Reliant Energy can actually trace its roots back as far as 1882, when Emanuel Raphael and other Houston businessmen, wanted to bring electricity to their town. By 1889, the small company sold out to the larger Houston Gas Light Company.
Over the years, the company has been sold or has merged with numerous other electrical companies until 2000 when Reliant Energy was incorporated. In 2009, energy giant NRG acquired the company, which now operates as a subsidiary.
The state of Texas deregulated the electric industry in 2002. This allows consumers to choose between the current 116 retail electric providers that offer service in their area. Reliant has approximately 1.8 million customers, making them the second largest energy provider in the state.
Reliant has provided electricity to “Beat the Heat Centers” in Texas since 2009. Partnering with local community centers, Reliant helps air condition buildings where the public can enjoy free AC, in a safe environment, throughout the summer while reducing home electricity use during the hottest days of summer.
The company introduced their own mobile phone app in 2014, which allows customers to pay their bill, view their current usage and costs, as well as control smart devices, such as thermostats, from their mobile phone. In August 2016, the company announced the sale of smart doorbells systems, which work with cameras and the cell phone app, to alert customers about activity near their front doors.