Posted on: 07-27-2011 at 12:33pm
By Stream Energy Copywriter Katherine Lopez
Buddha once said, “If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” The truth in this saying is undeniable. If an individual ever feels down and defeated, a person’s actions or words has the power to bring them back up. Anyone and everyone has been helped at some point in his or her life. There is no doubt that both giving and receiving help is a crucial aspect of life.
There are many organizations in our society that aim to help those less fortunate. Your friends at Stream Energy have selected four particular organizations to support: three of these organizations help low-income families pay their energy bills; the fourth group supports children, which definitely has a special place in the hearts of Stream Energy’s employees, Ignite Associates and customers.
The Fuel Fund of Maryland has been operating since 1981; its purpose is to help low-income individuals and families in Maryland pay their electricity bills. If energy is unaffordable for a family, the Fuel Fund assists them. The Fuel Fund pays for families and individuals with the portion of the bill that they cannot afford.
A similar organization to the Fuel Fund is the Heating Energy Assistance Team (H.E.A.T) of Georgia. H.E.A.T has been helping low-income families and individuals for over 27 years with paying their energy bills. They not only depend on donations and volunteer work, but also on the donations of energy suppliers and corporations.
The Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) of Pennsylvania is yet another organization that assists those with their electricity bills. In the case of UESF, however, those that are being assisted are not limited to receiving help on only their electricity. They are also assisted with water and gas utilities. UESF’s mission is to help individuals meet the basic needs vital to their survival.
Although Captain Hope’s Kids of Texas differs from the other three organizations mentioned above, this organization is every bit as relevant. Captain Hope’s Kids is focused on meeting the needs of homeless children. On any given night in North Texas, more than 1,100 children will fall asleep in homeless and domestic violence shelters. Of these, 65 percent will be under the age of nine and 28 percent are infants and toddlers under the age 3 years. Women and children make up 48 percent of Metro Dallas’ homeless population. Many of the employees and customers of Stream Energy have kids of their own and can definitely relate to the need for providing for children.
As a company that emphasizes customer satisfaction, it is fair to say that Stream Energy not only has the ability, but also takes the opportunity to assist those in need. We invite our customers and Ignite Associates to join us in helping those in need “experience the Stream difference.”
Posted on: 07-21-2011 at 12:02pm
You see him all the time at Stream Energy and Ignite events.
You even read about him in many media publications.
But catch a glimpse of the Stream Energy chairman Rob Snyder that you might not have seen before.
Stream Energy Anniversary: August 2004 (though we had the idea for Stream Energy in January 2004)
Birthday: February 12
Family: My wife Ana and four children
Birthtown: Ft. Wayne, Indiana
Industry Awards & Honors: 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Southwest Region; American Business Award’s Chairman of the Year Award Finalist – 2010 and 2011
Favorite Movie: Schindler’s List
Favorite Team: Arsenal Football Club
Childhood Hero: Abraham Lincoln
Best childhood memory: Scoring a hat trick in the Final Four / National “Under 19” soccer tournament
Favorite Song: Not Great Men by Gang of Four, and Chet Baker’s live version of My Funny Valentine
Beatles or Stones? Stones
Steak or chicken? Chicken
What is your favorite thing about Stream Energy?
The camaraderie and the team atmosphere.
What advice would you offer someone brand new coming to Stream Energy?
Trust your co-workers.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I’d like to have a lessened degree of obsessive compulsive disorder.
How do you define a leader?
By the people who follow him. You can look to the quality of the people who are following in the footsteps of a leader and the enthusiasm in which they follow that leader – it speaks more to the leader’s attributes than the leader ever possibly could by himself.
Who influenced you the most growing up and made you into the person you are today?
My mom because she was very competitive, analytical and intelligent. She always emphasized intellectual competition in our family. Plus, there was a real focus on achievement in our house. Growing up, my mom had the greatest effect on me.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Posted on: 07-14-2011 at 1:11pm
An interview with Stream Energy’s Director of Commercial Sales Cory Hall
1. In what ways does commercial service differ from residential service?
CH: The usage patterns for commercial meters versus residential meters vary greatly. There is a difference in the way a commercial meter is billed rather than a residential meter. Residential meters have fairly predictable usage patterns while commercial meters can vary greatly. The greatest variability between each commercial account lies in its peak usage and how often it approaches that peak usage. For instance, a church’s usage pattern is much different than that of a convenience store. The church’s daily usage will rarely reach peak usage because the church is usually used only one day per week, while the convenience store has consistent usage every day of the week as it is typically open 24 hours. We see very prominent variations in usage during high heat times and summer months.
