Texans slapped with $5,000 electric bills after blackout

A handwritten sign states that a Fiesta Mart is closed because of a power outage in Austin Texas

For customers who have retained power throughout the crisis, there have been multiple media reports detailing utility bills of thousands of dollars - including one electricity bill for $16,752. "We'll just have to work through it and see", Price said.

Over 7.9 million people in Texas still had issues with their water supply as of Monday evening, authorities told Reuters, after a record-breaking freeze knocked out power station last week.

Texas has a highly unusual deregulated energy market that lets consumers choose between scores of competing electricity providers.

Meanwhile, state officials have disingenuously blamed frozen wind turbines for the lack of power.

But he said boil-water notices are being rescinded across the state. "When they're getting these exorbitant electricity bills and they're having to pay for their homes, fix their homes, they should not have to bear the responsibility".

On Sunday, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a pair of orders directing energy companies to temporarily halt disconnects due to non-payment and stop sending bill estimates to customers.

Plumber Randy Calazans with One Call Plumbing repairs a burst pipe in a home on February 21, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, an independent, told CNN Sunday that "it would be unconscionable for bills to go up and for bills to be put on the backs of residents of the state that have been suffering and freezing their homes for the last week, through no fault of their own".

'This is WRONG, ' Cruz wrote on Twitter.

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"We intend to fight this for, and alongside, our customers for equity and accountability - to reveal why such price increases were allowed to happen as millions of Texans went without power", the company wrote in a blog post.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned against making Ercot a "scapegoat" for the crisis, saying responsibility also lies with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the state legislature, "which failed to act 10 years ago".

"This Arctic blast highlighted weakness in our energy infrastructure that will likely be challenged and stressed more often in the future as a result of more frequent extreme weather events", Behnam said.

Looking at the circumstances, US President Joe Biden declared a major disaster declaration for 77 of the hardest-hit counties of the state of Texas.

The website of Austin Energy also showed that power was restored to "nearly all customers".

The Texas National Guard and military members from several states were helping to deliver and distribute bottled water to Texans in need, Abbott said.

Texas is also bringing in plumbers from out of state to help fix burst pipes, the governor said. Homeowners or renters who do not have insurance may be able to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), he said.

Four board leaders of Texas' embattled power grid operator said Tuesday they will resign following outrage over more than 4 million customers losing power during a deadly winter freeze last week.

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