I found out today that Reliant Energy’s parent company NRG Energy now owns Energy Plus. A year or two ago Reliant’s parent company NRG Energy bought Green Mountain Energy and now with Energy Plus NRG Energy has gobbled up a couple of the top marketers in the retail electric provider space.
I believe Green Mountain Energy has done the best job of differentiating themselves from their competition which makes their purchase by Reliant Energy’s parent company NRG Energy a smart one. Energy Plus marketed their service through places like the government student loan rewards program Upromise and through Best Buy in several deregulated states including Texas.
I remember reading that Energy Plus was one of the fastest growing retail electric providers in the country and it likely has to do with how aggressively they worked out partner joint ventures with companies like Best Buy. I personally have received at least 3 different mail outs coming from Best Buy to switch to Energy Plus.
Here you have an old school company like NRG Energy buying up good talent in two separate buy out deals in which both companies have shown exceptional skill at leveraging the power of joint venture partnerships and brand differentiation.
When it comes to price Energy Plus has continuously been scolded online by their past customers for advertising that they are “competitive” and yet the customers standard complaint is that they pay more with Energy Plus than they did with the company they were with previously.
Through further research we have found that the reason for these complaints has simply to do with the type of plan many people switch to when choosing this company. The popular plan they advertise is a variable rate plan and so there is no guarantee how long the price will remain competitive and so it is easy to see why people turn on this new provider when their electric bill goes way up.
We are interested to see if NRG Energy (the parent company of Reliant Energy) changes the marketing tactic currently being used by Energy Plus or leaves things basically the same.
Energy Plus Holdings LLC became owned by NRG Energy on September 30 2011 and it is reported that they will not have any technical or managerial qualification changes but will have the ERCOT financial requirements handled by NRG Energy.