Direct Energy Joins Electric Vehicle Charging Ecosystem

Leading North American energy retailer Direct Energy is teaming with NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) to deliver America’s first, privately-funded electric vehicle charging solution to consumers. Initial rollout plans will deliver home and remote charging capabilities across Houston, with a broader Texas and U.S. rollout set to follow.

The eVgo(SM) fueling package launched by NRG Thursday was designed to provide electric vehicle consumers with a turnkey solution for vehicle charging, based on the creation of an ecosystem of partners to deliver flexibility and ease. As North America’s leading retail energy provider to residential customers, Direct Energy is uniquely positioned to support the NRG ecosystem in Houston, the home of its U.S. headquarters, as well as beyond Texas where the company holds more than 6 million home and business customer relationships.

"Direct Energy prides itself on our ability to create innovative products and services to meet the unique and varied needs of our customers," said Steven Murray, President of Direct Energy Residential. "As electric vehicles become more popular with consumers looking to reduce their environmental impact and promote U.S. energy independence, we, as an industry, need to create thoughtful solutions for EV customers. Energy retailers like Direct Energy will play an important role in developing pricing and billing plans that meet the unique needs of EV owners, and delivering a quality customer experience."

According to Murray, Direct Energy’s work with NRG is the latest in a series of initiatives the company is working on to meet the "smart energy" needs of consumers. This summer, Direct Energy began leveraging the smart meter deployments in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth to offer Direct Energy Power-to-Go(SM) – a true, pre-paid pricing plan requiring no deposit and no credit check – that allows customers with smart meters to purchase their electricity in a way that’s similar to pre-paid cellular phone service – making payments when they want, for as much as they want, rather than receiving a monthly bill. The company also worked with a series of partners to develop a home energy management solution that is currently being piloted with consumers in the Houston area.

"For eVgo(SM) to be successful, it’s crucial that NRG partner with companies like Direct Energy that are committed to investing in the future of energy solutions, and are committed to delivering high-quality, consumer-focused solutions," said David Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy. "Direct Energy’s experience in Texas and in numerous states across the country will be a tremendous asset as we build out eVgo(SM) in Texas and beyond."

The first eVgo(SM) high-powered rapid charging stations are expected to be installed in February 2011. Through this important contribution to the network, Houston’s EV drivers will always have a charging station within easy access along major thoroughfares within 25 miles or more of city center.

"Direct Energy’s goal in working with the NRG network is to help foster consumer adoption of electric vehicles so the nation can reap their many benefits much sooner," said Murray.

Direct Energy is part of the Centrica group of companies, one of the largest multi-state providers of retail energy services in North America. The North American operations have grown to more than 6 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Through its Direct Energy, CPL and WTU brands, the company is the third largest retail energy provider in Texas, and owns three natural gas-fired power generation facilities and a series of energy-related services companies in the state. Globally, the Centrica group of companies is a leading provider of energy and other essential services with approximately 32 million customer relationships. For more information, visit

NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 300 and S&P 500 Index company, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG’s retail business, Reliant Energy, serves 1.6 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers in Texas. A past recipient of the energy industry’s highest honors—Platts Industry Leadership and Energy Company of the Year awards, NRG is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of business and environmental organizations calling for mandatory legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. NRG Energy is a founding member of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale.