Texas Electricity Market Analysis

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TXU: Revenue; Renewable vs. Non-Renewable

Following an exhaustive and thorough search through various sources, it has been determined that reliable information on the annual revenue and business split of TXU Energy is unavailable in the public domain. Owler estimates that TXU Energy generates an annual revenue amounting to $24.1 million, while ZoomInfo estimates it at $16 million.

Helpful Findings

Annual Revenue

  • TXU Energy acts as an indirect subsidiary that is wholly-owned by Vistra Energy. According to Vistra Energy's most recent annual reports, the TXU Energy brand serves as the sole "material intellectual property asset" that the company owns.
  • Vistra Energy generated approximately $9.144 billion in 2018. The company's operating revenue increased to about $11.809 billion in 2019.
  • In the year 2018, the TXU Energy Retail Company LLC and its brands provided Vistra Energy with intangible assets that amounted to around $1.2 billion, according to Vistra Energy's 2018 annual report.
  • The TXU Energy brand operates as a part of Vistra Energy's retail segment, along with its other subsidiaries. In the year 2018, Vistra Energy's retail segment reported a yearly revenue of approximately $5.597 billion. The company's retail segment generated $6.872 billion in 2019.
  • According to Vistra Energy's company profile on Dun & Bradstreet (DNB), TXU Energy services around 1.7 million customers within Texas and serves as the state's largest retailer of electricity.
  • Owler reports TXU Energy's annual revenue as $24.1 million. However, ZoomInfo lists TXU Energy's annual revenue as $16 million.

Business Split

  • Renewable energy sources are expected to only account for 0.2% of Vistra Energy's total revenue in 2020.
  • Coal is anticipated to account for less than one-third (21%) of Vistra Energy's total revenue for 2020, significantly down from 40% in 2017.
  • Nuclear energy is projected to account for just 5% of Vistra Energy's total revenue for the year, down from 11% in 2017.
  • Meanwhile, gas is expected to account for 39% of the company's total revenue in 2020, a sharp rise from the year 2017 when it was around 14%.

Research Strategy:

After an exhaustive search through credible sources, we were unable to accurately determine the annual revenue or the business split (renewable vs. non-renewable energy sources) of TXU Energy. The company operates as a privately-held subsidiary and is not obligated to disclose its financial information to the public. Therefore, we have presented information on its parent company, Vistra Energy, along with estimates provided by third-party sources.

Our research began by searching for TXU Energy's most recent company, annual, and investor reports, which typically contain reliable financial data provided directly from the company in question. For these reports, we scoured through TXU Energy's official website, including its 'About Us' and 'Press Releases' sections, and we also utilized its search feature to explore for recent reports published by the company. However, we could not locate any company, annual, or investor report from TXU Energy on its website. Additionally, we searched through the website's 'Renewable Energy' webpage, hoping that it would offer insights on how much of its revenue/earnings come from those sources, but it only listed TXU's clean energy options.

Next, we searched for reports, press releases, and articles on TXU Energy published by reputable news and media sources, believing they would provide a glimpse into the company's financials and business split. These sources included Forbes, PR Newswire, Business Wire, CNBC, The Houston Chronicle, GlobeNewsWire, and The Motley Fool, among many others. Nonetheless, this strategy did not yield the results we were seeking, as none of the sources offered information on the financials or business split of TXU Energy specifically. Most of them briefly mentioned TXU Energy in relation to its parent company, Vistra Energy, or discussed its actions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Afterward, we searched for the company, annual, and investor reports of Vistra Energy, as we believed they would present a revenue breakdown for TXU Energy and the sources of the subsidiary's earnings. Although we found the recent annual reports (2018, 2019) of Vistra Energy, along with its 2019 SEC Form 10-K filing, none of the documents provided the annual revenue for TXU Energy specifically, nor did they present how its business splits. Instead, the documents grouped the revenues of its various segments together (retail segment for TXU Energy). Nevertheless, we decided to include the information in our brief.

We also consulted third-party databases that offer profiles for different companies and tend to present revenue estimates for them. These sources included ZoomInfo, Owler, DNB, Crunchbase etc. Though we came across estimates for TXU Energy's annual revenue, we could not verify if the figures were accurate as they are not provided by the company directly.

