Schneier, a successful energy attorney who is now chairman and CEO of Accent Energy, knew that to make the company succeed, he had to line up potential customers, find an investor and line up a supplier to provide natural gas. ACI Capital agreed to be that investor, on the condition that Accent first had an established customer base.
To do that, Accent needed an acquisition. Schneier and Chief Operating Officer Saucier met with Enron executives about their interest in purchasing small commercial blocks of its customers and became the preferred bidder. At the same time, Accent established British Petroleum as a supplier, and Accent was in business.
Today, the Dublin-based company employs 49 people. It has balanced its considerable growth with a supportive infrastructure to hedge pricing risk, capture energy usage and maintain information systems. It has expanded its reach from California and Illinois into New York and parts of New England, growing its base from 3,500 customers at inception to 69,000 today; from 2004 to 2005 alone, sales grew by about 50 percent.
Schneier and Saucier believe that the keys to their success are innovation, risk management and hiring and retaining top talent, allowing them to operate in an arena where other small players have not survived.
To differentiate itself from the competition, Accent is rolling out a green energy offering and is beginning to target and market to ethnically diverse customers in the New York market.
Schneier and Saucier hope that if energy deregulation continues, no area of the country or group of people will be out of the reach of Accent Energy. With their proven business plan and historical growth, Accent will be ready for that day.
How to reach: Accent Energy Group, (614) 408-1020 or www.accentenergy.com