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Direct Energy

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Direct Energy is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in North America, operating in 47 states across continental US, and with 6 million customers accross North America. Direct Energy sells electricity and natural gas, as well as numberous home services.


Our Take on Direct Energy

Direct Energy offers some attractive rates along with extensive customer rewards. Based on our in-depth analysis of Direct Energy's product offers and customer reviews, we rate Direct Energy 3 out of 5 stars.

What we like about Direct Energy:

  • Nice variety of green energy choices
  • Smart thermostat option is unique and could be a good choice for some customers

What made Direct Energy lose points

  • Not all contract details disclosed accessibly
  • Some customers have reported misleading sales tactics by Direct Energy sales representatives

Check out our provider comparison between Direct Energy and 4 other major suppliers on plan conditions, prices, reviews, and more.

Direct Energy Service Territory

Electricity

Direct Energy offers electricity in the following states: Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C

 

Natural Gas

Direct Energy sells natural gas in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

 

Available Electricity Plans

Please note that some plans may not be available in your state. We currently have more detailed information about Direct Energy plan offers on our Texas page.

Plan Type Contract Length Features Early Termination Fee Our Thoughts
Residential Fixed 12, 24, and 36 months

 

  • Free Saturdays option: energy charges based on a formula
  • Additional rewards for Comfort & Control plan: free Nest thermostat & a $50 Visa gift card

Different charges for each plan option

  • Free Saturdays plan best suited to families and larger energy consumers, who essentially receive a reduction on their bill (rather than Saturday use being discounted)
Residential Variable Month-to-month
  • Advertised price applies only to the first month, and may change for subsequent months
None
  • In general, we recommend variable rates for short term only (less than one year)
  • No price cap on price increases 
Prepaid Plans Month-to-month
  • Only available for customers with a provisioned smart meter
  • Variable rate - advertised price may change for the following months
None
  • Prepaid plans are generally more expensive over the long run, but may be the only option for certain customers
Green Energy 12 & 24 month
  •  
  • 100% green energy
  • Reduce Your Use Rewards Program offers 5% off when customers reduce energy use during peak periods.
May vary by state
  • Reduce Your Use Rewards program is fairly unique

Fixed Rate Plans

A fixed rate contract offers a price (in ¢/kWh) that does not change over the whole period of the contract. However, customers should keep track of when their contract ends, as many competitive energy suppliers will automatically switch existing customers to variable rates once their fixed contract reaches the end of its term.

Customers report that they appreciate savings on fixed rate electricity plans from Direct Energy. Fixed rate plans can often be a good deal if you are able to lock in a good rate at the right time of year. In general we recommend that customers choose fixed rate contracts of at least one year. Electricity prices per kilowatt-hour fluctuate throughout the year, and you may actually lose money by not being able to take advantage of prices when they are low (this is where time of year becomes a factor in how good of a deal you can get with a fixed price plan). However, because electricity prices tend to increase over time, locking in fixed rates for longer periods may prove advantageous and deliver savings. Find out more about choosing a fixed rate

Variable Plans

A variable rate (in ¢/kWh) changes month by month. The variable rate may change at the discretion of the supplier (as is the case with Direct Energy variable rates), or as a function of price changes on an energy index. If you're interested in a variable rate, we recommend that you check out our backgrounder on variable rates.

Green Energy Plans

Green energy plans offer energy (usually electricity) from renewable sources. From an environmental perspective, it's a good idea to choose a green energy product that is 100% renewable sources, preferrably from your local area.

Did you know?As it is impossible to separate electricity once it enters the grid, there is no way to ensure that the power that you personally consume is 100% green. However, a green energy plan will compensate your consumption by purchasing an equivalent amount of renewably-sourced electricity to be fed into the grid.

Customer Reviews

We rate Direct Energy direct-energy-rating for customer service.

While some customer report easy and pleasant experiences with Direct Energy, others have complained about a lack of transparency and inadequate resolutions to their concerns. There have also been some issues with misleading sales practices. Find more detailed information about the customer experience with Direct Energy on our dedicated page.

Company Background

Main Activities

Direct Energy's activity in North America is divided in four main branches:

  1. Direct Energy Business - This branch is the commercial & industrial retailer of the business, trading natural gas and electricity to small, medium and large sized businesses, public institutions as well as the government. It is the 3rd largest in North America, and acts in 15 US states.
  2. Direct Energy Residential - This branch is the residential retailer of the business trading natural gas and electricity with fixed and variable price options of varying term lengths. It is the largest in North America and acts in 8 US states.
  3. Direct Energy Services - This branch offers services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, water heaters, protection plans, building automation, facility maintenance, energy audits and energy management consulting services.
  4. Direct Energy Supply & Trading - This business owns and operates 3 natural combines cycle gas tubine power plants, totaling 1305 MW. 

History

Direct Energy was founded in Toronto in 1986 as an alternate supplier for retail energy. In 2000, it was acquired by Centrica, a British multinational electricity supplier, active in the United Kingdom and North America. Since 2000, Direct Energy has been growing rapidly through acquisitions. Only in the area of retail energy, these acqusitions include:

  • Energy America (2000)
  • Enbridge Home Services (2002)
  • AEP’s Texas retail operations
  • Retail operations of ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric in Alberta
  • Strategic Energy (2008)
  • Hess Energy Marketing (2013) - Direct Energy's biggest acquisition to date for $1.03 Billion

Today, Direct Energy has 6,000 employees, 6 million customers in North America, a revenue of US$11.4 billion in 2013 with an operating profit of 3.8%, and is the largest competitive retailer of energy and related services in North America.

The Direct Energy Family of Companies

Direct Energy is the parent company for a number of companies in energy resources and home services. These include

Energy Resources

Home Services

  • ​Benjamin Franklin - The Punctual Plumber
  • One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning
  • Home Warranty of America
  • Mister Sparky - America's On-Time Electrician
  • Direct Energy Home Services
  • Airco Mechanical
  • Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning

Contact Direct Energy

New Customers

Phone: 1-855-461-1926
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Find more contact information for Direct Energy

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