessive prices and demands the forgiving of any late or unpaid bills from customers.”
“At this point we don’t know how many people might be affected, but there are likely thousands of customers who’ve received these outrageous bills,” says Derek Potts of the Potts Law Firm in Houston, who represents Khoury. “A class-action will be the most efficient and effective way for Griddy’s customers to come together and fight this predatory pricing.”
Khoury and others involved in the lawsuit are seeking $1 billion in monetary relief.
This is not the first time Griddy customers have felt the effects of extreme weather on the electric bills.
Customers pay $9.99 a month and in return, the company gives them electricity at wholesale prices. This means that if the company’s wholesale price goes up, the customer’s price goes up as well.
Many people experienced this firsthand in 2019 when prices skyrocketed in the summer and people ended up paying hundreds of dollars due to a heat wave that caused a spike in wholesale prices.
Griddy said it has 29,000 members. It’s unclear how many other Texans also pay wholesale prices from other companies.