Texas Senate passes bill to recoup $5.1B in energy charges
UPDATED 8:24 AM PT – Tuesday, March 16, 2021
The Texas Senate passed a bill that could quickly authorize the reversal of more than $5 billion in potentially erroneous overcharges. The legislation, passed Monday, orders the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to correct the prices of wholesale power and services sold during last month’s winter storm.
The storm increased normal power fees by nearly 10 times to about $47 billion. So far, the costs have prompted three power companies to seek bankruptcy. It has also sparked a battle between lawmakers and the state’s power regulator over the handling of the crisis.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) labeled the bill an “emergency legislative item” while reconvening a Senate session that was technically adjourned Thursday.
The TX Senate has acted. Today we passed #SB2142 calling on the @PUCTX to order @ERCOT_ISO to correct billions in pricing errors that occurred during Winter Storm Uri. This is the right thing to do & one important step we can take now to fix what went wrong in the storm. #txlege pic.twitter.com/z7tfiul7b1
— Office of the Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (@LtGovTX) March 15, 2021
Under the proposed provisions, ERCOT would have to make any changes to its pricing by March 20. The bill now heads to the Texas House.