KLTV 7 Investigates: Ignite Energy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/10/08 - Tyler

KLTV 7 Investigates: Ignite Energy

Many of you may have heard or been approached about switching your energy service.

Since the deregulation of energy in Texas, independent companies have been popping up. But one in particular claims it's really taking off and *igniting* the careers of many East Texans.

But is it legit? In a KLTV 7 investigation, Courtney Lane sheds light on how "Ignite Energy" works.

"A lot of people are going to change their lives from this business," said Senior Director with Ignite, Jeff Weinstein.

A big promise to "ignite your future," - and making money by selling energy at discounted rates.

And thousands have already flipped the switch.

"It just kind of fell in my lap and I thank God every day now that it did," said Ignite executive director, Jamie Piersol. "I got involved and it just went kind of crazy for me."

Jamie Piersol is a mother of three who now works at home for Ignite, the selling arm for Stream Energy.

"You're the CEO of your own company and you work for yourself," said Piersol, "and it just gives you so much free time. It's such a small investment for what the return is."

That small investment is about 300-dollars to get set up.

While this can seem at a glance like a pyramid scheme, Weinstein said that's not the case.     

"It's like a paradigm shift. For the longest time people paid very expensive long-distance phone bills and then one day they said 'Why should I be paying this, when I can get it cheaper?' It's the same thing."

Ignite uses a warm-market approach, avoiding advertising and up front costs, and instead advising associates to sell to family and friends.

An approach they say is paying off at an electrifying rate.    

The energy market in Texas has been open for 6 years, lighting the way for more competition. But Ignite has been on the forefront, showing the greatest growth.

"This is the fastest growing business in the history of American business," said Weinstein. "Stream is going to do one-billion dollars in sales in its fourth year of operation. To put in perspective it took Wal-Mart 18 years to get to a billion dollars in sales."

We checked out Ignite with the Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas. They said complaints would be filed where Stream is headquartered in Dallas.

In the last 3 years they've worked 138 complaints.

    As for customers, if you're thinking about switching over, you need to check your current contract to see if any fees are attached.

Also, experts advise you to do your homework. That way you'll know how much, or *if you'll save money.

Ignite is now expanding to Georgia as well, as natural gas was deregulated there.

To learn more about this company, energy deregulation, and to compare rates to see if it would be cheaper for you to switch, check out our Know More page, then look for the link titled Ignite Energy.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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