HOUSTON, May 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than a decade of competitive energy market implementation throughout the country, Direct Energy is optimistic about developing a successful competitive energy market in Arizona to serve retail electric customers – particularly residential and small business customers. Recently, Direct Energy submitted a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CC&N) to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to serve retail electric customers in the state. The ultimate goal is to allow more consumers in the state to reap the full benefits of a competitive retail market structure, which may include cost savings. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121004/MM87276LOGO) Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy Residential, says "With the action taken by the Arizona Corporation Commission yesterday to start the spread of competition demonstrated again in Arizona and creating a platform for issues associated with retail competition to take place, Direct Energy is as optimistic as ever that we will see forward progress in Arizona. This will only serve to benefit the residences and business in the state as retail competition brings lower costs and innovation." Direct Energy has already demonstrated corporate commitment in Arizona with the expansion of their Call Center in Tempe and their current contact with a vendor to establish another significant Call Center in Tucson. Direct Energy has already seen success in the state with the implementation of a lottery system for commercial and industrial customers. Direct Energy Business was able to secure contracts to serve loads for two large retailers throughout Arizona. "Direct Energy Business is excited about the potential to expand competitive retail energy options in the state," said Maura Clark, president of Direct Energy Business. "We are happy we had the opportunity to be on the ground floor during the AG-1 pilot program where we acquired two major retail customers, and now look forward to working with more Arizona customers so they can enjoy the benefits of competitive supply." With the development of a competitive marketplace comes innovation in products and services to the benefit of all classes of retail electric customers, such as pay-as-you-go options, free power days and smart meters. In addition, Direct Energy has developed programs to recognize, honor and financially assist people who are making a difference in their communities such as the Volunteer Citizen of the Year award program, the Pittsburgh Small Business Community Heroes award program, the Reduce Your Use for Good program and more. These programs and other community investment initiatives have been implemented in many states with constructive regulatory structures such as Texas and Pennsylvania, which can be added bonuses for the state of Arizona. Murray and Clark are available for interviews.