Retired Army Veteran Stuck With $16,000 Electric Bill After Storm

Last week's winter storm and rolling blackouts caused energy prices to spike in Texas - as one retiree found out when he received a $16,000 electric bill.

  • Scott Willoughby is a retired Army veteran who lives on social security. While he was lucky enough not to lose power during the storm, he told the New York Times he had to empty his savings account to pay off his power bill.
  • How did Willoughby's bill get so high? Many Texans get their electricity on a non-fixed rate tied to market prices. While it typically runs around $50 per megawatt hour, last week's spike in demand sent the price skyrocketing as high as $9,000 per megawatt-hour.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to look into his state's sky-high electric bills.
  • Should the government step in here and keep prices from going too high? Should power companies have the freedom to increase prices this much?

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