It is natural that many folks looking at energy deregulation and mlm would come across Ignite Energy & Ambit Energy since they are the two industry leaders as far as size and name recognition. This review is my best effort to give an honest comparison and I’ve done my best to represent Ignite accurately. If you find that I have unknowingly misrepresented anything please leave a comment and I’d be happy to fix it. Also please note that in the areas of compensation comparison I DO NOT include the monthly promotions that both companies run. Such promotions add considerable income to the standard compensation of both Ignite & Ambit. [Review last updated April of 2013]
Ignite Energy doesn’t have free energy
Our Free Energy program is something that not just separates us from Ignite Energy, but it also separates us from the entire network marketing industry. It’s almost like cheating… except it’s not! We’ve been giving Free Energy away for 3 years now and there is no end in sight.
Ignite Energy doesn’t do or allow advertising
Ambit Energy is committed to the network marketing business model but is not afraid to take advantage of traditional exposure as well. With solid financial backing, Ambit has acquired additional business and exposure through mass media advertising along with buyout acquisitions. In either case, when an independent Ambit Energy Consultant runs into one of these “corporately acquired” customers”, they simply need to fill out a form and Ambit will transfer that customer to their personal account. Also Ambit Energy is featuring its consultants in opportunity-driven advertising designed to directly benefit recruiting efforts. Beyond corporate sponsored advertising, Ambit Energy also allows consultants to advertise their business as long as reasonable guidelines are followed. Ignite Energy on the other hand is extremely restrictive in this nature.
Ambit Energy has $15 more in leader bonuses
If you add up all the levels of leadership bonuses paid out in the Ambit compensation plan you will come to $240, which is $15 more than the total of $225 that Ignite Energy pays out through their similar leadership bonus structure.
Ignite Energy has a much smaller territory map
This one is pretty cut and dry… more states = more opportunity. Ambit currently services residential & commercial in 24 electric & 21 natural gas territories across 10 states (counting DC as a state), with 3 more electric territories coming on board in July. Ignite services residential & commercial in 16 electric & 6 natural gas territory across 6 states.
Ignite Energy rate comparison
Although it is impossible for any one company to always be the lowest cost provider, in my experience over the past four years, Ambit Energy has usually been cheaper than Ignite Energy. This is not something that will always be the case and certainly there have been plenty of times Ignite Energy has had better rates in certain markets, but most of the time I’ve found Ambit to come in lower.
Ignite Energy offers no customer perks
Ambit offers customer rewards similar to airline miles for a credit card. As a customer of Ambit, when you pay your bill on time you will earn points for every Kilowatt or Therm you use. As you accumulate points they can be redeemed for travel rewards. You can learn more about these rewards at www.AmbitTravel.com. Ambit also offers a satisfaction guarantee on their service.
Ignite Energy’s BBB rating/history versus Ambit
Ambit Energy has maintained an A rating with the Better Business Bureau since being accredited in 2006. Ignite Energy just recently became a member of BBB in 2010 even though they’ve been in business nearly 2 extra years. I’ve seen Ignite Energy’s rating vary from a B to A- so the actual rating may vary but how is it that it took so long to get accredited?
Ignite Energy only pays down 5 levels versus Ambit’s 7 levels
This one is HUGE folks. Getting paid on additional levels of distribution means more leverage and more leverage means more money! I used to have a video here detailing the difference but it’s been outdated since Ambit went from 6 levels to 7. I’ll put a new video up soon!
Comparing the growth of Ignite Energy & Ambit
Ignite Energy (Stream Energy) has experienced some amazing growth over their years and due primarily to their strength in the Texas market they held on to the crown of “biggest” for a long time but in 2012 was crowned the new king of mlm energy companies. In the ascent to #1, Ambit Energy also hit #1 on Inc.500 in 2010, something only one other network marketing in history (Herbalife in the 80’s) has done. Here is a quick overview of each company’s recent growth…
Ignite Energy Revenue
2008 – $825 million (as reported by Inc.500)
2009 – $845 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
2010 – $902 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
2011 – $861 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
2012 – $840 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
Ambit Energy Revenue
2009 – $324 million (as reported by Inc.500)
2010 – $417 million (as reported by Inc.500)
2011 – $664 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
2012 – $930 million (as reported by Direct Selling News)
Only because I was so spot on correct, I have to point out the prediction I made for 2012, which was printed in last year’s update to this review…
So yes Ignite is still bigger but they seem to be headed in the wrong direction while at the same time Ambit is continuing it’s Inc.500 #1 growth pace and shooting upwards. It seems like 2012 is going to be the deciding year. My guess is Ambit gets really close to the 1 Billion mark and Ignite hovers right about where they are now. My guess of course, we’ll see what happens!
Scary! It should also be noted that Ambit Energy has officially hit the 1 Billion mark in trailing 12 month revenue as of March 2013, it just didn’t come in the 2012 calendar year.
No customer transfer tool for Ignite Energy
This might not sound like a big deal if you don’t have much background in a utility based MLM where bonuses are triggered by customers gathering, but I assure you this… talk with any high up in Ignite or Ambit and ask what a big deal this is and I guarantee they will affirm. This tool lets you transfer your extra customers (within 7 days of signup) to help anybody within your team but you still keep full tracking of that customer as if it were personal.
Three areas Ignite Energy has Ambit Energy beat
I started off this post obviously wanting to point out all the ways Ambit Energy is superior but as a few Ignite Energy associates have pointed out there are a few advantages they have over us so it seems to be the upfront and honest thing to share those with you. (1) The Ignite Energy start-up is cheaper. Currently their start-up kit is $329 versus our $429. (2) Ignite Energy does operate in the state of Georgia so if you live there or have a lot of contacts there, it could tip the scale for you. On this point though, it’s only a matter of time before Ambit expands to Georgia, so this one advantage won’t last long. (3) Ignite offers a REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) product that is essentially a copy of a similar product by NAP (North American Power) which theoretically allows them to market in all 50 states. So for $20/mo you can get a certificate that says you are support green energy! While this may appeal to a very small segment of the market that isn’t in a deregulated state and isn’t being offered a green plan in their area, I don’t think anybody sees this as a product having self evident value to build a business around. While I guess it is an advantage to offer such a program, I don’t see this product making any big impact.
My closing thoughts…
Obviously I am a consultant for Ambit Energy and am partial to my company… at the same time I don’t think there is any disputing any of these 10 points. In the end there is nothing bad I can say about Ignite or any of our other competitors, its just a simple case of Ambit going above and beyond. In my four years with Ambit Energy I have never found any reason to doubt their commitment to the mission statement by Jere Thompson that started it all… “To become the finest & most respected retail energy provider in the country.” I wish Ignite Energy the best of success but I believe Ambit has the edge in all the areas important to a customer and/or a consultant
Yours in success,
Ambit Energy Founding Executive Consultant
Top 20 Income Earner
Six Time 5-Star Club Qualifier
Pacesetter, Powersurge & Pure Energy Award Winner