Welcome back to our series on the new-and-improved Direct Energy Online Account Manager. In Part 1, we walked through the “Account Management” tab, discussing the different ways that you can use this innovative online portal to better manage your electricity account information. With Part 2, we will be investigating the “Billing and Payments” and “Usage and Insights” tabs so you can learn about paying bills, tracking your payments, monitoring your billing history, and interpreting your usage history to your advantage.
Let’s begin by logging into your Online Account Manager at DirectEnergy.com/Account. Once there, the “dollar sign” icon at the top of the screen is the “Billing and Payments” tab, while the “bar graph” icon is the “Usage and Insights” tab.
Hover over that “dollar sign” icon to reveal 4 options: “Pay Your Bill,” “Paperless Billing,” “Auto Pay,” and “View Past Bills and Payments.” We’re going to address each section individually.
Pay Your Bill
Probably the most important function in your Online Account Manager, we’ve made this section as simple as possible. We show you your current plan, previous balance, most recent payment, your most recent balance, the amount you have due, and your payment due date. We then give you a large green button marked “PAY YOUR BILL” so you know exactly what to do and where to make a payment. Clicking that button brings you to a payment screen where you can enter your credit card information to make a payment on your bill.
Please take note of the time frame disclaimer in the blue box on the right-hand side of the screen: “Payments made before 6:00pm (CST) will post to your account in 1 business day. Payments made after 6:00pm (CST) will require an additional business day to post to your account. Automatic payments may take up to 1-2 billing cycles.”
This section is also straightforward, as it states whether or not you’re enrolled in Paperless Billing with Direct Energy. If you aren’t enrolled, you’ll see a list of great reasons why you should use this service followed by a green button marked “Enroll Me Now.” With Paperless Billing, all of your electricity bills are delivered to you via e-mail, instead of by traditional mail. This way, you can reduce the amount of paper coming into your home and take care of your billing using your computer.
If you are enrolled, you will see a large green button marked “View Past Bills” and the option to be removed from paperless billing.
With this section, you manage your Auto Pay status and learn about the benefits of this service: it’s eco-friendly, convenient, and helps ensure on-time bill payments. If you’re not enrolled, you simply click on the top link and enter your credit card information. If you are enrolled, you’re given the option to un-enroll from the program or change the credit card you use for Auto Pay.
View Past Bills and Payments
This is a key section in that you have access to what’s happened in the past with your account. We believe in making this information available to you so that you have a record of your bills and payments in an electronic format as a consistent point of reference for your history with our company.
On the “Past Bills” tab, you see all of your Direct Energy bills in chronological order: bill date, due date, total amount due, total current charges, amount paid, amount unpaid, and status. And you can even download a copy of each bill by clicking the blue “View” link.
On the “Past Payments” tab, you have the history of each payment you’ve made to Direct Energy. If you pay your balance in full each month, each payment will coincide with each bill you’ve received. But optimally, the payments listed should equal your bill balances in the prior tab: payment date, reference code, payment status, and payment amount.
Now that you’ve learned the various ways to pay your bill and track your billing history, let’s look into how you’ve used energy. Understanding this information can help you find ways to lower your energy usage in the future in hopes of lowering your electricity bill. When you hover over the “bar graph” icon, you should select the “Your Usage Info” option.
Your Usage Info
At first glance, you’re presented with a bar graph displaying your monthly energy usage for the past year. This information coincides with the usage on your last 12 electricity bills. And when you hover over any given bar, you’ll see how much you used that month and your balance for that bill.
But we want to provide even deeper insights into your usage history, so you have some options available:
- Monthly Increments of 4, 6, 8, and 12
- The 4 Seasons
- Energy Consumption, Charge, and Compare with Last Year
- See Usage Information for Up to 2 Years Back
With these filters, you can gain a great understanding of the seasonal impact of energy usage in your home. Hopefully, this information can guide you towards greater energy efficiency by learning how energy is spent in your home and when.
For many customers, these two tabs represent what they need and want most from their Online Account Manager – paying their electricity bill and seeing just how much energy they used. We want to ensure that you have access to what’s important to you as a Direct Energy customer so that you can first understand and then enhance your relationship with us.
In our 3rd and final installment of this series, we’ll explore the “Special Offers” and “Rewards Program” tabs.