Texans sue ERCOT over ‘negligent management’ of power grid during winter storm

Texas

Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign on February 18, 2021 in Killeen, Texas. Winter storm Uri has brought historic cold weather and power outages to Texas as storms have swept across 26 states with a mix of freezing temperatures and precipitation. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — More than 270 Texans from across the state are suing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for “negligent management” of the power grid during the February winter storm.

The February winter storm knocked out power for millions of Texans and kept them in single-digit temps and the dark for several days. Officials point to power generators not being properly weatherized for the plunging temperatures as the cause.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 28 in Travis County District Court. It states each of the plaintiffs were among the Texans who lost power at their residence. They claim ERCOT gave no details as to why they were without power and how long the outage would last, experiencing “emotional distress and anxiety from the situation.”

“Plaintiffs unexpectedly and suddenly were deprived of power in the midst of the worst winter storm to hit Texas in living memory,” the lawsuit reads.

It goes on to state, “many had to resort to extreme measures just to keep themselves and their families from freezing in their own homes.”

ERCOT told KXAN it cannot comment on pending litigation. We have also reached out to the attorney representing the more than 270 plaintiffs for a statement.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law two bills focusing on an overhaul of ERCOT.

One was aimed at reforming the leadership on the ERCOT board, and the other requires electricity providers operating on the Texas grid to weatherize equipment and improve communication with customers during outages.

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