Direct Energy is a North American retailer of energy and energy services. The company was founded in 1986. The company has more than six million customers in Canada and the United States, making it the largest energy retailer in North America. Direct Energy is a subsidiary of UK-based utility company Centrica. Direct Energy was founded in Toronto in 1986, as a competitive energy retailer. In 2000, the company was acquired by Centrica, the UK-based parent of British energy retailer British Gas. From 2000 onwards, Direct Energy grew rapidly through acquisition. These acquisitions included Energy America (2000), Enbridge Home Services (2002), AEP’s Texas retail operations (Central Power and Light and West Texas Utility), the regulated retail operations of ATCO Gas and ATCO Electric in Alberta, Entergy Solutions Ltd.’s Electric Reliability Council of Texas customer base and Strategic Energy (2008).