BOSTON, May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The impacts of the recent, unprecedented Polar Vortex have highlighted the potential for improvements so that customers are better protected from extraordinarily high energy bills during short term market events. Direct Energy, North America's largest energy and energy-related services provider, is announcing today that effective immediately, the Company will add a price protection feature to its current residential electric variable rates in each Massachusetts utility service area in which the Company serves. While Direct Energy offers fixed rate contract plans that provide price stability for its residential power customers, this new product feature combines the flexibility of a month-to-month variable plan with protection against unexpected price spikes. "Direct Energy's price protection will provide our customers who migrate to a variable rate product with the peace of mind of knowing the upside of price risks," said David Hindman, vice president and general manager of Direct Energy's U.S. residential business.
Direct Energy's price protection level for its residential electric variable rates in Massachusetts is 16.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, and the Company is committing to this price protection level for the May-October period. Direct Energy's specific maximum variable rate with price protection is for the National Grid Massachusetts Electric (MECO) utility area, where Direct Energy serves residential customers. By offering this level of price certainty, Direct Energy will continue to serve its customers with competitive pricing which may be lower than, but will not exceed these levels during this period. After the initial six month period, to the extent that Direct Energy determines it needs to adjust its price protection level, Direct Energy also commits to provide its residential customers with a minimum of 30 days advance notice prior to making a change so that customers may make informed decisions regarding which plan is right for them.