Energy Plus named in Class Action

Energy Plus
Not so surprising, Energy Plus, has been named in a class action based on a press release sent out by Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP law firm.

The lawsuit makes the same assertion we have received numerous times on our website by Energy Plus customers.

In the allegation the typical scheme is recognized as found in the federal trade practices act known as a “bait and switch scheme”

The assertion is that customers are complaining that Energy Plus promises them competitive electric rates if they switch from their current provider.

The problem is that within 1 to 2 billing cycles the rate increases by as much as 150% completely wiping out the competitive aspect to the rate.

This class action is for New Jersey electric service customers although Energy Plus offers similar advertising campaigns through Best Buy in Texas and many other states. We have also seen Energy Plus advertise through the government college loan payback incentive program Upromise. Many people on the Upromise board complain that Energy Plus has scammed them. See for yourself click here – Update: It looks like Upromise no longer has a community forum. I am not surprised considering the amount of hate comments their Energy Plus program was getting with students that had tried the offer.

Some customers have complained that they have lost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars a year from switching to Energy Plus based on the “competitive rate” promise.

Energy Plus currently sells retail electric service in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

NRG Energy the parent company of Reliant Energy bought Energy Plus just a few short months ago. We wondered if the marketing tactics would change now that they were under the larger authority brand of NRG Energy but it appears things did not change that much.

Reliant Energy’s Parent Company NRG Energy Gobbles up another Provider, Energy Plus

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.

NRG Energy The Company That Owns Reliant Buys Green Mountain Energy

NRG Energy just bought Green Mountain Energy for $350 million dollars.

NRG Energy is the New Jersey based power generation company that bought Reliant Energy not that far back.

So Green Mountain Energy and Reliant Energy are now under the same corporate umbrella known as NRG Energy. Very interesting development.

I wonder what the Green environmental activists will have to say about a power generation company buying “Green” Mountain Energy?

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