HOUSTON - Texas energy officials were grilled by state lawmakers in Austin on Thursday over last week's power grid failure.
At least 40 people died in Texas in the wake of that winter storm, and many people are still having to boil their water.
And for residents who did have power, they are now facing a new crisis: electricity bills.
Officials claim the astronomical electricity bills some people are seeing is not price gouging.
A woman from Chicago living in Texas received a $13,000 bill, and another customer filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit to pull the plug on one company so this type of incident never happens again.
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Akilah Scott-Amos is a Chicago native living in Houston. Although she never lost power during the deep freeze in the south saw last week, she almost blew a fuse when she saw her electricity bill.
Her bill soared in real time to $13,000 for seven days of power.
"I have no idea how I am going to be able to pay for this. They’ve given me a payment plan so I have five months to pay off 13-thousand dollars," said Scott-Amos.
Texas is one of six states where electricity is deregulated.
The surge is impacting customers who pay wholesale prices.
However, when there is an increase in demand, the cost is astronomically higher.
"They charge you $9 a kilowatt, when it’s normally three to four cents a kilowatt," said Scott-Amos.
There are 29,000 customers down there that use Griddy, a wholesale provider.
Scott-Amos isn’t alone.
Houston resident Lisa Khoury received a $9,000 bill. She filed a $1 billion civil lawsuit against Griddy.
"I saw my light bill jumping, so you know I'm just hoping that, um, all the people that this affected, that you know, they get some relief," said Khoury.
Griddy says this is not price gouging, but that prices spiked because the Public Utility Commission of Texas ordered it to be increased.