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Texas Electric Customers File Suits Against Direct Energy

The owner of a North Texas Harley-Davidson dealership has filed a lawsuit against Houston-based Direct Energy and its affiliates, alleging the electricity provider engaged in unlawful price gouging during February’s statewide winter storm. According to the filing in Harris County’s state district court, plaintiff American Eagle Harley-Davidson located in the Denton County community of Corinth, received an invoice for February electricity service of almost $277,000, approximately 55 times more than the dealership’s typical monthly bill.

The lawsuit alleges Direct Energy violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and claims Direct Energy acted negligently and misrepresented its services. It seeks an injunction to prevent Direct Energy from billing and collecting payment for excessive prices and demands the forgiving of any late or unpaid bills. American Eagle seeks monetary relief of $1 million.

American Eagle Harley-Davidson had contracted with Direct Energy Business to provide electricity at a fixed price as maintained by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The suit alleges that Direct Energy Business did not provide adequate notice before, during or after the storm to inform its index rate customers of price spikes.

Direct Energy was acquired by NRG Energy Inc. in January.

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About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

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