The pipes in her home burst, and the water was out for four days, but it turned out that it wasn't the worst thing that happened to Akilah Scott-Amos during the Texan cold snap. While she was lucky enough to suffer only a brief power outage, the $11,000 electricity bill that she received exceeded all her wildest expectations.
The woman was charged that much because she is serviced by a wholesale retailer of electricity. Such an arrangement is attractive when the market is stable – Scott-Amos usually paid around $40 or $50 during this period – but turned out to be disastrous in a time of crisis, for which the state and her electricity company "weren't prepared."
"I absolutely can't afford it," she said of the enormous bill, insisting that she had been saving as much power as possible during those difficult days.