The History of APPI Energy

January 10, 2018

APPI Energy was founded in 1996, at the very forefront of energy deregulation. The history of competitive energy in the United States is an interesting one, largely born out of necessity. The Energy Crisis in the 1970s, when many countries experienced petroleum shortages, lead way to the creation of the Department of Energy in 1977, and a slew of energy conservation laws. Following that, The National Energy Policy Act was passed in 1992, which created the outline for a competitive wholesale electricity generation market.

This brings us to 1996, the year FERC issued Order 888, which required utilities to make available open access, non-discriminatory transmission services. Many utilities integrated power plants into their business models, acting as supplier and distributor of power. This separation opened the market for competition, and allowed privately owned suppliers to service the grid. Several states adopted partial energy deregulation legislation that same year, which, when enacted, would allow these suppliers to work directly with consumers, and negotiate competitive contracts for energy supply. Essentially, in a deregulated market, the utility is just the distributor, and the customer is free to procure their supply from anyone.

Also in 1996, Walter Moore spoke with an electrical engineer over breakfast about these changes taking form in the industry. He would go on to found APPI Energy that same year. While many people thought the challenge in implementing energy deregulation would be in the technical aspect, in the actual contract and delivery of power to private consumers, Walt saw the problem as being one of branding and informed decision making. He foresaw that with energy deregulation would come a slew of companies knocking on the doors of businesses, all trying to pitch what is, functionally, a perfectly competitive product. The need, as he saw it, was for an expert intermediary to vet suppliers, examine offers, and assist businesses in making an informed decision.

However, before APPI Energy could break into the market, there was a lot of work to do, and (luckily) time to do it. Although a handful of states had enacted deregulation legislation, the default service rate set by utilities was made artificially low, blocking most suppliers from truly competing. These default rates were set for three years, in most cases. Therefore, although APPI Energy began its work in 1996, it wasn’t until 2001 that markets in one state, Texas, truly became viable for our services. The intervening years were spent researching, developing expertise in the field, and making multiple trips to Washington, DC.

These trips served the purpose of meeting with the trade associations and chambers of commerce that would come to endorse our firm, introducing us to their membership. One of these early endorsements came from ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives. APPI Energy is one of very few companies endorsed by ASAE and this endorsement would prove key to our overall growth as a company. Through this endorsement, we have been able to introduce our services to the members of multiple trade associations. Today, APPI Energy is proud to be recommended to the members of 158 trade associations, affinity groups, and chambers of commerce.

We like to refer to APPI Energy as an old business in a young industry. In truth, this is because we pioneered the way energy agents, brokers, and consultants operate. Though there are many companies that broker contracts between consumers and suppliers, we are certainly the oldest, and have a proven system. We strive to constantly innovate, and develop new ways to better serve our customers.

In 2013, we officially launched our proprietary pricing database, a tool we utilize to analyze historic pricing, isolate trends, and make informed predications about market movement. This unique system helps ensure we are approaching customers to examine pricing when it will be most favorable to them.

In 2017, we distributed our first issue of the APPI Energy Advisor, a free weekly publication that examines both electricity and natural gas trends, as well as a weekly bull-and-bear analysis. The Advisor aims to keep subscribers informed about energy news with a short, two-page digest, featuring data-driven graphs and expert analysis.  The APPI Energy Advisor replaced our previous publication, the Market Snapshot, and dramatically expanded on its content offerings.

That same year, we were honored to receive an award for ABC (agent, broker, consultant) of the Year from The Energy Professional’s Association. The award recognizes one company on its promise and innovation in areas such as contract negotiation, ethical business practices, and customer service. We credit our dedication to teamwork and the culture of communication and ethics that has been built around our team.

APPI Energy has grown from an idea formed over breakfast in 1996 to an award-winning consulting firm in 2018. In the intervening years, we have learned to innovate, adapt, and grow to any challenge the industry has offered. Over these 22 years, APPI Energy has grown from a team of one, to a team of 37, consisting of management, consultants, marketing, customer service, operations, technical support, and research. Each member of our team is vital to our continued success, our continued growth, and our continued innovation. Our team, and our history, is what distinguish us as a team of professionals, rather than a group of consultants.