Here’s what happened: You have two choices for power in Texas, as I understand it. You either get your power from ERCOT or from Griddly. ERCOT oversees power for Texas because Texas is not part of the national power grid. The national power grid is essentially broken down into two parts: East and West. In abnormal circumstances such as what Texas experienced power can be moved from state to state when one state is heavily affected by weather. Texas couldn’t do this because they decided to go it alone. This limited the supply of power available.

If you’re with ERCOT and you didn’t have power, you didn’t have power. And if you did have power, you bought it at the standard rate that you signed up for. Capped at the per-kilowatt rate. But some people decided instead to buy power from Griddly. Why? Because they sell it at the market rate. Since there’s profit to be had in power, this meant a substantial monthly savings for those using Griddly over those buying power in the normal fashion. Griddly users on average have been saving 1/2 to 2/3rds per kilowatt over normal power users. They didn’t complain then when power was cheap.

However, because of the storm, supply was so limited that the market rate shot through the roof. Those buying power at the market rate had their cost skyrocket as a result. We’re talking like $0.11/kilowatt to $9+/kilowatt. It’s important to note that the people who switched to Griddly chose to buy power at the market rate. And Griddly informed them of the inflated prices and suggested they move to another power provider at the time.

This guy had power, bought it at the market rate, and continued to use it when prices were astronomical. How is that anybody’s fault but his own? Either don’t buy power at the market rate, or turn off power when it’s super expensive. But the way this story is making the rounds, it sounds like he expects sympathy. But his bill is in every way of his own making. He could have not bought power at the market rate OR not used the power at astronomical prices. Either way, he dun fucked up and that bill is his to pay. As it should be.

The alternative is to say that we shouldn’t have a free market. That’s an interesting point of view and one I’m willing to discuss, but that’s rich coming from a Texan.

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