2. How do you determine commercial electricity rates?
CH: The rates are dependent on a couple of different factors: the size of the account and the efficiency of usage. We use historical usage data to determine how much power we should schedule for each account and what price it qualifies for. The more efficient an account is, the easier it is to schedule power for it, which often results in a lower rate. Efficient electricity usage is often described by how frequently the customer usage pattern approaches the peak usage for the premise. Peak demand is the maximum amount of power a customer needs to service his or her location at any given time during a service period. If a customer is very inefficient, he or she could be subject to higher pricing due to scheduling requirements and the risks associated with it. Also, inefficiency typically results in higher delivery charges for the customer as power is allocated to his or her business but is rarely utilized. An efficient customer is one who consistently hovers near this peak essentially utilizing most of the power that is allocated to him or her during that service period. Therefore, if a commercial customer increases the efficiency of his or her usage, that customer could qualify for lower rates on his or her electric service.
3. What states currently offer commercial service from Stream Energy?
CH: We currently only offer commercial service in Texas and Georgia, but we are working very diligently to offer commercial service in new markets by the end of 2011.
4. How will the commercial team prosper at Stream Energy in the future?
CH: Our team, through sales, acquisition, retention and industry-leading support, will continue to grow our customer base without sacrificing any profitability.
5. In what ways has commercial changed since its inception at Stream Energy?
CH: While the commercial venture has been an ongoing opportunity for growth, the team has become self-sufficient and altered its focus to be very customer-centric. Our primary goal is to provide the best service in the industry to all our commercial customers.
6. How competitive is Stream Energy commercial with other retail electric providers?
CH: Stream Energy is very competitive in the deregulated landscape as it pertains to residential and commercial rates and customer service. While we are seeing in the market that some providers sacrifice margin and profitability in order to obtain deals, Stream Energy’s commercial undertaking remains profitable and competitive in the marketplace.
7. As a team, what goals do you strive for on a daily, monthly and yearly basis?
CH: On a daily basis, from a service standpoint, we strive to serve our customers to the best of our ability through unparalleled market knowledge and award-winning customer service. For two years running, our service team has been recognized as one of the top-rated teams in Commercial Client Satisfaction for electricity in the state of Texas.
From an acquisition standpoint, we strive to attain as many accounts as possible while maintaining a high level of sales integrity. On a monthly basis, we attempt to obtain more accounts than the same month in the previous year. Similarly, on a yearly basis, our goal is to gain more accounts than the previous year.
8. What goals do you have for the remainder of 2011?
CH: Our goal is to continue to expand the Texas market by adding as many new commercial customers as possible, as well as prepare ourselves for the possibility of entering new markets by the end of this year.
9. How is the commercial team so successful?
CH: We have a dedicated group of employees that are split into two different areas. One area is primarily focused on sales and acquiring new customers. This sales team is managed by Ronnie Rodamer. The other half of our department focuses on customer service. If the customer needs assistance with billing or transactions, this team oversees all aspects of the customer lifecycle including retention. This service team is managed by Tony Martin.
10. How does the commercial team acquire new accounts?
CH: Well, our sales team certainly does not open up a phone book and flip to a page and start dialing numbers. A large portion of our leads come from Ignite Associates who typically have a personal relationship with business owners and/or decision makers of commercial locations. The Associates obtain the information necessary to price the deal, and our sales specialists take over from that point. Another way we generate leads are from customers who are referred to us either from current Stream Energy commercial customers or from finding our company information online. These customers simply make a phone call into our Commercial Client Services line (1-866-544-0692), and we help them sign up from there.
Posted on: 07-06-2011 at 10:24am
It’s been said that we didn’t inherit the Earth from our parents, but rather it’s on loan from our children. Now more than ever, the impetus to be good stewards of our planet rests on our shoulders. There are many utility companies that claim to provide green utilities, but Stream Energy, a leader among green energy companies, is the real deal. Stream Energy’s goal is to provide our customers with the ability to save energy and the environment with cost-affordable green plans.
