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Study of Innovative Electricity Solution Shows Significant Energy Efficiency Savings

Notifying Customers Daily Unlocks Energy Savings


HOUSTON – Direct Energy, one of the largest energy and energy services providers in North America, recently commissioned a study to quantify energy savings from customers enrolled in First Choice Power’s Power-To-Go plan, which notifies customers of their account balance on a daily basis. First Choice Power is part of the Direct Energy family of brands.


When compared to customers on plans which bill monthly, an average Power-To-Go customer reduced their energy use by around 10 percent. This translates to $162 a year in savings for a household, assuming an average-sized household that uses 14 megawatt-hours of electricity a year and pays a rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.


A prepaid energy plan, Power-To-Go is designed to be readily accessible with no credit check and no deposit necessary. Customers receive a daily notification of their energy usage and account balance via email are also notified when their account balance requires more funds. Customers disconnected for nonpayment can reconnect their service at any time and generally within two hours after simply depositing more money in their account. The customer experience is designed to be efficient and engaging, with account status updates sent five days a week via text or email. Direct Energy was one of the first retail energy providers to launch such a product for customers.


“This proves that a daily energy ‘bill’ can fundamentally change people’s relationship with electricity. Our product can help change consumer behavior through simple, daily communication of useful information,” said Jim Steffes, Direct Energy’s executive vice president of Corporate & Regulatory Affairs. “The results are significant because if all Texas households realized this efficiency, total savings would top $800 million per year.”


The study, done by NERA Economic Consulting, used 15-minute smart meter interval usage data from 2014 to 2016. A regression analysis compared daily-notified customer populations to monthly-billed control groups while controlling for known factors, such as weather, seasonality, and disconnections.


“The conclusions derived from this study provide economic insight that can help companies and consumers achieve higher energy efficiencies,” said Derya Eryilmaz, Ph.D., a consultant at NERA Economic Consulting and lead author on the study.


The study is expected to be published later this year. For more information about Direct Energy, go to, or to learn more about First Choice Power’s Power-To-Go plan, go to

For more information contact:

Jessica Michan
Manager, External Relations

Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest retail providers of electricity, natural gas, and home and business energy-related services with over four million customers. Direct Energy gives customers choice, simplicity, and innovation where energy, data, and technology meet. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), an international energy and services company, Direct Energy, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates, operate in 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia and four provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, please visit

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