If you live in the Pittsburgh area and feel like you don’t know how you’ll possibly pass the time between Sunday’s True Detective finale and the next season of Game of Thrones, do not despair. You can now pick Energy Rewards as your electric supplier and get some free HBO as a perk if you have Comcast.
Early last month, Greentech Media reported that NRG Energy, which owns retail electric supplier Energy Plus, would team up with Comcast in Pennsylvania to offer an electric service called Energy Rewards. Both companies are looking for new opportunities as revenue from their traditional businesses is eroding.
The pilot for that partnership is now live in Duquesne Light’s service territory, which covers parts of Allegheny County around Pittsburgh and most of Beaver County, PA, serving about 580,000 people.
Comcast customers in that area who sign up with Xfinity’s Energy Rewards will get a $25 enrollment bonus and other incentives, such as three free months of HBO or Showtime, plus a free smart thermostat if they also sign up for Xfinity Home, Comcast’s home automation service.
Like NRG's Energy Plus offerings that is available in Pennsylvania and other deregulated states that allow for electricity competition, customers can also earn other retail rewards, such as discounts on Fandango gift cards.
“The partnership is designed with Comcast customers in mind [to] give them an alternative to get enhanced value from their electric bills specifically tailored to their interests,” said David Knox, spokesperson for NRG Energy.
The fixed and variable price plans are in line with other offerings in the region, with rates of about $0.06 per kilowatt-hour for the variable rate plan (which comes with a guarantee that the price will be 10 percent below the utility’s rate for the first six months), or $0.065 per kilowatt-hour for a year of fixed pricing.
Although some of the perks, such as free HBO, will show up on a customer’s Comcast bill, Energy Rewards will still be billed through the utility, which is a regulatory requirement.
“We’re going to work inside the system to provide the best choices possible,” Knox said. It is likely that NRG and Comcast would prefer to see combined billings for such offerings, but it is not possible in most deregulated states at this time.
Knox would not provide details on how quickly the pilot could expand to other parts of Pennsylvania, or to other deregulated states such as Texas.