Glass Companies Assess Damage Following Texas Winter Storm

Glass and glazing companies in Texas returned to work this week after snow, freezing temperatures and an energy shortage forced many to close their doors temporarily. Now, these companies are assessing the impact to their business and employees.

Tim Kelley, president of Tristar Glass, which has locations in Houston, Grand Prairie, Texas (Dallas), and Catoosa, Okla. (Tulsa), said that all of the company’s locations were back up and running as of Friday morning.

“On Friday we were still missing some of our employees due to road conditions, electrical outages and pipe breaks in their homes and apartments. We lost four full days of production which will obviously affect our bottom line in the short term,” he said.

Oak Cliff Mirror & Glass, based in Dallas, wasn’t unscathed either.

“We had to close Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday due to power outages and road conditions. We were finally able to reopen on Thursday. Our retail division that handles our residential business had to reschedule all work that was planned for the week, creating a significant loss of revenue,” said Sam Hill, vice president of Oak Cliff Mirror & Glass. “Our contract division that handles our major project work fared better, mostly because our projects were shut down completely as well. We were finally able to have people report back to their jobs on Friday. The biggest impact was lost time in the schedule, which will need to be made up.”

Several news outlets reported on sky-high electric bills some customers received following the energy crisis last week. According to the Texas Tribune, while many customers are on a fixed-rate plan, some pay rates depending upon the price of wholesale electricity, which skyrocketed during the storm. Companies such as Griddy, which offer variable-rate plans, have charged customers several thousand dollars, with some reporting bills up to $17,000.

“Fortunately, we have contracts on our electric prices,” said Kelley. “However, I am concerned with potential unknown charges or other add-on fees due to the outages.”

Hill said that his company hasn’t been affected by the high energy costs, yet.

“Those that are under a variable-rate plan got hit with some astronomical increases and those are the ones you hear about in the media. We have a fixed-rate plan that doesn’t fluctuate with the cost to produce the electricity,” he said. “It was a stressful week for sure but we made it through relatively well as did all of our employees on a more personal level. I’m saddened for all of those that had a much rougher time of it than we did.”

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