Finally, we attempted to perform a triangulation by searching for alternate data points for Vistra Energy (e.g., percentage of revenue originating from TXU Energy, renewable and non-renewable sources, etc.). We explored the Vistra Energy website, including its 'Investor Relations' and 'News' sections to find these data points. During our search, we came across a presentation that revealed that a relatively small portion of the company's revenue comes from renewable energy sources and listed the other sources of its revenue, but it did not provide a percentage breakdown of how much each of its subsidiaries contributes to its revenue.
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Reliant: Revenue; Renewable vs. Non-Renewable

After a thorough and extensive search, we were not able to determine the precise annual revenue for Reliant and whether its revenue primarily relies on either renewable or non-renewable plans. However, during our research, we found out that Reliant was acquired by NRG Energy for $287.5 million in May 2009.

Annual Revenue & Business Split

  • Since Reliant was acquired by NRG, it was very difficult to obtain its financials. However, according to D&B Hoovers, Reliant has an estimated revenue of $31.13 million.
  • On the other hand, its parent company, NRG Energy, had annual revenue of $9.8 billion in 2019, an increase from $9.4 billion in 2018.
  • Unfortunately, the revenue provided in the NRG Energy annual report was a total of earnings from both NRG and its subsidiaries. No section broke down how much came from each of the subsidiaries. Additionally, even after going through NRG’s SEC filings, not only was the revenue stemming from each subsidiary unavailable but there was also no data on how much of the revenue came from renewable and non-renewable plans.
  • The annual report only broke down the 2019 revenue into six parts with retail revenue and energy revenue being the major parts as they respectively accounted for $7.6 billion and $2.7 billion of the total $9.8 billion before corporate eliminations.
  • However, the SEC filings revealed that less than 25% of NRG's consolidated operating revenues in 2019 came from coal-fired operating assets.
  • According to PowerTechnology, Reliant and Wells Fargo signed a renewable energy agreement. The ten-year agreement will see NRG providing all the 400 locations the financial services firm has with clean solar energy.
  • In addition, NRG’s 2019 Sustainability report revealed that the company bought a 385 MW natural gas-fired plant in June 2019. At full power, the plant is projected to meet the energy needs of around 77,000 homes during the hottest days of a year.

Research Strategy

To find Reliant’s annual revenue and how its business is split in terms of renewable vs. non-renewable energy, we looked for the company’s annual reports, SEC filings, and any credible third-party sources in the public domain that could contain the data. In the course of our research, we found out that Reliant was acquired by NRG Energy in 2009.

Unfortunately, after an extensive search, we were not able to find a precise estimate of Reliant’s revenue and whether its revenue relies on revenue from renewable or non-renewable plans. However, we got an estimate of the company’s revenue from D&B Hoovers.

We then decided to extend our search and look for the revenue of the parent company, NRG Energy, as well as find how much of the company’s revenue comes from renewable and non-renewable plans. After going through NRG’s 2019 annual report, 2019 SEC filings, 2019 sustainability report, and third party sources available in the public domain, we were able to get the company’s revenue but we still could not find how exactly the revenue relies on either renewable or non-renewable plans. We, therefore, included all the relevant insights on the revenue that comes from renewable and non-renewable plans that we got from the reports and a third-party source in our key findings.

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TXU and Reliant: Renewable Energy Differentiators

TXU Energy and Reliant both offer Texas energy customers a wide range of renewable energy plans and programs, generally promoted by trial period offers and backed by satisfaction guarantees. Both companies offer plans for customers with or without existing renewable energy setups and provide credits to customers who generate more renewable energy than they use. TXU, however, uniquely offers renewable energy plans to Texas businesses, and Reliant specifically gears certain plans toward electric vehicle (EV) owners and customers seeking portable options for renewable power.

