Nathan Kroeker | President & CEO | Spark Energy

Spark Energy: Competing in the Transformation of Retail Gas and Electricity Industry

Spark Energy is an independent, competitive, retailer of gas & electricity. It was founded in 1999 as a start-up with today’s vision to ‘Achieve sustainable profit growth through a lean organization focused on customer value’. The company serves more than 800,000 residential customer equivalents, and operates in all key states that are open for retail gas & electricity competition. Spark Energy currently operates in 19 states, plus the District of Columbia, where consumers can choose the company they want to serve their retail gas & electricity needs.

Diversity in Offerings

Spark Energy’s value proposition for consumers includes potential energy cost savings for consumers through a competitive market place; green, renewable and carbon neutral products; and stable and predictable energy costs. Consumers have options for both fixed and variable price contracts, and a range of unique value added products such as green energy, rewards programs, or protection plans.

A Dynamic Leader

Nathan Kroeker is the President & CEO at Spark Energy. His impact on the gas & electricity industry is through his advocacy for competition. He believes that competition drives innovation and it intensifies a focus on better costs and creates value for consumers that regulated cost-plus models aren’t inherently motivated to achieve. Whether or not consumers are Spark Energy customers, they benefit in a competitive marketplace with the options of choice driven by innovation, product offerings and price.

Mr. Kroeker’s impact on the company is impressive, particularly in the company’s growth. With his leadership, the company went from private to public (SPKE) in 2014 and since that time the company has tripled in revenue, customer count, and earnings.

History in Making

According to Spark Energy, the process of taking a fully regulated industry to one that is open for competition and consumer choice is making history and something everyone who took part in making it happen can be extremely proud of. The company asserts that the future generations will read case studies about the transition of a regulated gas & electricity utility market to competition. It truly is history in the making not unlike what happened in the telecommunications industry that started transitioning back in the 1980’s.

Overcoming Adversities 

The challenge in the states that are open for competition is breaking the inertia that regulated, incumbent utilities have through their many, many, decades of being the customer’s only choice. There’s an education of consumers and an evolution that takes time to break that inertia. The additional challenges in the industry are clearing the barriers that exist to open up additional U.S. states for competition.

Innovation has not been realized at the rate that everyone expected, primarily due to the sharp drop in commodity prices earlier this decade. I believe we are starting to see this innovation now – not driven by high commodity prices, but rather an elevated consumer interest in technology and being good stewards of our resources for future generations. The upside for consumers that can be realized through competition is limitless if not beholden to a strictly regulated model that provides no choices.

Future Aspirations

Spark Energy’s aspirations in the long run are declared in its vision. The people in the company are keenly focused on strategic initiatives that straddle the dimensions of creating customer value, delivering sustainable profit growth for shareholders, and achieving success through a high performing & lean team of people and partners. The team members’ collective set of behaviours, guided by Spark’s social contract, is the recipe that creates the company’s culture. They are aligned in what the company has set out to accomplish in working together and being committed to doing the right things for the right reasons. Employee engagement throughout the organization is ultra-important and will remain a key ingredient to the company’s success.

Quotes from Customers

“I’ve been very satisfied with Spark Energy, and I know I can always count on you. Thank you, bye bye.”

“Contacting you today was very easy. I got through right away, and I was very pleased with the service. Thank you very much.”

“I love you all. Everyone is so wonderful to deal with on the phone. The rate I get per month is the lowest I’ve seen, and I would highly, highly recommend you, which I do, to all friends of mine.”

“This is John, and we love Spark Energy. The representative helped us with our questions today in an outstanding manner, and we’re just glad we’re part of the Spark Energy family. Thank you very much.”

“I love you guys, Spark. You’ve been there for me for all these many years. I really, really appreciate you. Your rates are fantastic, and I would not change you for any other electricity provider. Thank you very much Spark Energy. I love you, and I’ve been telling people about you and will continue to do so. Thank you.”

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