One way we can all make a difference is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is a call to action that Stream Energy takes seriously. In keeping with our commitment to promote environmental health, we are pleased to offer renewable energy products to our customers that also aim to provide energy savings – Stream’s Green & Clean Plan family of electricity rates.
Customers who enroll on Stream’s Green & Clean Plan receive electricity derived from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydro, which Stream Energy purchases through the procurement of Renewable Energy Credits (REC).
Why Renewable Energy?
Wind renewable and solar renewable energy are clean, make no noise and are 100% renewable sources of energy. The wind, although not ever-present, and the sun’s energy are never going to disappear. Customers can always count on energy from the sun, and to a lesser extent, from wind. Stream Energy is now offering renewable energy credits to its customers in Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Non–polluting renewable energy generators collect on the added value of their products. Renewable energy generators produce and sell their energy in the same market as any other generator of electricity, but renewable generation is also given a renewable energy credit (REC) for every megawatt of power it produces to recognize the cleaner energy it produces. This means that every time a green or renewable energy is produced, its renewable energy credits are created and sold to companies like Stream Energy and then resold to the ultimate consumer who chooses to be more socially conscious, rewarding the renewable product generator for not polluting.
Stream Energy purchases these renewable energy credits to help supply their customers who want a green product. This way Stream Energy’s customers can feel confident that they are making a positive impact on the environment.
Why does Stream Energy do this? Because it believes in helping the planet to remain sustainable for future generations and in helping support its customers who want to turn to green renewable energy for their electricity needs.
Posted on: 07-01-2011 at 11:18am
By Senior Director of Communications Paul Thies
They’re not easy things to love.
But on some days, they surprise you.
The best days are when you can look back and say you participated in something really worthwhile – something that transcended the everyday boundaries of “job,” “paycheck” and “career.”
For Stream Energy, yesterday was one of those days.
As you may know, we’ve been engaged in an ongoing support effort for Captain Hope’s Kids, a homeless children’s advocacy here in North Texas. Their mission is to serve the most vulnerable among us – namely, homeless children and infants.
One of the ways we’ve been helping out is by way of an annual employee-sponsored diaper drive. For 2011, we learned yesterday that Stream Energy again set a record for diaper donations.
(It bears mentioning that, as part of our festivities in celebrating the new diaper record yesterday, our friends of the Pizza Hut Corporate Social Responsibility team very generously donated pizza for a pizza party we threw for our 277 employees. Thank you, Pizza Hut; we really appreciate you!)
You may not be aware of the need for diapers among the homeless population. Most of us, when we think of homeless people, tend to think of single men. However, according to a recent news report a mom with two kids is now more likely to be counted among the homeless:
“The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that since 2007, the number of people in families who are homeless has increased by 19.8 percent. Based on reports from shelter providers nationwide, HUD estimates that people in families now make up 35.6 percent of the country’s homeless population on any given night. That compares with 29.8 percent in 2007.
Homelessness among individuals declined 6.4 percent during the same period.
Overall, HUD estimated that nearly 1,593,150 people were homeless in 2009-10, with 567,334 being from families. That compares with an estimate of 1,581,595 homeless people in 2006-07, with 473,541 from families.”
For non-profits such as Captain Hope’s Kids, budgets are pretty tight in this economy. Donations are critical for the success of their missions. Our friends at Captain Hope’s Kids helped us understand just how important a little thing like a diaper donation is:
“So far this year we have been providing over 8,600 diapers per week to homeless infants and toddlers that are served by almost 40 local agencies. This donation represents two full months of product for us and will close the gap caused by the recent price hike by diaper manufacturers. This donation is exactly the type of collective effort that helps Captain Hope’s Kids keep hope alive for children who are affected by homelessness.” – Carey McMann of the Captain Hope’s Kids board of directors
As recently shown on 60 Minutes, more and more families are being affected by homelessness. It is this knowledge that is inspiring Stream Energy to do our small part. And we are looking for help.
If you are interested in helping Captain Hope’s Kids, we encourage you to visit an online webpage that allows our community to make a direct donation to this worthy charity.