TXU Renewable Energy Offerings

  • TXU Energy promotes a variety of renewable energy offerings and incentives to encourage its customers to help keep Texas clean. TXU offers plans for residential and business customers powered by both wind and solar energy generated in the state. Many plans are backed by satisfaction guarantees or allow customers a trial period with the option to later switch back to traditional plans.
  • TXU Energy Pure Solar is available as an add-on to any TXU energy plan. To provide energy for Pure SolarSM customers, TXU purchases 100% of needed power from Texas solar farms.
  • TXU Solar Club is a similar "membership-style" plan that allows customers without solar panels of their own to obtain clean energy from shared solar farms in Texas. Plan members receive their first 500 kWh of energy each month from Texas solar farms, and the remainder of their electricity from standard sources, with price protection built-in at all plan levels.
  • TXU Energy Solar Advantage is a "more traditional" plan for Texans seeking solar power. 100% of the energy for Solar Advantage plans comes from solar power generated in Texas solar farms, but is offered to customers at a locked-in, 36-month low rate.
  • TXU Solar from SunPower is a program focused on helping TXU customers establish their own solar-powered energy system at home. TXU partnered with solar company SunPower to offer free consultations, solar system installation, and activation services to Texas customers. The SunPower panels are backed by a 25-year warranty, and customers taking advantage of this program are eligible to have excess energy produced by their panels purchased back from them by TXU.
  • TXU Energy Solar for Business is a program intended to provide Texas businesses with solar energy solutions. Business customers can opt for remote solar plans, which provide renewable energy from solar farms at fixed retail prices, or custom-made, on-site solutions for businesses that prefer to install their own systems.
  • The TXU Energy Renewable Buyback program rewards customers with renewable energy sources of their own, such as solar panels or wind turbines, by paying them back for unused power generated by their systems. Renewable Buyback customers earn bill credits for excess energy and pay flat fees for 100% wind or solar energy from the Texas grid when more energy is needed.
  • Introduced in 2015, the TXU Energy GreenUp plan offers residential TXU customers the opportunity to remain in their current TXU energy plans while contributing renewable energy offsets to the Texas grid for 100% of the electricity the customers consume. Customers who opt in to GreenUp programs have one kilowatt of power generated by Texas wind turbines and sent to the state's electricity grid for every kilowatt of residential power they use.

Reliant Renewable Energy Offerings

  • Reliant offers customers several different renewable energy plan options, including those powered by both solar and wind. The company's messaging tends to focus on renewable options as simple and cost-effective for all residential customers. Reliant also boasts more non-traditional offerings, such as those for electric vehicle (EV) owners or buyers of portable charging devices.
  • The Reliant Local Solar Plan is geared toward customers who do not currently maintain their own solar panels. The program provides locally-sourced solar power from solar farms in Houston and Dallas to offer customers up to five years of fixed plan pricing, but is reportedly limited in scope to only certain customers due to the relatively small capacity of the local farms.
  • Reliant's 100% Solar 12 program is a similar plan for customers without their own renewable energy sources that allows such customers to take advantage of solar energy. The plan provides 12 months of fixed pricing and delivers Texas-sourced solar energy to residents.
  • Reliant offers a Simple Solar Sell Back 12 plan for customers who maintain their own solar panels, offering credits for excess electricity generated and sent back to local power grids. Customers of the Simple Solar plan receive low standard electricity rates for the first 12 months of their plans and automatically-applied bill credits for unused power.
  • In addition to solar energy plans, Reliant offers residential customers a Secure Advantage 100% Wind Plan. Powered by wind-generated energy in Texas, the plan offers customers price protection for the lengths of their plan terms.
  • For electric vehicle (EV) owners in Texas, Reliant has an Electric Vehicle 12 Plan to encourage optimal charging practices for EV customers. With no minimum usage fees, the plan provides 100% of home electricity from Texas-based wind farms and offers reduced rates for electricity between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., which is the time frame during which Reliant encourages customers to recharge their EVs.
  • Finally, Reliant has partnered with portable charging technology manufacturer Goal Zero to encourage customers to use renewable energy solutions on the go. Goal Zero offers customers portable phone chargers, generators, and speakers powered by solar power, which are available to Reliant customers at a 15% discount.
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Texas Electricity Market

Below is a summary of key findings on the electricity market in Texas, including market size calculated in terms of sales value and data from the past several years.

