Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Bart Copeland, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Direct Energy Advocates for Retail Market Improvements for Customers in Pennsylvania

Energy supplier adds price protection to its current residential electric variable rates in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The impacts of the recent, unprecedented Polar Vortex have highlighted the potential for improvements so that customers are better protected from extraordinarily high energy bills during short term market events. Direct Energy, North America's largest energy and energy-related services provider, is announcing today that effective April 1, the Company will add a price protection feature to its current residential electric variable rates in each Pennsylvania utility service area in which the Company serves. This will provide Direct Energy variable customers with the flexibility of a month-to-month plan with protection against extraordinary price spikes.

Direct Energy Logo.

With this new residential electric variable rate protection, Direct Energy is providing the highest level of price protection available for residential electric variable rates in Pennsylvania today. While these price protection levels are above Direct Energy's current residential electric rates, these price protection levels represent the maximum variable residential electric rates Direct Energy would charge in Pennsylvania in the event of another round of unforeseen and unexpected extreme market volatility.

Direct Energy's maximum residential electric variable price protection levels range from 11.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the Pennsylvania utility areas in which the Company serves customers. The Company is committing to these price protection levels for a six month period. The utility areas are as follows:


Duquesne Light Company:

13.0 cents per kilowatt-hour


Metropolitan Edison Company (MetEd):

12.2 cents per kilowatt-hour


PECO Energy Company:

14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour


Penn Power:

11.3 cents per kilowatt-hour


Penelec:

12.2 cents per kilowatt-hour


Pike County Light & Power Company:

14.2 cents per kilowatt-hour


PPL Electric Utilities:

13.7 cents per kilowatt-hour


West Penn Power:

11.2 cents per kilowatt-hour

By offering this level of price certainty, Direct Energy will continue to serve its customers with competitive pricing which will not exceed the price protection levels during this six month period.

After the initial six month variable price protection period ends, to the extent that Direct Energy determines it needs to adjust these price protection levels, Direct Energy will provide its residential customers with a minimum of 30 days advance notice of any proposed change to enable those customers to determine which plan is right for them.

Direct Energy has been working closely with stakeholders to enhance the competitive marketplace across the Commonwealth. In addition to its voluntary actions announced today, Direct Energy is proposing the following improvements to the state's competitive retail energy market to enable customers to have both choice and control of their energy bills:

  • A new standard for retail suppliers to offer residential variable electric rates with price protection. Direct Energy believes that all retail suppliers should provide a specific cents-per-kilowatt-hour maximum variable rate for any residential variable electric price products and provide customers 30 days advance notice of any changes the retail supplier makes to that price protection level. This gives customers the ability to make better budgeting, shopping and switching decisions. 
  • Clearer customer disclosures. Direct Energy believes all suppliers should be required to identify and communicate clearly to customers all pricing and term information, any early termination penalties and the details for how the supplier will serve the customer after the expiration of any initial contract period.
  • Minimize delay when changing suppliers. Currently, when a customer wants to change suppliers, the process can take one to two billing cycles to complete. Direct Energy supports working with stakeholders to make efforts to ultimately move to a same-day switch model, but in the interim work toward a target of three to five days.

    Full smart meter deployment. Smart meters enable retail suppliers like Direct Energy to offer advanced products and services. This not only fosters greater customer engagement but also gives customers fuller control of their energy usage and bills. Direct Energy already offers several innovative products that use smart technology to help customers manage their energy use, which can be particularly helpful during unpredictable weather conditions. Full smart meter deployment would enable Direct Energy and other suppliers to offer more of these types of products and services across the state.

  • Wholesale market risk allocation.  Direct Energy believes that certain underlying wholesale market conditions and infrastructure constraints need to be addressed to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events, such as the Polar Vortex or other situations, on end use customers. The Company is advocating that the emergency costs needed to run the system in these types of situations be included in the locational marginal price to give prudent retailers the opportunity to plan ahead and minimize the impact to customers.    

"Direct Energy has listened to our customers and we believe these proposed improvements will make the retail market a more simple, friendly and direct environment for all customers to better realize the benefits of competition," said Manu Asthana, president of Direct Energy's residential business. "In addition to these priority areas, Direct Energy also supports enhancements that include increasing the financial fitness standards for retail suppliers, stronger enforcement against suppliers and sales representatives that violate customer protection regulations, and new measures to promote fixed price contracts."

"We continue to work to provide integrated home services and cost-effective energy products within competitive markets because we understand the benefits they can bring to our customers," Asthana added.

In Pennsylvania, Direct Energy has more than 286,000 customer relationships. The Company has grown employment levels to more than 1,000 people with corporate offices in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. It also has 29 home services franchise offices throughout the Keystone state operating under the names One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Heating and Air Conditioning, Mister Sparky and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. 

Notes:

  • The residential electric variable rate price protection does not include incremental services procured including but not limited to:  green products, rewards, home services, or other non-energy related items.
  • The residential electric variable price protection levels are the absolute highest rates pending any future regulatory or legislative changes that impose greater costs on retailers

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with six million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 46 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and 10 provinces in Canada. www.directenergy.com     

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121004/MM87276LOGO     

SOURCE Direct Energy

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understand...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use c...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, includin...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of present...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applicatio...
VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market. With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been ...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focu...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Operational Hadoop and the Lambda Architecture for Streaming Data Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...