PHOENIX, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Direct Energy, one of North America's largest energy services providers, is expanding the company's footprint in Arizona with a new, comprehensive call center, which will play an important role in the company's growth. Direct Energy already has a thriving call center in Phoenix employing 150 people. With the new call center to be located in Tempe, Direct Energy will expand its Phoenix regional base and employ an additional 250 to 300 people, creating new jobs in the Greater Phoenix region. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121004/MM87276LOGO) "Our existing Phoenix call center has been successful for Direct Energy and is bursting at the seams," said Eddy Collier, president, Direct Energy Services. "Our new call center is being expanded to cover call taking for our very large Residential Energy business, allowing us to offer a wide range of products and services in one location for the benefit of our customers." Direct Energy continues to pursue an aggressive organic and acquisitive growth strategy in North America and position itself to meet all the energy needs of services, business, and residential consumers. "The new call center shows Direct Energy's commitment to harnessing our energy expertise to make a difference in Arizona among the community, the people we serve, and our employees while also intending to grow our business and footprint in the state through enhanced retail market competition," said Steven Murray, president, Direct Energy Residential. Direct Energy worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to understand the positive business value and the qualified and educated workforce that the Greater Phoenix region offers. The new call center is expected to provide a $7 million capital investment to the region. "Direct Energy's expansion in Arizona speaks to the state's advantageous business operating environment and national competitiveness," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. "We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Direct Energy, assisting the company as it increases its operations, invests capital in our state, and creates hundreds of jobs for Arizonans." "As a community, we've worked hard to improve the region's competitiveness and spur job creation," said Jim Lundy, Chairman of GPEC's Board of Directors and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona. "Direct Energy's investment in Greater Phoenix is testament to our success as we've built a robust business landscape and a strong, capable workforce – both of which were a major factor in the company's choice of Tempe over other competitive markets like Dallas and Tulsa." "We are thankful that Direct Energy has selected Tempe as the place to expand its customer care center," Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. "In addition to bringing hundreds of new jobs and opportunity to our city, Direct Energy has a proven track record of community support in the region." Direct Energy will move into the new facility in February. The company expects the call center to be fully functional by the end of the first quarter of 2013.