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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 19, 2021

Texas energy company accidentally billed customers more than $200K

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  • Some CenterPoint Energy customers in the Houston area received bills for more than $200,000 but the company said it was a billing error.

Amid freezing temperatures, households across Texas were urged to conserve energy as ice and snow storms debilitated the state’s power grid, leaving many without power or heat.

Reports of high energy bills followed. A screenshot of a tweet spreading across social media shows one CenterPoint Energy customer in Texas was billed $202,102.16. 

"My friend just got this @CNPalerts bill," the tweet says. "Texas deregulated energy is amazing."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) We’ve seen similar posts on TikTok, too, so we looked into it.

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The image of the bill is authentic. And the friend mentioned in the tweet isn’t the only CenterPoint Energy customer to receive a notice saying they owe that much. 

CenterPoint Energy, the electricity provider for the greater Houston area, said it was a mistake. 

"We are aware of a recent technical issue caused by the power outage in Houston which led to the issuance of incorrect natural gas bill e-mails to some customers," the company tweeted on Feb. 18. "If you have received an e-mail in the amount of $202,102.16, please disregard it. You do not owe this amount."

The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details. We rate this post Half True.


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Texas energy company accidentally billed customers more than $200K

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