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Public Utility Commission rejects plan to reverse $16B in overcharges for electricity during winter freeze

ERCOT charged the maximum price of $9,000 megawatts per hour over 32 hours, according to the commission’s independent market monitor.

TEXAS, USA — The Public Utility Commission of Texas, or PUC, does not plan to reverse the billions of dollars power companies were overcharged during last month’s winter storm.

According to the commission’s independent market monitor, Texans were overcharged $16 billion in electricity sales during the widespread power outages.

RELATED: ERCOT overcharged power companies $16 billion for electricity during winter freeze, firm says

Arthur D’Andrea, new chairman for the Public Utilities Commission of Texas said, “It’s dangerous to do, too; after something has been run to go around and redo it.”

The PUC has received a lot of requests to reprice energy used by power companies during February’s historic winter storm.

D’Andrea said, “I think these are difficult decisions and they always have been. Back in the good ole days when our repricing disputes were for tens of millions dollars, I didn’t like repricing then.”

Also, he said these pricing decisions were made in real-time.

“They did all sorts of things that they wouldn’t have done if the prices were different. It’s just nearly impossible to unscramble this sort of egg,” D’Andrea said.

RELATED: Griddy customers moved to other electricity providers after ERCOT revokes its right to operate over missed payments 

RELATED: A bailout for the Texas energy market? A domino effect after the winter storm and crazy high bills 

For now, the commission is against reversing the charges.

PUC Commissioner Shelly Botkin said, “I think repricing the energy, I’m probably more inclined to just, let’s just say we’re not going to do that.”

D’Andrea added, “We don’t see all the hedges and stuff beneath the surface and so you don’t know who you’re hurting and you think you’re protecting the consumer and it turns out you’re bankrupting a co-op or a city.”

The PUC said they don’t plan to make any huge decisions without talking with state lawmakers first.

The commission does plan to keep a no disconnect order in place.

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