Texas Electricity Market

  • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the total retail sales volume of electricity in Texas was 424,418,628 MWh with an average retail price of 8.48 cents/kWh in 2018. Thus, the total sales value can be calculated as (424,418,628*1000)*(8.48/100), which is approximately $36 billion. Note that 424,418,628*1000 is a conversion from MWh to kWh and 8.48/100 is a conversion from cents/kWh to dollars/kWh.
  • The 2018 data is part of the latest Texas electricity profile released by EIA in March 2020.
  • In 2017, the volume was approximately 401,880,000 MWh, according to data sourced from EIA. That suggests a 5.3% growth rate in terms of volume from 2017 to 2018.
  • An earlier publication by the U.S. Department of Energy (published in 2016), Texas electricity consumption in 2014 was around 365.1 TWh or 365,100,000 MWh, suggesting a 14% growth rate from 2014 to 2018 in terms of volume.
  • Texas is the largest electricity consumer and producer of all U.S. states. The largest market segment is residential, followed by commercial, and then industrial. An analysis by EIA suggests that both supply and demand have increased over the years.
  • Houston Chronicle reported that "Texas will likely use a record amount of electricity this summer, as warmer weather drives demand during a period of slower economic growth."
  • Energy Central also reported that a new record in demand in 2019 was driven by extreme sustained heat despite the rise in prices.
  • It is also reported that "the region is expected to experience above normal load growth driven by electricity demand in western Texas and along the gulf coast where new industrial facilities are being built."

Research Strategy

To carry out this research, we ran searches through a number of databases to find market reports containing information on Texas electricity market size estimated in U.S. dollar value. However, such information was not found. We also searched through various government sources. Information from these sources is measured in terms of sales volume (in MWh or kWh). Therefore, we estimated the market size based on the latest available data (2018) by multiplying sales volume by average price. Since we only had reliable data for average price in 2018, we were unable to calculate the market size in the past years with the same formula. In order to show growth, we provided data on sales volume in 2014 and 2017. The growth rates are calculated by (volume in 2018 — volume in 2017(or 2014))/volume in 2018.

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Electricity Customers Switching Providers

In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed a deregulation law which has made it possible for Texans to change their electricity providers as they please. However, Texans who live in El Paso, Austin, Beaumont, San Antonio, Lubbock, and the Woodlands cannot choose their electricity provider because these cities had municipal or co-op electrical service before deregulation. Some insights on Texans who switch from one electricity provider to another have been curated and presented below.

Better Rates and Deals

  • According to ElectricRate, because there are many electricity providers in Texas, the companies compete by offering very attractive electricity rates. A J.D. Power and Associates survey that was conducted in 2010, showed that Texans were switching electricity providers easily to secure lower rates and better deals. Moreover, a 2019 report from Cogent also indicated that disappointment in rate plans is one of the main reasons why 1 in 4 Texans is planning to switch electricity providers.
  • Another report from Texas Rose showed that some electricity companies are charging consumers with 28 different fees leading to thousands of complaints from Texans. This data backs up the reason as to why people in Texas switch from one electricity provider to another as they look for better rates and deals.
  • According to the Texas Rose report, some companies’ fees “can trick people into signing up for a plan that seems to be the cheapest, but then get hit with hidden fees later on, after they signed the contract.” The fees can be quite a burden forcing a consumer to look for another provider with better rates.
  • A consumer who was enrolled to one of Texas electricity providers left this rating in TexasElecticityRatings. “Got a great rate for the 3 months I signed up for, but there is no way to check when your rate expires and no notification that it was expiring and I needed to pick a new plan. And once it did, the first 30 days was 2x the price, so I was surprised by a $600 electric bill. I immediately switched to a new carrier. This is a very shady way to do business and I'll never use this company again.”


  • Approximately 5,361 Texans took part in the 2019 Cogent Syndicated survey mentioned above. From the results, 84% of Texans said that before they do business with an eclectic provider, trust must be established.
  • Moreover, trust in electric providers decreased by 2 points to 735 and while 16 electric providers were able to increase their brand trust, consumers' trust in 13 other providers declined. Based on this data, convincing customers to switch can be a hard task as trust is important for them thus, providers with low brand trust might face financial problems.
  • Chris Oberle of Escalent said, “With so many provider brands to choose from and customers open to switching, successful retail electric providers (REPs) will need to become trusted brands to avoid losing profits on customer churn.”

