Direct Energy provides a number of electricity and natural gas options to businesses and organizations both large and small, including the following:
Fixed Price (natural gas and electricity): Provides a secure, fixed rate for the entire length of your contract with Direct Energy, allowing you to budget ahead of time and avoid market volatility. DE recommends this option for businesses needing any volume of electricity and natural gas, or who require simple electrical supply management.
Variable/Index Price (natural gas and electricity): Variable rates are based on the current market price of gas and electricity, allowing customers to take full advantage of low-cost market conditions. They recommend this option for businesses with high volumes of gas and electricity consumption, those that appreciate budget flexibility and can tolerate the inherent risks, and those who desire a sophisticated, flexible energy management system.
Price Protection (natural gas): Businesses and industrial organizations can set a price ceiling for natural gas, while still being able to take advantage of lower gas rates when the market price drops. Additionally, customers on this plan can lock in their prices when the market rate is at an ideal level. Direct Energy recommends Price Protection to businesses with flexible monthly energy budgets that can tolerate a certain amount of risk, and those that aren’t ready to choose a fixed rate contract due to market conditions or budgetary concerns.
Direct Energy History
Direct Energy was founded in Toronto, Ontario, in 1986 (though now headquartered in Houston, Texas, since 2014) as a competitive energy retailer in markets that allowed unregulated sales of energy. Direct Energy was acquired by UK-based Centrica PLC, a worldwide supplier of electricity and natural gas.
Direct Energy made several acquisitions in the first decade of the 2000s, including Energy America, Enbridge Home Services and, in 2004, the regulated retail operations of ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric.
In 2010, Direct Energy acquired Clockwork Home Services, making DE the largest energy and home services retailer in North America. With Clockwork, Direct Energy acquired three major brands: One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mister Sparky.
It has also expanded its holdings in power production facilities and natural gas reserves, including Quintana Mineral Resources, Bastrop and Frontera Energy Centers, and the Paris Energy Center. The company also owns nearly 5,000 natural gas wells in the province of Alberta. They have also invested in green energy, with investments in five wind farms in the state of Texas.
For small businesses and residential customers in Alberta, Direct Energy offers electricity and natural gas at government regulated rates as Direct Energy Regulated Services. The deregulated competitive retail arm of the company does business as Direct Energy.