Delaware designates Direct Energy as retail power supplier

Ron Cerniglia, director of government and regulatory affairs at Direct Energy, Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock and Steve Girard, head of small business at Direct Energy, mark the change in Delaware.
Ron Cerniglia, director of government and regulatory affairs at Direct Energy, Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock and Steve Girard, head of small business at Direct Energy, mark the change in Delaware.

By Christi Milligan

The State of Delaware formally named Direct Energy as the “Electric Retail Supplier Exclusively Contracted by the State of Delaware” for its 315,000 residents and businesses in the Delmarva territory and for Delaware Electric Cooperative’s 84,000 customers.

This is the first such program and designation made in the United States.

The new status was conferred on Direct Energy following a months-long competitive process and a vote by the Delaware Electricity Affordability Committee, chaired by Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, and with representation from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Office of the Controller General, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Public Advocate, and the Public Service Commission. 

“In Delaware, the generation, supply and sale of energy was deregulated more than 16 years ago, but many of our residents have not yet taken advantage of the available energy choices and shopped around for the products and services that fit their family’s needs,” said Bullock.

More than 15 years after energy deregulation, only 10 percent to 12 percent of Delawareans proactively select their electricity supplier, as compared with 30 percent to 40 percent of the residents in surrounding states, according to Bullock’s office.

“We undertook this process to increase our residents’ awareness about the options they have related to their electricity, allowing them to take more control over their energy usage,” Bullock said. “We are happy to offer this designation to Direct Energy and hope residents take advantage of this opportunity to save money on their electricity bills.”

Direct Energy was one of six suppliers vying for the designation. Proposals were evaluated based on the potential benefits derived from a combination of multi-year fixed price per kilowatt-hour offers, value-added products and services to help customers better manage their overall electricity bills, other potential consumer benefits, and the fiscal and technical experience of the supplier.

It is estimated that residential customers may save on average $15 per month with Direct Energy’s fixed electricity prices, set at 10 percent to 18 percent below Delmarva’s current price, according to officials.

On its website, Direct Energy offered its programs as a foil to Delmarva Power’s variant pricing.

Officials from Delmarva Power said they’re supportive of options in Delaware.

“Delmarva Power has always supported electric retail supply choice in Delaware.  Delmarva encourages its customers who are interested in shopping for their energy supply to take a look at this new opportunity, as well as the many other supplier choices available,” Delmarva Power officials said in a statement.

Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest retail energy and energy services providers, offering a suite of innovative products and competitive offers that can help residential and business customers save on their energy bills.

Starting July 1, special discounts, products and services are available to those in the Delmarva territory, including a nest learning thermostat, free heating and cooling equipment protection plans for six months, or solar power systems.

“We are thrilled to be the ‘Electric Retail Supplier Exclusively Contracted by the State of Delaware’ and look forward to a long and lasting relationship with the state’s 315,000 residents and small businesses,” said Stephen Girard, head of small business at Direct Energy Business.

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