Motivators for Switching

  • In addition to providing the best electricity rates, providers can also motivate Texans to switch by ensuring they are environmentally friendly. Lack of environmental dedication came second to disappointing rate plans in the Cogent report where one in four Texans said they are planning to switch electricity providers.
  • Electricity consumers in Texas also factor in reward programs and promotions when looking for a provider. Therefore, by offering sign-up promotions, reward programs, and any other service that can act as an incentive might motivate Texans to switch providers.
  • Providing great customer service, billing and account management, and order experience are also good motivators according to reviews from TexasElecticityRatings.

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Reliant Customer: Profile

Customers of Reliant Energy are typically urban consumers in Texas that are likely bilingual and technologically savvy.

Overview of Findings

Geographic Location

Language/Ethnic Background

  • In parallel, Reliant Energy's messaging across its social media platforms (e.g, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) indicates that a meaningful portion of the company's customer base is either bi-lingual in English and Spanish or speaks only Spanish.
  • This is specifically evidenced by Reliant Energy's regular posting of customer messages in Spanish or both Spanish and English.

Technology Savvy

  • Slightly dated reporting by Green Tech Media also suggests that Reliant Energy's consumer base is technologically savvy.
  • Specifically, Green Tech Media reported that over 400,000 of Reliant Energy's customers use one or more of the company's technology-enabled products, including "very popular" weekly email and text alerts, an iGoogle widget and home energy displays.
  • This reporting is consistent with Reliant Energy's current promotion of its "smart home upgrades" and other innovative technology offerings.
  • Considering that Reliant Energy and online energy resources (e.g., Get Energy Company, TexasElectricityRatings) report that the company has between 1 million and 1.5 million total customers, it is reasonable to conclude that between one-fourth and one-half of Reliant Energy's customer base is interested in adopting new technology.

Media Preferences

  • Meanwhile, information on Reliant Energy's primary audience for its corporate website suggests that the company's consumers have a strong preference for YouTube and Facebook.
  • Specifically, SimilarWeb reports that the majority of Reliant Energy's web traffic from social media comes from YouTube (56.4%) and Facebook (25%), as opposed to other popular platforms such as Twitter (6.9%) or Reddit (3.3%).
  • Notably, the Pew Research center reports that YouTube and Facebook are most commonly used by urban consumers, men, Hispanics, and those under 30 years of age in the US.

General Interests

  • Additionally, information from SimilarWeb suggests that Reliant Energy's audience has a differentiated interest in finance as well as news and media.
  • Specifically, customers who are engaged on Reliant Energy's owned media channels are also highly interested in sources of information about current news, media trends and financial topics such as banking and lending.
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TXU Customer: Profile

TXU has over two million customers across the state of Texas. The electric company serves residential homeowners, apartment renters, and commercial businesses. Though TXU has struggled due to competition in some regions, its business customer base in particular has grown substantially over the years, and in 2018, they introduced a new platform and products to entice apartment renters. Customers seem to choose TXU because it allows them "choice, convenience, and control."

General Customer Data

  • In 2015, TXU had 1.7 million customers in Texas, and its customer defection rate due to competition had "decreased sharply," lower than one percent.
  • Vistra, the parent company of TXU, reported in 2019 that it serves one of every three residential electricity consumers.
  • In a 2018 report, Vistra said they provided electricity to 23 percent of retail customers and 20 percent of commercial customers in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the electric grid that covers most of the state and "manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers."
  • Since Texas opened the retail electric market to competition in 2002, TXU Energy "has lost over one million residential customers in the Oncor [a competitor's] region."
  • Between 2015 and 2017, TXU's "electricity sales to businesses grew more than 25 percent."

Customer Psychographics

  • It seems TXU customers prefer to handle their TXU interactions remotely, with over "70 percent of customer service interactions" in 2013 facilitated through "self-service channels like interactive voice response" and on "online, social media, and mobile platforms."
  • In Vistra's 2018 annual report, they profiled their customers as desiring "choice, convenience, and control over how and when they use electricity and related services."

