An independent market watchdog for the Texas Public Utilities Commission claims that power grid operator ERCOT kept market prices for electricity in the cold-stricken state too high for nearly two days after the massive outages stopped. The overpricing amounted to about $16 billion.
The Texas Electric Reliability Board made a pricing error totaling $16 billion during a week when a winter storm raged that caused power outages across the state. Potomac Economics, an independent market monitor for the Texas Public Utilities Commission, wrote in a report, ERCOT kept market power prices too high for nearly two days after the widespread blackouts ended, even though prices were supposed to reset the next day.
That decision to keep prices high, the market watchdog claimed, resulted in an additional $16 billion in costs to Texas power companies. According to Detlef Hallermann, director of the Reliant Energy Trade Center at the University of Texas, some suppliers who were charged this extra cost during the high price period may have passed on the cost to customers, depending on the type of contract.