When Peter Schieffelin launched First Point Power LLC in April 2010, it was a one-man operation. Flash forward to today and the electricity provider boasts four full-time employees, hundreds of independent sales representatives and thousands of customers.
First Point of East Greenwich is a competitive energy supplier, servicing residences, businesses and municipalities in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Schieffelin said he attributes the company’s growth to favorable market conditions and unique pricing options.
Rhode Island is one of a handful of states with a deregulated electricity market, meaning that residents can source their power from a utility or from a competitive seller. Thanks to cheaper natural gas, electricity rates are currently fairly low. Unlike a local utility – with costs subject to electricity price fluctuations – First Point allows customers to take advantage of dips in energy prices and to lock in a fixed rate for electricity for a year or more.
“For example, if you decided you just wanted to pay the same rate for two years instead of changing every six months, you’d come to us, and we’d set the price,” said Schieffelin. “If prices spike up from the utility and next year electricity is 2 cents higher [per kilowatt-hour], you would end up saving a lot of money.”
Schieffelin says that First Point Power currently services about 10,000 accounts, providing an amount of energy equivalent to that required to power 30,000 homes. He hopes to expand the business to other states in the coming years. •