Amigo Energy

Infobox Company
name = Amigo Energy
company_
type = Private
foundation = 2003
location_city = Houston, TX
location_country = United States
locations =
key_people = Javier Antonio Vega, President/CEO
area_served = Texas
industry = Retail Electricity Provider
slogan = "Fetch the Lowest Price",
"Always Better than the Big Dogs",
"Unleash the Savings"
homepage = [http://www.amigoenergy.com/ amigoenergy.com]

Amigo Energy is a privately owned, full-service Retail Electricity Provider (REP) to residential and commercial customers in Texas.

History

Amigo (Spanish for "friend") was founded by two Hispanic businessmen – a father and son team with more than 20 years of collective experience in the Texas deregulated electricity market.

Amigo services customers throughout almost all deregulated transmission areas in Texas.

Partnership with the Houston Dynamo

The Houston Dynamo reached a four-year sponsorship agreement with Amigo Energy on August 15, 2007, making the Houston-based retail electricity provider the largest sponsor in the franchise's history. [Citation
title = Dynamo, Amigo Energy announce historic business partnership
date = August 15, 2007
year = 2007
url = http://www.mlsnet.com//news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20070815&content_id=111551&vkey=pr_hou&fext=.jsp&team=t200
] As part of the advertising campaign, Amigo Energy becomes the official jersey sponsor of the Dynamo. The Houston franchise is the sixth league team to sign jersey sponsors, along with Red Bull New York, Los Angeles, Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC.

The Amigo Energy logo will appear on all team jerseys, along with other on-field gear, effective Sunday, August 19. Amigo Energy also becomes the official home and business retail energy provider of the Dynamo. As part of the deal, Amigo Energy will establish a focused marketing strategy that uses the Dynamo in co-branded advertising, customer retention, and new customer acquisition programs. [Citation
title = The Houston Dynamo Has a New Friend
date = August 15, 2007
year = 2007
url = http://www.amigoenergy.com/web/page.aspx?pg=company_news&ch=dynamo
]

The new replica Dynamo jersey with the Amigo Energy logo is being produced by Adidas.

Controversy

Residents in the Houston, Texas service area of Amigo Energy have recently complained to the Texas Public Utility Commission about Amigo's rapid, unannounced price hikes. Some customers reported a one-month price hike of as much as 61%. The price hike came right after an email from Amigos's President asking customers to sign for a contract. The price hikes come during the summer months which see some of the highest rates of electric usage in Texas, where temperatures frequently soar into the high 90's. High prices are only part of the reason why many Texas electric customers are calling for the repeal of electric deregulation, during a time in which Texas consumers have seen retail electric prices go from some of the lowest in the United States to some of the highest. [Citation
title = Ripoff Report, By Consumers, For Consumers
date = August 8, 2008
year = 2008
url = http://www.ripoffreport.com/viewsimilar.asp?q5=Amigo%20Energy&ref=355390
]

A local news reporter investigated questions on electricity prices. "Many of you asked KPRC Local 2 investigative reporter Amy Davis if the electric companies increases amount to price gouging... The answer is no." [Citation
title = Ask Amy: Are Electric Companies Price Gouging?
date = July 22, 2008
year = 2008
url = http://www.click2houston.com/news/16957492/detail.html
]

Amigo Energy entered into an agreement with National Power Company to transfer all of the variable rate customers of National Power to Amigo when National Power exited the Texas Retail Electric Provider market in May 2008.While the typical variable rate plan that was represented in the local news reporters investigation is subjective to large price increases without any contractual or regulatory protection, the customers transitioned in the National Power to Amigo agreement had stipulation in their Terms of Service agreement that is contrary to the normal variable rate Terms of Service. The agreement between National Power and Amigo Energy was reported by the Public Utility Commission of Texas that the current Terms of Service and rate structure of the National Power variable rate customers would be carry over to Amigo Energy. [Citation
title = PUC urges POLR customers to compare
date = May 27, 2008
year = 2008
url = http://www.puc.state.tx.us/nrelease/2008/052808.pdf
] Therefore, the National Power Terms of Service would be in effect until the customer transitioned to another rate plan. The National Power Company terms of service agreement had clause in it that stated that the price of electricity for variable rate customers could not be increased more than 10% per month without a new Facts Label being provided to the customer. Amigo Energy is currently accused of not meeting that clause by not sending out a new Facts Label before increasing the rates charged more than 80% in one month. Most of the former National Power Company customers had their rates go from 11.1 -12.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 19.9 -24.69 cents per kilowatt hour in the first month after the customer transition completed. Numerous former National Power Company customers have filed a complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas in an attempt to force Amigo Energy to stand by the Terms of Service Agreement that is associated with the Amigo Energy rate plan of NPCVAR. [Citation
title = NPCVAR Terms of Service Agreement
date = May 30, 2008
year = 2008
url = http://www.amigoenergy.com/web/pdfs/npc_termsofservice.pdf
] Amigo Energy is claiming that they sent new Facts Labels to the transitioned customers yet the only thing the customers report getting are advertisements from Amigo welcoming them and asking them to transition to a high fixed rate plan of 16.1 cents/kWh for a 36 month term or 16.45 cents/kWh for a 24 month term. That is the disagreement that is currently being investigated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

As of Sept. 16, 2008, Amigo Energy had met with the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and has acknowledge the following issues and have committed to working to resolve the problems. [CP2008081826]

* No bill received - PUC Substantive Rule 25.479 (b)(1)
* No payment arrangement for bill not received - PUC Substantive Rule 25.480 (e)
* July 2008 billing not in compliance with the NPC Terms of Service - PUC Substantive Rule 25.479 (c)(1)(H)
* No notification of variable rate change - PUC Substantive Rule 25.479 (c)(1)(O)
* Electricity Facts Label (EFL) not in compliance with PUC Substantive Rule 25.475 (f)(1)(C)
* Inability to respond to customer phone calls. PUC Substantive Rules 25.485 (b)(1-2)
* Insufficient documentation to respond to complaints. PUC substantive Rule 25.485 (e)(1)(D)

References

External links

* [http://www.amigoenergy.com Official Website]


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