Reviews for Direct Energy

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Direct Energy is an alternate supplier serving customers in 13 states. Some customers are pleased with customer service interactions, while others feel that sales may be misleading.

Who is Direct Energy?

Direct Energy is the largest residential energy supplier in North America, based on number of customers served. Direct Energy serves over 13 million electricity and natural gas customers across the US and Canada.

Founded in 1986 in Canada, Direct Energy now serves 47 US states and territories with electricity and natural gas. A subsidiary of Centrica Plc, Direct Energy has 9 retail energy subsidiaries of its own. Together with its affiliate businesses Direct Energy reaches over 80 million customers.

Our Opinion on Direct Energy

Fixed rate plans with Direct Energy have the potential to offer significant savings, as long as you lock in a competitive rate at the right time of the year. Compare reviews with other suppliers.

Direct Energy has uneven customer service. While some consumers report easy and pleasant experiences, others lament lack of transparency and inadequate resolutions to their concerns.

Unfortunately there are allegations of misleading sales practices with Direct Energy. Some customers are also disappointed by hidden contractual terms. Read more about common contract conditions.

We recommend Direct Energy's fixed rate natural gas and electricity plans. It is important to be as informed as possible before signing up for service.

Direct Energy Offers & Our Opinion

One of the oldest and largest alternative energy suppliers in North America, Direct Energy has mastered some elements of the customer experience.

Savings on Fixed Rate Plans

Direct Energy offers competitive natural gas and electricity prices in many locations. We recommend fixed rate plans, marked below with an asterix.

Fixed Rate Plan Price Offer Details Our Take
Price Advantage Plans Fixed price for 6, 12, or 18 month periods
  • Early termination fees up to $200
  • Plans include discounts on other services like Direct TV in some markets
  • If you find a competitive rate and choose the right contract length you can save (*)
Comfort & Control Fixed price for 24, or 35 month periods
  • $200 early cancellation fee
  • Free Nest Learning smart thermostat to manage consumption
  • $50 visa gift card for new customers
  • Recommended for electricity plans only (*)
  • Choose a rate that is competitive during non-summer months
Military Fixed Rates Fixed price for 12 month periods
  • Reduced price for military veterans
  • Early cancellation fees
  • Only a good deal for natural gas (*)
  • Lock in a competitive price during the winter
Smart Source Plans Fixed Price for 18, 24 & 36 month periods
  • 100% green energy
  • Early termination fees
  • Rewards on some plans
  • Recommended for electricity plans only (*)
  • Find a rate that is competitive in non-summer months
Variable Rate Plan Price Offer Details Our Take
Power-to-Go Prepaid Plan Price changes each month
  • No contract
  • Pre-pay
  • No early termination fee
  • Not recommended

Opt for natural gas fixed rate plans lasting 12 months or fewer, or electricity fixed rate contracts of 18 months or more.

Customer Service - the Good & the Bad

It is important to note that negative company feedback is often more common than positive reviews, since upset customers are more likely to sound off than contented ones.

Even so, Direct Energy was ranked #1 in residential customer satisfaction from JD Power and Associates among Ohio retail electricity suppliers in 2014. It was ranked among the top three in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York during the same year.

Managing your account and transferring service can be a breeze with Direct Energy. The company has many loyal customers.

However, there are reports that Direct Energy customer representatives are not fully transparent. Additionally, consumers report excessive telemarketing calls from customer service, particularly after cancelling their Direct Energy plans.

Deceptive Techniques

Misleading Sales

There are allegations that Direct Energy uses door-to-door sales agents who do not correctly identify themselves. Instead agents may state they work for the customer’s local utility company, and get customers to switch to Direct Energy without their knowledge.

Direct Energy promotes variable rate plans to consumers as a good way to save, but after the first few months rates may skyrocket. Some consumers feel deceived by this practice.

Hidden Conditions

Contract conditions are not fully disclosed on Direct Energy's website, and customers may have to dig to get the information they want during a phone call.

A number of consumers lament that they are automatically put on variable rate plans at the end of their fixed rate contract. Some consumers receive no notification from Direct Energy before the end of their contract.

Other consumers are frustrated that cancelling a plan can be a lengthy process. Also, attractive fixed rates are usually only available to new customers, which can frustrate loyal Direct Energy customers.

Better Business Bureau's Assessment

Direct Energy earned a C on the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) A-F scale, as of January 2015. According to the BBB, Direct Energy has a history of not sufficiently addressing customer complaints. Additionally Better Business Bureau reports that Direct Energy had not significantly changed their practices in response to common complaints.

However, Direct Energy earned positive marks for having been in business for a long period of time. Also it receives a relatively low number of complaints for a business of its size.

As of March 2015, the company had no rating from the Better Business Bureau.