Frequently Asked Questions
DEREGULATION – INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
WHAT IS DIRECT ENERGY OFFERING?
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) allows licensed electric and natural gas suppliers to sell electricity and natural gas to Maryland consumers. Direct Energy is one of these licensed electricand gas suppliers, offering you a choice in who provides your electricity generation or gas supply service. Your local utility will still deliver your electricity and natural gas, read your meter, provide your emergency service and bill you just like they always have.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY LOCAL UTILITY (ELECTRIC/NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION COMPANY OR ELECTRIC/NATURAL GAS COMPANY) AND DIRECT ENERGY?
They are two different companies with different purposes. Direct Energy is a retail supplier of electricity and natural gas, but you local utility is a regulated entity that delivers your electricity or natural gas. Direct Energy is able to purchase the electricity or natural gas on the competitive market and sell it to customers. Your local utility continues to deliver that electricity or natural gas to you.
WILL MY BILL LOOK DIFFERENT IF I CHOOSE DIRECT ENERGY?
When you select Direct Energy as your supplier, you will get one bill from your utility each month and you can see the breakdown between Direct Energy's charge for electric generation or gas supply and your utility charges for distribution service, any other services it provides, and taxes. If you are not signed up with a licensed electric or natural gas supplier, your utility bill will not separate the supply and transmission charges.
WHEN ENROLLING, THE FORM ASKS IF AM AUTHORIZED BY THE UTILITY TO ENROLL MY ACCOUNT. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
In order to enroll your account with Direct Energy, only the customer of record can authorize the enrollment. If your name is on your utility bill, then you are the customer of record.
WHAT ARE DISTRIBUTION CHARGES?
These are the fees that your local utility charges you to deliver the electricity or gas supply to your location and are in addition to the cost of electric or gas generation service. Your utility charges these fees no matter who you have chosen as your electric or natural gas generation supplier.
WHAT ARE TRANSMISSION CHARGES?
These are charges for the cost of moving high voltage electricity from the facility that generates that electricity to the distribution lines of your electric distribution company, or "utility." Or, in the case of natural gas, these are the charges to move natural gas through the pipeline. When you select an electric or natural gas supplier other than your utility, your generation rate with the supplier will include these transmission charges.
HOW CAN I VIEW WHAT MY PRICE WILL BE IF I ENROLL WITH DIRECT ENERGY?
Go here and select your electricity utility service area. You will then see the electricity offers that are currently available in your area.
Go here for information on our natural gas plans. You will have an opportunity to select a plan during the enrollment process.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY BUDGET PLAN?
For customers who are already enrolled in a budget billing program, your utility will continue to provide you with a budget bill for the delivery portion of your bill. Your bill will be adjusted to reflect utility charges only. If you would like to participate in budget billing for your electric generation or gas supply service charges, you will need to notify us at 1-888-200-7930 after your enrollment is complete.
WILL I STILL BE ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL WITH DIRECT ENERGY IF I AM ON A LOW-INCOME OR LIMITED INCOME ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Yes, you will still be eligible to enroll with Direct Energy if you are enrolled in these programs. However, LIHEAP credits will only be applied to the utility's charges, not the supplier portion of the bill.
I HAVE TIME-OF-DAY OR NET METERING. CAN I STILL BE A DIRECT ENERGY CUSTOMER?
We do not currently offer Time-of-Day (or Time of Use) pricing or on-peak and off-peak rates in Maryland. However, we encourage you to check back with us in the future regarding their availability.
WHAT IF I AM TAX EXEMPT?
You should fax your completed tax exemption certificate to our Customer Care Center at 1-800-457-9686 or mail us a copy of the certificate to the following address in order to process your exemption:
PMB #51, 7385 North State Route 3
Westerville, OH 43082
Unless we have a certificate on file, we are required to charge you sales tax.
WHEN WILL MY SERVICE WITH DIRECT ENERGY BEGIN?
Your service will begin with your next meter read date after your enrollment has been processed by your utility. This will be reflected on your bill in 1 to 2 billing cycles.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MY INITIAL TERM?
After your initial term ends, your contract will continue on a month-to-month basis. However, Direct Energy may, near the end of your initial term or during a renewal term, send you notice at least 45 days in advance of a renewal date offering you a new or amended price plan.
For electricity, Direct Energy will charge you a variable price per kWh based upon generally prevailing market prices for electricity in the local electricity market plus an adder, determined solely by Direct Energy in its discretion, of up to $0.10 per kWh. For natural gas, Direct Energy will charge you a variable price per therm equal to the following: an amount no greater than $0.70/therm added to the closing price of next month's Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures Contract as listed by the NYMEX for the day on which your rate is established.
DO YOU OFFER RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTS?
We do not currently have a renewable energy product to offer in Maryland at this time. Please check back with us at a later date for availability.
WHAT IF I WANT TO CANCEL?
There are no fees for early termination and you may cancel at any time by calling or writing Direct Energy. You also have the option to choose other available Direct Energy products. Please note that while we generally have multiple products available, there may be times when we do not.
WHERE IS DIRECT ENERGY LOCATED?
We have several offices in North America. Our US corporate headquarters is in Houston, TX.
WHO IS DIRECT ENERGY?
Direct Energy is one of the largest providers of gas, electricity, and related energy services to business and residential customers across North America. Direct Energy is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Centrica, PLC, a leading supplier of energy and home services. Together, we provide energy services to approximately 30 million homes and businesses worldwide.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM YOUR COMPETITORS?
1. Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers.
2. Direct Energy is a diverse, vertically-integrated, financially strong North American energy company that is growing.
3. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services.
Direct Energy has more than 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships in 46 states and the District of Columbia in the US, and 10 provinces in Canada, and serves more residential customers than any other competitive energy retailer on the continent.
We attribute our success to our ability to adapt, innovate and earn the trust of customers in a competitive marketplace.
We have adapted to changing markets by entering new geographies, varying our customer base to include both residential and business consumers, and developing a wide range of product lines tailored to address individual customer needs.
Our S&P 'A -' Rating sets us apart from most other retailers
We are owners and operators of assets that give us deeper insight into power and natural gas markets than other retailers: Our upstream assets include approximately 4,600 natural gas wells in Alberta, three gas-fired electrical power plants in Texas. We are a leading retailer of green power in Canada and have renewable power purchase agreements totaling 670MW in Texas, and we recently finalized the acquisition of Rockyview Energy in Alberta.