Source: Npros 5/14/2010

Ambit Energy Launches Landmark Pre-Paid Energy Plan

Smart Meter Technology Empowers a Larger Segment of Consumers

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dallas-based Ambit Energy, a leading national retail energy provider, announced an innovative product that offers new flexibility to budget-conscious consumers in select Texas markets. Called the Ambit Smart Plan, it offers customers with smart metering technology with the ability to purchase their electricity and monitor its usage in real time. The new product was created for consumers who have lower credit scores or who do not utilize traditional financial services.

The new product is currently available where smart meters are installed in the service areas of Texas's two largest electricity delivery companies, Oncor and CenterPoint. The two companies have already installed more than a million smart meters with an additional million expected by the end of the year.

With the Ambit Smart Plan, each customer's usage is monitored every 15 minutes. Customers, in-turn, can pre-pay for electricity and manage their accounts online and in real time. Ambit alerts customers via e-mail or text message with important account information, and sends them updates as to how much electricity they have remaining. The consumer pays only for the electricity they to use, as they use it.

"This real-time technology has dramatically lowered the (credit) risk built into traditional pre-paid rates," said Ambit Energy CEO Jere Thompson, Jr. "As a result, we're able to offer a pre-paid, no-deposit product to our smart meter customers, at a savings that allows them to continue to buy groceries after they pay their energy bills. Most importantly, we've made it as transparent as possible, with no hidden fees or monthly charges."

Adds Thompson, this type of real-time, pre-paid electricity plan is ideal for the growing segment of underbanked consumers. According to the Federal Insurance Deposit Corp., about 36 percent of Texas households have to rely on alternative services such as non-bank money orders and check-cashing services to manage their finances.

According to Ambit Energy CMO Chris Chambless, the new product is also perfect for Ambit Energy's growing team of Independent Consultants in Texas."Rolling out our Smart Plan is like opening an entirely new market," said Chambless. "As our Consultants work to educate Texas consumers about the benefits of deregulated energy, they will now have an even larger population of customers they can help save on their monthly electricity expenses."

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