Apartment Renters

  • In 2018, TXU launched a "new digital platform and products designed exclusively for apartment renters."
  • The press release reads, "With TXUeLeaseSM TXU Energy continues to meet the needs of customers — residential, business, and now renters, too," suggesting TXU was attempting to expand their share of the market to include the untapped potential of renters.


  • TXU serves small, medium, and large businesses, such as data centers, commercial real estate owners, city governments and schools, hospitals and healthcare centers, manufacturers, oil and gas companies, and restaurants.
  • Marriott International, "one of the world's leading hoteliers" with an annual revenue $20.97 billion, uses TXU at its Texas hotels.
  • Through partnering with TXU, Marriott International implemented energy- and cost-saving solutions that "benefit [their] bottom line."
  • Other businesses they partner with include Alon USA, an oil refinery in West Texas; the Texas Silencer Company, a manufacturer; World Class Flowers, a small business in Houston; Ellen's Café, a restaurant in Spring, Texas; Papa Johns, a pizza restaurant chain; and the City of Dallas, who wanted to combine forces with TXU to push more Texans towards electric vehicles.

Research Strategy

To find out what customers at TXU look like, we researched the company's website, press releases, testimonials and case studies, annual reports, and news articles.
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Texas Electricity Market: Key Players

Direct Energy, Green Mountain Energy, and Gexa Energy are three top competitors in the Texas electricity market. The requested details for all three companies has been provided in rows 2-4 of the project spreadsheet.

Electricity Providers Texas

  • Direct Energy generated over $14 billion in revenue at the end of the 2019 fiscal year.
  • Green Mountain Energy earned over $147 million in revenue for the year 2019.
  • Gexa Energy earned total revenue of $104 million in 2019.

Research Strategy

To determine three of the top electricity players in Texas, we started by identifying some top players in the sector. Once we found a publicly available list, we researched the companies on the list and selected those with the highest revenue. We have provided the three selected companies, their website and most recent revenue in the spreadsheet.
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Texas Electricity Market: Competitive Landscape

Information pertaining to a company overview, products and services, pricing, target market, and competitive advantage is provided for Direct Energy, Green Mountain Energy, and Gexa Energy, in summary form in the brief below, and in further detail in the attached spreadsheet.

Company Overview

  • Direct Energy is a fully owned subsidiary of Centrica plc, with North American headquarters in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1986, the company has close to 3,500 employees and posted $14 billion in revenue for 2019 with an operating profit of $265 million.
  • With a mission to use customer choice to power changes in the way power is made, Green Mountain Energy was founded in 1997. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has 650 employees deployed in 11 regional offices.
  • Gexa Energy was founded in 2002, with an estimated 375 employees. The company is headquartered in Houston Texas, and its core values are a commitment to excellence, doing the right thing, and treating people with respect.

Products and Services

  • Direct Energy offers electricity and natural gas products in the residential markets in which it operates. Business services are offered to small businesses, large business, and wholesale customers. In Texas, services are offered for both business, and residential services, albeit, only in the electrical market.
  • Green Mountain Energy partners with utilities to offer renewable products in residential markets in Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The company offers clean energy products for businesses and institutions in Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  • Gexa Energy offers electricity products to residential and business customers in free 3-day weekend plans, free mornings and nights plans, 100% renewable plans, usage based plans, and every day, every night plans.


  • Pricing for Direct Energy varies by location.
  • Green Mountain Energy offers small businesses a fixed rate for terms of 6, 12, 18, 24- or -36 month terms. Pricing for medium and large businesses is only available by requesting a quote.
  • Company pricing for Gexa Energy ranges between 0.062 cents per kWh and 0.146 cents per kWh.

Target Market

  • Direct Energy services residential and business markets in its areas of operation.
  • Green Mountain Energy offers business services to small, medium, and large businesses, and residential services to home-owners.
  • Gexa Energy targets residential, and small and large businesses.

Competitive Advantage

  • Direct Energy's competitive advantage is its ability to provide specialized offerings that are simple yet innovative, for both residential and business customers across most of the North American market.
  • Green Mountain Energy's competitive advantage is its 20 year experience in the provision of renewable energy, and the lower cost of its services in comparison to other energy types.
  • Gexa's Energy's competitive advantage is its access to renewable energy generated by its parent company, its 18 years of experience in the renewable energy market, and affordable plans.