Texas Attorney General Issues Civil Investigative Demands To Retail Electric Provider, Several Generators, Other Companies
February 19, 2021 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs) to ERCOT and other power companies, regarding power outages, emergency plans, energy pricing, and more related to this week’s winter weather disaster.
"I’m using the full scope of my Constitutional powers to launch an investigation into ERCOT and other entities that grossly mishandled this week’s extreme winter weather. While Texans pulled together to get their communities through this disaster, they were largely left in the dark," said Attorney General Paxton. "We will get to the bottom of this power failure and I will tirelessly pursue justice for Texans."
Prior to the public release of the CIDs, Griddy has made a statement more broadly about what it called non-market prices in the ERCOT market due to the PUC's order concerning the treatment of shed load. Griddy said that it began engaging with ERCOT and the PUCT seeking customer relief.
Griddy said that it is seeking relief from ERCOT for customers exposed to non-market pricing, and is continuing these efforts, and is committed to crediting customers for any relief received, dollar-for-dollar.
Griddy's full earlier statement on the wholesale pricing is below:
Griddy Seeks Relief From ERCOT For Customers Exposed To Non-Market Pricing
"On Monday evening, the PUCT implemented a non-market pricing mechanism for
electricity mandating prices reaching as high as hundreds of times normal prices.
Griddy’s customers, which pay pass-through wholesale electricity prices, were
immediately negatively impacted by the non-market pricing and have incurred
bills that they will need more time to pay."
"On Tuesday, Griddy began engaging with ERCOT and the PUCT seeking customer
relief. Griddy is continuing these efforts and is committed to crediting customers
for any relief received, dollar-for-dollar.
"As soon as the PUCT reversed its Monday non-market pricing mechanism today,
many prior Griddy customers who had left to avoid the non-market prices quickly
requested to re-enroll and return to our platform. At the time this press release is
being issued, wholesale prices in ERCOT have become negative and our customers are currently being paid to be on our platform.
Griddy is working to win relief for its customers and continue offering innovative
products and services in the retail energy market in Texas."
--- Statement From Griddy
The Griddy CID sought the following info, among other info:
• Documents demonstrating the identity of your consumers from January 1, 2016 through April 2021, including their membership dates, contact information, and payment method. This request is continuing in nature and includes any additions, removals, or changes made to the available options for payment methods.
• Documents showing the prices per kilowatt hour charged to your consumers for electricity during the Relevant Time Period, including any changes made during that time.
• Documents relating to any increase in your costs of delivering energy to your consumers during the Relevant Time Period.
• Documents showing how prices are determined under 'Griddy Price Protection.'
• Copies of all contracts which governed your purchase of electricity during the Relevant Time Period. This request specifically includes pricing agreements which purport to set prices or the methodology of calculating prices for other electricity purchases.
• Documents relating to any increase in your costs of purchasing energy for resell or delivery to your consumers during the relevant time period.
• Copies of all contracts with Generators of electricity in effect during the Relevant Time Period, including without limitation all correspondence and communications related to same during the relevant time period
• All advertisements of any goods or services relating to your business that were made, published, or disseminated from January 1, 2016 to the present.
• Documents reflecting any requests or recommendations you received during the Relevant Time Period that pertain to you posting additional collateral for purposes of maintaining your eligibility to purchase electricity. The scope of this request includes requests or recommendations that you obtain additional financing, post additional bond(s) or security, or otherwise demonstrate your ability to pay for future electricity purchases.
The CIDs to the generators generally sought the same information. The CIDs to the generators and wholesale power marketers who are affiliated with retail providers did not seek any specific information with respect to the retail operations in a manner similar to Griddy (though, as noted below, certain CIDs seek info related to the generators' supply contracts with REPs)
The CIDs to generators generally sought the following:
• All emergency plans and operational contingency manuals, directives or instructions for cold weather operations of your electricity generating facilities in effect during the relevant time period
• All documents relating to winterization 'spot checks' performed by ERCOT at any of the facilities identified in response to the CID, for the 2020 to 2021 winter season.
• Documents identifying the retail electric providers and municipally owned utilities you have or
had active contracts with since January 1, 2021.
• Documents identifying the rates you charged to the retail electric providers and municipally owned utilities identified in response to the CID, including, but not limited to, any contracts entered into with each retail electric provider and municipally owned utility during the relevant time period.
• Copies of all contracts with retail electric providers and municipally owned utilities identified in
response to the CID
• Documents identifying any retail electric provider to whom you have sold electricity through the
wholesale market, from November 18, 2020, to date, as well as documents identifying the amount
of electricity sold and the price charged for electricity in the transaction