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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Fiscal Year ended December 31, 2023.
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Transition period from                      to                       .
Commission file No. 001-15891
     NRG Energy, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 41-1724239
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
910 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas
(Address of principal executive offices)
 77002
(Zip Code)
(713537-3000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01NRGNew York Stock Exchange
     Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes  ☒    No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes ☐    No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.   Yes  ☒    No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).   Yes  ☒    No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer
Accelerated filer             ☐
Non-accelerated filer ☐Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes     No ☒
As of the last business day of the most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the common stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates was approximately $6,266,747,422 based on the closing sale price of $37.39 as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant's classes of common stock as of the latest practicable date.
Class Outstanding at February 1, 2024
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share 208,021,012
Documents Incorporated by Reference:
Portions of the Registrant's definitive Proxy Statement relating to its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders
are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Glossary of Terms
        When the following terms and abbreviations appear in the text of this report, they have the meanings indicated below:
ACEAffordable Clean Energy
AcquisitionThe acquisition of Vivint Smart Home, Inc. by NRG completed on March 10, 2023
Adjusted EBITDAAdjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
AESOAlberta Electric System Operator
AROAsset Retirement Obligation
ASCThe FASB Accounting Standards Codification, which the FASB established as the source of authoritative GAAP
ASRAccelerated Share Repurchases
ASUAccounting Standards Updates – updates to the ASC
AUCAlberta Utilities Commission
BTUBritish Thermal Unit
BusinessNRG Business, which serves business customers
CAAClean Air Act
CAISOCalifornia Independent System Operator
CAMT15% Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax enacted by the IRA on August 16, 2022
CDDCooling Degree Day
CFTCU.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
CO2
Carbon Dioxide
CO2e
Carbon Dioxide Equivalents
CompanyNRG Energy, Inc.
Convertible Senior Notes
As of December 31, 2023, consists of NRG’s $575 million unsecured 2.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2048
CottonwoodCottonwood Generating Station, a 1,166 MW natural gas-fueled plant
CPPClean Power Plan
CPUCCalifornia Public Utilities Commission
CWAClean Water Act
D.C. CircuitU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
DSIDry Sorbent Injection
DSUDeferred Stock Unit
DthDekatherms
Dual fuel customersCustomer that have both electricity and natural gas service with the Company
Economic gross marginSum of retail revenue, energy revenue, capacity revenue and other revenue, less cost of fuels, purchased energy and other cost of sales
EGUElectric Generating Unit
EPAU.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPCEngineering, Procurement and Construction
ERCOTElectric Reliability Council of Texas, the Independent System Operator and the regional reliability coordinator of the various electricity systems within Texas
ESPElectrostatic Precipitator
ESPPNRG Energy, Inc. Amended and Restated Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Exchange ActThe Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
FGDFlue gas desulfurization
FPAFederal Power Act
3

                                            
FTRsFinancial Transmission Rights
GAAPGenerally accepted accounting principles in the United States
GHGGreenhouse Gas
Green Mountain EnergyGreen Mountain Energy Company
GWGigawatts
GWhGigawatt Hours
HDDHeating Degree Day
Heat RateA measure of thermal efficiency computed by dividing the total BTU content of the fuel burned by the resulting kWhs generated. Heat rates can be expressed as either gross or net heat rates, depending whether the electricity output measured is gross or net generation and is generally expressed as BTU per net kWh
HomeNRG Home, which serves residential customers
ICEIntercontinental Exchange
IoTInternet of Things
IRAInflation Reduction Act
ISOIndependent System Operator, also referred to as RTOs
ISO-NEISO New England Inc.
IvanpahIvanpah Solar Electric Generation Station, a 391 MW solar thermal power plant located in California's Mojave Desert in which NRG owns 54.5% interest
kWhKilowatt-hours
LaGenLouisiana Generating LLC
LIBORLondon Inter-Bank Offered Rate
LSEsLoad Serving Entities
LTIPsCollectively, the NRG LTIP and the Vivint LTIP
MDthThousand Dekatherms
Midwest GenerationMidwest Generation, LLC
MISOMidcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
MMBtuMillion British Thermal Units
MMDthMillion Dekatherms
MWMegawatts
MWhSaleable megawatt hour net of internal/parasitic load megawatt-hour
NAAQSNational Ambient Air Quality Standards
NEPOOLNew England Power Pool
NERCNorth American Electric Reliability Corporation
NERC-CIPNorth American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection
Net Capacity FactorThe net amount of electricity that a generating unit produces over a period of time divided by the net amount of electricity it could have produced if it had run at full power over that time period. The net amount of electricity produced is the total amount of electricity generated minus the amount of electricity used during generation
Net ExposureCounterparty credit exposure to NRG, net of collateral
Net GenerationThe net amount of electricity produced, expressed in kWhs or MWhs, that is the total amount of electricity generated (gross) minus the amount of electricity used during generation
NISTNational Institute of Standards and Technology
NodalNodal Exchange is a derivatives exchange
NOLNet Operating Loss
NOx
Nitrogen Oxides
NPNSNormal Purchase Normal Sale
NRCU.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NRGNRG Energy, Inc.
