AUSTIN (KXAN) – Despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration Thursday due to the ongoing winter storm, the climate for price gouging has so far failed to materialize. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office said there have been no complaints of price gouging, according to spokesperson’s email Friday morning.

The state’s power grid has remained stable, and there have been relatively few power outages and related problems compared to 2021’s winter storm.

Energy experts say Texas’ power grid has enough power to meet demand and should remain stable until the severe cold snap ebbs over the weekend.

This is a news update. The original story is below:

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Gov. Greg Abbott signed a disaster declaration in multiple counties at a noon press conference Thursday. The declaration, made in response to a massive and ongoing winter storm, triggers price gouging rules and makes it illegal to excessively hike up prices on vital good and services.

Abbott said the storm is one of the “most significant icing events that we have had in the state of Texas in several decades.”

One year ago, Texas experienced an unprecedented winter storm that caused millions to lose power and over 200 people’s deaths. Weather experts predict this year’s storm will be shorter and less severe. So far, the state’s power grid has remained reliable. Energy experts said there should be plenty of power to keep the grid stable until the weather warms in the next several days.

Price gouging occurs when a person or business takes advantage of a disaster declared by the governor or president by selling, demanding or leasing “fuel, food, medicine, lodging, building materials, construction tools, or another necessity at an exorbitant or excessive price,” according to the Texas Office of Attorney General.

So, what constitutes an exorbitant or excessive price?

“High prices alone do not mean price gouging has taken place,” according to the Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office. Authorities would need to investigate a report of price gouging. Paxton’s office has the authority to investigate and prosecute price gouging. , th

“High prices alone do not mean price gouging has taken place,” according to the Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office. Authorities would need to investigate a report of price gouging. Paxton’s office has the authority to investigate and prosecute it. The Attorney General’s Office said it had not received any complaints by mid-afternoon on Thursday.

Whether price gouging has taken place depends on the circumstances and price. There is not a set rule for the amount prices can change during a disaster. Price gouging complaints can be filed through the Attorney General’s office here.

Penalties for a price gouger could include paying back a consumer or a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation, or up to $250,000 if the consumer is elderly, according to Paxton’s office.

Some disasters have resulted in thousands of complaints.

During the 2021 winter storm, Paxton’s Office received 1,960 price gouging complaints from Feb. 13-26. The winter storm caused the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, to call for largescale power shutoffs across the state, leading to millions of people without energy for days during frigid temperatures.

During that storm, companies in the electric utility sector received the most complaints, followed by retail and grocery stores, gas stations and lodging establishments. Griddy Energy receiving 378 – the most of any company during the 2021 winter storm– and ERCOT got 128 – the second most.

Griddy Energy sold power at wholesale prices, which caused massive bill increases during the winter storm energy crisis. One woman received a $9,340 bill for mid-February and later filed a class-action lawsuit. Paxton’s office also sued Griddy, and the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Paxton’s office received over 5,000 complaints related to Hurricane Harvey and 68 following Hurricane Laura.