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Update: International Retail Supplier Seeks First U.S. Retail License, To Launch Portal Comparing Own, Competitor Rates

Company's Goal Is To, "End Aggressive Door-To-Door Sales Tactics"

November 28, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17
Reporting by Paul Ring •

EnPowered USA Inc. applied for an Ohio retail electric supplier license as a power marketer and aggregator to serve all customer classes in all service areas

EnPowered USA is a unit of Canadian retail supplier and aggregator En-Powered Inc.

EnPowered's entry into the U.S. market, with Ohio as its first state and its unique business model, had been first reported by in October (see story here)

EnPowered started in Ontario as a broker, with an online shopping portal, and then moved into group-buying and becoming a retail supplier itself. It also now offers market prediction services, to facilitate demand response, via machine-learning algorithms

In Ohio, EnPowered will launch an Energy Portal comparing its own rates and competitor rates, and providing various savings information to all customers, not just its own

EnPowered is creating an online Energy Portal which will be personalized for each customer. This portal will take over a year to complete and will be launched in multiple stages, but once complete this portal will allow each customer to:

1. See their electricity usage and costs every month going back two years

2. See how their new electricity rate compares to the Price-to-Compare every month

3. See how much they are (or are not) saving each month

4. Transparently compare and choose from all the different supplier rates available in the market

5. See their carbon footprint each month and understand where their electricity is coming from

6. Choose a specific carbon offset or REC provider to manage their carbon footprint

7. Directly contribute to demand response initiatives to reduce their electricity costs

Further details concerning the phases are as follows:

Stage 1: Proven Savings (Jan 2018)

Immediately upon launching in the State of Ohio, EnPowered's initial Energy Portal will go live. This portal will allow any of EnPowered's customers to log-in and see their monthly electricity usage, costs, and savings. It will allow the company to ensure that its customers understand their new electricity rates and are happy with the savings that they are earning. In stage 1, EnPowered essentially operates as a standard energy marketer. It will be working mostly with small-businesses and property management groups at this stage, helping them move to lower electricity rates. EnPowered's promise to them will be that,"any company can promise you savings, we are the only ones that will prove them to you - or your money back."

EnPowered will be offering customers a number of different electricity plans, including variable and fixed electricity rates, but the most common plans will be a "Pegged" rate and a "Capped" rate. The goal of these two plans is to ensure that customers are saving money every single month and are satisfied with EnPowered's services.

EnPowered's "Pegged" rates are guaranteed to offer savings to customers, but the savings will be relatively small (for example, 5% off the PTC)

EnPowered's "Capped" rates also offer guaranteed savings to customers, but with slightly higher savings. This plan operates like a variable rate, with rates moving up and down with the market; however this rate will never rise higher than the utility's Price-to-Compare.

For customers that are willing to accept more risk, EnPowered will also offer variable plans, fixed plans, index plans, and other customized rates. These rates may offer greater savings to customers, but they also come with greater risks.

Stage 2: Choose Your Rate (Apr 2018)

By April of 2018, EnPowered will launch stage 2 of the Energy Portal. This stage will allow any consumer to come to the EnPowered website, create a free online account, and compare any rate in the market. This means that any consumer can truly compare competing electricity rates in their region. They accomplish this by using historical prices to get a better understanding of the savings that plans offer, and also the inherent risks. For example, they could see that variable plans offer good savings, but often result in higher costs during months with high market rates. At this stage, EnPowered will continue to offer the plans mentioned above; however, customers will now be able to go online and easily compare how these different plans function. They will be able to see how each plan would have worked in the past, how they could work in the future, and they can consequently make an informed choice as to which plan is best for them.

EnPowered will also be pulling information from PUCO's Energy Choice Ohio website to allow customers to compare all the rates available in the State of Ohio from all suppliers -- not just EnPowered. "The objective is to offer increased transparency into the energy market, and EnPowered is confident that it will offer the best plans to customers. As a result, the company will happily allow customers to compare different rates in the market even if they do not choose EnPowered as their provider," the company said in its application

To help incentivize customers to choose EnPowered and shop between different rates, all EnPowered's online plans are offered with no sign-up fees, no cancellation fees, and no long-term commitments. If a consumer uses the EnPowered Energy Portal to compare options in the market, but then decides to sign-up with a different provider, this consumer will still be able to use EnPowered's portal to track their monthly usage, costs, and savings.

EnPowered intends to have thousands of Ohioans using the Energy Portal to pick the best electricity plans in the market, and expects that many will subsequently choose EnPowered as their provider.

"It is EnPowered's goal to end aggressive door-to-door sales tactics and help customers take control of their energy usage and costs," EnPowered said in its application

"EnPowered believes that the best way to do this is by increasing transparency in the market as much as possible," EnPowered said in its application

Stage 3: Choose Your Supply (Oct 2018)

"By October of 2018, EnPowered intends to allow customers to choose which energy supplier they support. From a consumers' perspective, this will allow them to understand their current energy supply mix, and allow them to change which energy source they support. This will be supported with carbon offsets and renewable energy certifications (RECs)," the company said in its application

"In this stage, the goal is to give consumers greater visibility into where their electricity is produced, what their environmental impacts are, and what they can do to control their energy footprint. This would include allowing them to pick a carbon offset supplier of their choice anywhere in the world to mitigate the impact of their carbon emissions, or it could include supporting a local energy project," the company said in its application

Stage 4: Demand Response (June 2019)

By the middle of 2019, EnPowered will begin helping customers reduce their· energy costs by contributing to demand response initiatives. This would include giving increased transparency into how these programs operate, how prices fluctuate in real-time, and how much customers could potentially save by reducing their usage during peak periods.

This stage of EnPowered's operations will also likely include integration with hardware devices, specifically Internet of Things (IoT) devices, allowing EnPowered to shift a customer's electricity load in real-time to respond to demand response initiatives. This will help to increase the adoption of demand response programs and help PJM and utilities better manage Ohio's electricity grid in the future.

Ancillary Retail Services

Finally, EnPowered will be offering some ancillary services to customers in various markets. EnPowered is already offering these services to customers in Ontario, and will be looking to offer these services to customers in Ohio as well.

Bill Auditing:

EnPowered analyzes the electricity bills provided by customers to find potential billing mistakes, and then works with utilities to correct any mistakes that were found.

Retrofit Assistance:

For larger customers, EnPowered also helps with retrofit programs. Note that EnPowered does not offer any retrofits itself, nor does the company have the hardware expertise to offer consulting services. Instead, EnPowered helps customers monitor their usage before and after retrofits, normalize their usage to weather patterns, and verify whether or not their retrofit programs have delivered the promised savings.

Predictive Analytics

In June of 2017, En Powered began to offer predictive analytics and market prediction software to larger enterprise customers in Ontario to help them opt-in to demand response programs. This is unrelated to EnPowered's current retail plans in the State of Ohio, but it is a significant portion of the company's Ontario revenues. EnPowered has created machine-learning algorithms which predict the energy market in advance with great accuracy. These predictive analytics are highly valuable to enterprise customers that have opted-in to demand response programs in the Province of Ontario. By providing them with advance warning, the company's customers are able to maximize their savings in demand response programs by greatly reducing their usage during market peaks.

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