Electric power transmission
Reliant Energy is an American energy company based in Houston, Texas.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, is one of the largest Texas electricity providers serving over 1.5 million Texans. Reliant provides over 23 million megawatts of power annually to residential and business customers.
Reliant Energy was founded in 2000. In June 2009, NRG Energy purchased Reliant Energy's retail electricity business. At the time, Reliant had 1.8 million customers and was the second largest electric provider in Texas. The name Reliant Energy was retained and the surviving wholesale business was renamed RRI Energy, which was retired in 2012 after additional NRG acquisitions.
In 2010, Reliant Energy received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the DOE’s Recovery Act activities to fund a suite of Smart Grid products for upgrades of the nation’s electricity grid.
In 2017, Reliant was awarded a MaritzCX CX (customer experience) Elite Award for excellence in customer experience strategy, execution, and results, and the 2017 Temkin Group CX Excellence Award for customer experience transformation efforts, business and customer results, and sustainability.
Reliant Energy has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The BBB reports 194 complaints against the company in the last 3 years.
Deregulation of electricity in Texas
On January 1, 2002, Texas deregulated the electricity industry and now there are 116 retail electric providers (REPs) currently doing business in the state. Texas is one of 18 states that offers some level of deregulated electricity, with the state having the largest percentage (approximately 85%) of residents who are able to choose their service provider.
With deregulation the transmission and distribution of the electricity is handled by Transmission and Distribution Utilities (TDUs) that must offer access to their wires to all REPs on a non-discriminatory basis.
Deregulation eliminated monopolies and gave the residents and businesses in Texas competitive pricing options. Following the deregulation of the market, Reliant Energy began competing with other large energy companies in the state, including Direct Energy and TXU Corporation. Reliant Energy offers service to some of the largest cities in Texas including the Dallas/Fort Worth area in northeastern Texas, Houston and surrounding cities on the Gulf of Mexico including Corpus Christi and Galveston, and as far west as Midland.
Reliant Energy provides solar and wind turbine renewable energy options for its customers. The renewable energy options are only available in areas where the TDUs offer the service. Reliant provides sell back options for excess energy generated by an individual.
In June 2013, the City of Houston signed a renewable energy agreement with Reliant, as part of Houston’s dedication to improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of solar and wind power as energy sources. This deal included the purchase of 140 MW of wind energy output from 2013 to 2015.
NRG and Reliant Energy provided more than $2 million of disaster relief resources, in cash and in-kind relief efforts, for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Relief included deploying disaster-response power generation solutions, backup power and phone chargers, and direct financial relief for impacted customers.
Reliant has provided electricity to Beat the Heat Centers in Texas since 2009. Partnering with local community centers, Reliant helps air condition buildings where the public can enjoy free AC, in a safe environment, throughout the summer while reducing home electricity use during the hottest days.
In 2005, Reliant started the Scholarship for Champions program, which awards $5,000 to Houston-area student-athletes. Reliant has awarded more than $400,000 to 80 college-bound high school students.
In 2016, Reliant started the crowd-sourced Reliant Gives program, where the public votes for their favorite charity to receive a prize of $100,000. Charities are nominated by Reliant employees, and the prize is given multiple times each year. Since inception the program has given $460,000 distributed among 12 organizations.
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