Texas’ blackouts may come at a steep cost

A power substation is surrounded by snow in Waco, Texas, on February 18th, 2021. A deadly winter weather system that brought record-busting cold to the southern and central United States, knocking out power for millions in oil-rich Texas. | Photo by Matthew Busch / AFP via Getty Images

As the lights begin to turn back on after nearly a week of outages across Texas, residents who already struggled to pay their utility bills might find it harder to recover. Costs are piling up that could continue to limit some people’s access to heating and electricity even after blackouts end.

“The ‘heat or eat dilemma’ is a really, really significant issue,” says Emily Grubert, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “We know that a lot of people are going to basically be choosing between paying for heating or paying for other things that they really need.”

Indoor temperatures are likely to have dropped more…

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