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Odessa Griddy customer to fight back against $17,000+ electric bill

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:08 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -

Griddy customers are waiting in limbo as the court dispute the legality of charging thousands of dollars for electricity during the winter storm.

That includes one Odessa man who is trying to find a way out after he was billed $17,000.

“I can’t afford a $17,000 electric bill,” Johnny Sagnileni said.

Sagnileni says he started buying electricity on a variable rate plan to save some cash.

These plans charge electric bills based on the value of electricity sort of like stocks.

“It felt good for a while to pay $70 a month, which was between $40, $70, sometimes $120,” he explained. “Depends on how hot it gets.”

However, it didn’t feel good or even possible for those measly bills to suddenly spiral into five digit figures once the winter storm caused the value of power to skyrocket.

Sagnileni has no way of paying a bill like that and it’s paining him to even think about it.

“I spent the last three days in my house not wanting to come out, " Sagnileni said. “I told my roommate to leave me alone.”

It’s not clear if Griddy customers will have to pay these giant bills in the end.

Griddy posted on its website that ERCOT has shut off its services and is hoping for relief from the government for high electric bills.

Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Griddy claiming the company misled customers like sagnileni who never knew it was even possible for the bills to climb this high.

While the courts battle it out, Sagnileni is warning everyone to avoid wholesale electric traps and find a way out of the one he’s fallen into himself.

“The shock is pretty much over, but now it’s time to get angry,” Sagnileni said.

Sagnileni said because he hasn’t gotten word from the company and the attorney general lawsuit is still up in the air, his only other option is to sue Griddy himself.

Sagnileni said if he doesn’t get an answer from Griddy in the next week, he’s going to file the lawsuit and hopefully end this nightmare.

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