Direct Energy in Texas

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Direct Energy is one of the largest retail electric providers in North America, with over 6 million customers across the United States and Canada. Based out of Houston, Texas, Direct Energy offers fixed, variable, prepaid, and green power options at a variety of term lengths along with a wide range of customer rewards and advantages.


Our Take On Direct Energy

Direct Energy offers some attractive rates along with extensive customer rewards. Based on our in-depth analysis of Direct Energy's product offers and customer reviews, we rate Direct Energy 3 out of 5 stars.

What we like about Direct Energy:

  • Wide variety of price and payment options with a good range of customer rewards offerings
  • Extensive customer rewards offerings
  • Large company, one of the oldest REP in Texas

What made Direct Energy lose some points:

  • Mixed customer reviews
  • Some customers have reported misleading sales tactics by Direct Energy sales representatives
  • Lack of information on their website (terms and conditions are not listed on all contract offers)

Compare Direct Energy with other suppliers.

Available Plans

Plan Type Contract Length Features Early Termination Fee Our Thoughts
Residential Fixed 12, 24, and 36 months
  • Average prices include a $4.95 base charge, but do not include local & state sales taxes or the Gross Receipts Reimbursement
  • Free Saturdays option: energy charges based on a formula (see below)
  • Additional rewards for Comfort & Control plan: free Nest thermostat & a $50 Visa gift card
  • Prices may change if any regulatory changes lead to costs outside Direct Energy's control, or if there are changes in TDU charges, ERCOT charges, or in local & state taxes
  • Renewable content is equal to Texas state 2014 average (10.8%)

$135 for Price Protection & Free Saturdays plans

$295 for Comfort & Control plans

  • Free Saturdays plan best suited to families and larger energy consumers, who essentially receive a 13% reduction on their bill (rather than Saturday use being discounted)
  • Price Protection offers the lowest rates and least committment
Residential Variable Month-to-month
  • Advertised price applies only to the first month, and may change for subsequent months
  • Renewable content = 10.8%, equal to 2014 Texas average
  • Prices may change due to changes in TDU or ERCOT charges, or changes resulting from federal, state or local laws or regulatory actions that lead to new or modified fees or costs that are outside Direct Energy's control
None
  • In general, we recommend variable rates for short term only (less than one year)
  • No price cap on price increases (which is offered by some Texas REP)
Prepaid Plans Month-to-month
  • Only available in Oncor and CenterPoint service territories, as customers must have a provisioned smart meter
  • Variable rate, but with a 30% increase cap from previous period's price
None
  • Prepaid plans are generally more expensive over the long run, but may be the only option for certain customers
Green Energy 12 & 24 month
  • Prices may change to reflect any changes in TDU charges, local & state taxes, ERCOT charges, or any regulatory decisions that lead to costs outside of Direct Energy's control
  • 100% green energy
  • Reduce Your Use Rewards Program offers 5% off when customers reduce energy use during peak periods.
$135
  • Reduce Your Use Rewards program is fairly unique in Texas - the structure of many electricity plans in Texas tend to encourage greater consumption

Notes on Specific Plans

Free Saturdays: energy charges based on the following formula:

Price per kWh = [Base Charge + (6/7 Monthly usage + 6/7 all recurring TDU charges)] / Monthly Usage.

Moving Done Easy: additional rewards include a Home Depot coupon, prepaid $50 Restaurants.com gift card, registration on the National Do Not Call Registery and US Postal Service, and a free six month trial of the Cooling Maintenance Essentials program (for homeowners) or the Surge Protection Plan (for renters)

Direct Energy Security Deposit Requirements

Direct Energy may charge a security deposit to new customers who do not meet their credit requirements. However, in the following cases customers may be able to have their deposit waived or reduced:

  • The customer has a good credit rating and/or report from their previous energy retailer or a consumer reporting agency, and such proof or written reference can be provided to us as defined by the Federal Trade Commission
  • The customer or his/her spouse is over the age of 62 (with proof of age via a driver's license or state ID)
  • The customer has not been late paying an electric bill more than once during the last year
  • Victim of family violence with a certification letter developed by the Texas Council on Family Violence as proof
  • The customer is medically indigent and can send Direct Energy the proper documentation of eligibility each year
  • During the last year of service the customer has not had electric service terminated or disconnected for not paying a bill

Plan Types In Depth

Fixed Rate Plans

A fixed rate contract offers a price (in ¢/kWh) that does not change over the whole period of the contract. However, customers should keep track of when their contract ends, as many retail electric providers in Texas will automatically switch existing customers to variable rates once their fixed contract reaches the end of its term.

Customers report that they appreciate savings on fixed rate electricity plans from Direct Energy. Fixed rate plans can often be a good deal if you are able to lock in a good rate at the right time of year. In general we recommend that customers choose fixed rate contracts of at least one year. Electricity prices per kilowatt-hour fluctuate throughout the year, and you may actually lose money by not being able to take advantage of prices when they are low (this is where time of year becomes a factor in how good of a deal you can get with a fixed price plan). However, because electricity prices tend to increase over time, locking in fixed rates for longer periods may prove advantageous and deliver savings. 

Variable Rate Plans

A variable rate is a rate whose price (in ¢/kWh) varies each month. The variable rate may change at the discretion of the supplier (as is the case with Direct Energy variable rates), or as a function of price changes on an energy index. If you're interested in a variable rate, we recommend that you check out our backgrounders on variable and indexed rates in Texas.

Base Charges

All of Direct Energy's prices include a $4.95 base charge. This charge takes into account administrative & customer service charges. For prepaid customers the base charge also incorporates base metering charges, a smart meter pass-through charge and the base costs to operate the system that sends daily messages to the customer about their account.

Green Energy Plans

Direct Energy offers a fixed rate green energy option at 12 and 24 months. This plan promises 100%  of electricity from renewable sources. If you are interested in purchasing green energy in Texas, we recommend you check out some of our articles on green energy in Texas.

Customer Reviews

We rate Direct Energy direct-energy-rating.

Direct Energy has a C+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on a pattern of complaints and a few cases that remain unresolved. Some customers have reported issues with misleading and/or aggressive sales tactics from Direct Energy representatives, and others been dissatisfied with the responsiveness of the billing and customer service departments. That being said, as one of the largest retail energy providers in Texas, the company is bound to receive more complaints due to its size. You can find a more detailed summary of the Direct Energy customer experience on our dedicated page. 

Company Background

Founded in Toronto in 1986, in 2000 Direct Energy was acquired by British energy company Centrica plc. Since then, the company has made numerous acquisitions in the North American competitive retail energy market. Direct Energy offers electricity, natural gas and home services (such as plumbing, electrical services, HVAC, and home protection) through the Direct Energy brand and multiple subsidiaries.

Direct Energy also is the parent company of a number of energy retailers operating in Texas, including Bounce Energy (acquired in 2013), WTU Retail Energy in West Texas, CPU Retail Energy in South Texas.

Contact Direct Energy

New Customers

Phone: 1-855-461-1926
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Existing Customers Customer Service

Phone (general): 1-888-305-3828
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Phone (prepaid): 1-877-866-6601
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Email: [email protected]

Fax:1-800-346-223

Bill Payment

Phone (general): 1-888-305-3828
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Phone (prepaid): 1-877-866-6601
Hours: 7:30 a.m to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Mailing Address:
Direct Energy LP
P.O. Box 660896
Dallas, TX 75266-0896

Direct Energy is also present on Twitter