Last year we launched a new product for our Texas customers called Direct Energy Power-To-Go for customers who have a provisioned smart meter. It’s a product that tells you how much electricity you’ve used on a frequent basis. It lets you break up your electricity payment any way you like, through one of several payment methods (at a paystation, online, on the phone, or an automatic re-load). It also gives you freedom – there are no contract terms, cancellation penalties, or deposits meaning you can go on and off of this product. Simply load your account when you start and keep a positive balance; just like you would with a pre-paid phone.
It’s smart, flexible and convenient. It gives you control.
It’s smart because it gives you information they never had before. Traditional meter read cycles range up to 45 days, making it difficult to predict “monthly” bills with certainty. Also, when the bill arrives it’s usually too late to do anything about consumption, since it’s already mid-way into the next month. Power-To-Go provides daily meter reads, making it possible to adjust consumption when you don’t like what you see. It helps you become a smarter consumer and better at conserving energy.
One of our customers found this feature especially useful. As he was going on a trip, he shut off everything at home. During the trip, he found that he was still using $6 a day, a large amount when nobody was at the house and everything was shut off. He tested things when he got back, and found out that a plumbing leak was causing the water heater to cycle and run even when nobody was taking showers. Had he not been receiving his daily notifications, he would never have found out about a leak that was costing him $180 a month in electricity bills! Talk about helping customers be more efficient!
It’s flexible, because you don’t need to wait for their monthly bill. You can load in any amount you want and find out you balance at any time. If you’re near a payment location, you can go ahead and add to your balance – no need to make another trip after the bill arrives. You can also pay online, pay by phone, or set up a really convenient automatic reload that tops up your account when it goes low, by any amount you choose.
Power-To-Go doesn’t lock you into a contract. We believe customers deserve to be able to choose a plan that gives them the freedom to change without penalties. And just so they can come back easily, there are no deposits on it either.
I’m quite happy we now have a good number of customers on this product, including me. I’ve also set up automatic reload, so that I won’t have to worry about getting shut off (and getting my wife mad at me).