ERCOT Board Chair Sally Talberg, Board Vice Chair Peter Cramton, Finance and Audit Committee Chair Terry Bulger and Human Resources and Governance Committee Chair Raymond Hepper submitted a joint letter of resignation, acknowledging “the pain and suffering of Texans” who lost electricity, heat and water during the extremely low temperatures last week.
While most Texas now have power, some of their electric providers will no longer be available. And more than 7 million people have water disruptions, including warnings to boil water before using it or having no running water at all.
In their letter, the outgoing board members wrote they are resigning to “allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions.”
They also said they have “noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT.”
Talberg lives in Michigan, Cramton lives in California and Hepper lives in Maine, according to public records. Bulger resides in Wheaton, Illinois, according to the ERCOT website.
Craig Ivey, a candidate for the board of directors, also withdrew his name from consideration for a seat on the board Tuesday, citing concerns about out-of-state board directors.
ERCOT bylaws call for 16 members of the board of directors, five of whom must be unaffiliated with any market segment.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he welcomed the resignations.
“When Texans were in desperate need of electricity, ERCOT failed to do its job and Texans were left shivering in their homes without power,” Abbott said in a statement. “ERCOT leadership made assurances that Texas’ power infrastructure was prepared for the winter storm, but those assurances proved to be devastatingly false.”
In a statement, ERCOT said it looks “forward to working with the Texas Legislature, and we thank the outgoing Board Members for their service.”
Sky-high electric bills
The frigid weather caused power use to skyrocket and forced several retail electric providers to leave the market, said Andrew Barlow, spokesperson for the Public Utilities Commission.
It’s not clear how many customers will need to move to new power companies. But across Texas, skyrocketing energy costs have led to astronomical electric bills.
After the first two weeks of February, she was automatically charged $1,346.17 — which was more than she had in her checking account.
“This whole thing has been a nightmare,” she told KPRC.
Hosford told the station she chose to pay wholesale for power, an option in which prices fluctuate based on demand. But those prices soared when the temperature hit record lows and power sources were damaged.
DeAndrew Upshaw said he was charged $6,700 for power to his 900-square-foot townhome, and some of his friends can’t pay their rent due to automatic power bill payments.
Texas’ utility regulator, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said Saturday it…