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NRG LTIPNRG Energy, Inc. Amended and Restated Long-Term Incentive Plan
Nuclear Decommissioning Trust FundNRG's nuclear decommissioning trust fund assets, which were for the Company's portion of the decommissioning of the STP, units 1 & 2 through the sale of STP on November 1, 2023
NYISONew York Independent System Operator
NYMEXNew York Mercantile Exchange
OCI/OCLOther Comprehensive Income/(Loss)
ORDCOperating Reserve Demand Curve
ORDPAOnline Reliability Deployment Price Adder
PCI DSSPayment Card Industry Data Security Standard
PeakingUnits expected to satisfy demand requirements during the periods of greatest or peak load on the system
Petra NovaPetra Nova Parish Holdings, LLC
PJMPJM Interconnection, LLC
PM2.5Particulate Matter that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers
PPAPower Purchase Agreement
PUCTPublic Utility Commission of Texas
RCRAResource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
Receivables Facility
NRG Receivables LLC, a bankruptcy remote, special purpose, wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of the Company's $1.4 billion accounts receivables securitization facility due 2024, which was last amended on October 6, 2023
Receivables Securitization FacilitiesCollectively, the Receivables Facility and the Repurchase Facility
RECsRenewable Energy Certificates
Renewable PPAA third-party PPA entered into directly with a renewable generation facility for the offtake of the RECs or other similar environmental attributes generated by such facility, coupled with the associated power generated by that facility
RenewablesConsists of the following projects in which NRG has an ownership interest: Ivanpah and solar generating stations located at various NFL Stadiums
Renewables PlatformThe renewable operating and development platform sold to Global Infrastructure Partners with NRG's interest in NRG Yield
REPRetail electric provider
Repurchase Facility
NRG's $150 million uncommitted repurchase facility related to the Receivables Facility due 2024, which was last amended on October 6, 2023
Revolving Credit FacilityThe Company's $4.3 billion revolving credit facility due 2028, which was last modified on March 13, 2023
RGGIRegional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
RMRReliability Must-Run
RPSRenewable Portfolio Standards
RPSURelative Performance Stock Unit
RSURestricted Stock Unit
RTORegional Transmission Organization
SCRSelective Catalytic Reduction Control System
SECU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Securities ActThe Securities Act of 1933, as amended
Senior Notes
As of December 31, 2023, NRG's $4.0 billion outstanding unsecured senior notes consisting of $375 million of the 6.625% senior notes due 2027, $821 million of 5.75% senior notes due 2028, $733 million of the 5.25% senior notes due 2029, $500 million of the 3.375% senior notes due 2029, $1.0 billion of the 3.625% senior notes due 2031 and $480 million of the 3.875% senior notes due 2032
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Senior Secured First Lien Notes
As of December 31, 2023, NRG’s $3.2 billion outstanding Senior Secured First Lien Notes consists of $600 million of the 3.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2024, $500 million of the 2.0% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2025, $900 million of the 2.45% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2027, $500 million of the 4.45% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2029 and $740 million of the 7.000% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2033
Series A Preferred Stock
As of December 31, 2023, NRG's Series A Preferred Stock consists of 650,000 outstanding shares of the 10.25% Series A Fixed-Rate Reset Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock, with a $1,000 liquidation preference per share
ServicesNRG Services, which primarily includes the services businesses acquired in the Direct Energy acquisition and the Goal Zero business
SO2
Sulfur Dioxide
SOFRSecured overnight financing rate
South Central PortfolioNRG's South Central Portfolio, which owned and operated a portfolio of generation assets consisting of Bayou Cove, Big Cajun-I, Big Cajun-II, Cottonwood and Sterlington, was sold on February 4, 2019. NRG is leasing back the Cottonwood facility through May 2025
S&PStandard & Poor's
STPSouth Texas Project — nuclear generating facility located near Bay City, Texas in which NRG owned a 44% interest. NRG closed on the sale of its interest in STP on November 1, 2023
STPNOCSouth Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company
Tax ActThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
TDSPTransmission/distribution service provider
Texas GencoTexas Genco LLC
TSRTotal Shareholder Return
TWhTerawatt Hours
U.S.United States of America
VaRValue at Risk
VIEVariable Interest Entity
Vivint LTIPVivint Smart Home, Inc. Long-Term Incentive Plan assumed by NRG pursuant to merger between NRG and Vivint
Winter Storm ElliottA major winter storm that had impacts across the majority of the United States and parts of Canada occurring in December 2022
Winter Storm UriA major winter and ice storm that had widespread impacts across North America occurring in February 2021
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PART I
Item 1 — Business
General
NRG Energy, Inc., or NRG or the Company, sits at the intersection of energy and home services. NRG is a leading energy and home services company fueled by market-leading brands, proprietary technologies and complementary sales channels. Across the U.S. and Canada, NRG delivers innovative, sustainable solutions, predominately under brand names such as NRG, Reliant, Direct Energy, Green Mountain Energy and Vivint, while also advocating for competitive energy markets and customer choice. The Company has a customer base that includes approximately 8 million residential consumers in addition to commercial, industrial, and wholesale customers, supported by approximately 13 GW of generation as of December 31, 2023.
NRG sold 152 TWhs of electricity and 1,892 MMDth of natural gas in 2023, making it one of the largest competitive energy retailers in the U.S. As of the end of 2023, NRG had recurring electricity and/or natural gas sales in 25 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and 8 provinces in Canada, as well as Vivint served customers in all 50 U.S. states. NRG's retail brands, collectively, have the largest share of competitively served residential electric customers in Texas and nationwide.
The following chart represents NRG's sales volumes for the year ended December 31, 2023:
HomeBusinessVolumes 2023.jpg

Strategy
NRG's strategy is to maximize stakeholder value by being a leader in the emerging convergence of energy and smart automation in the home and business. Through a diversified supply strategy, the Company sells reliable electricity and natural gas to its customers in the markets it serves, while also providing innovative home solutions to customers. NRG's unique combination of assets and capabilities enables the Company to develop and sell highly differentiated offerings that bring together every day essential services like powering and securing the home through a seamless and integrated experience. This strategy is intended to enable the Company to optimize its unique integrated platform to delight customers, generate recurring cash flow, significantly strengthen earnings and cost competitiveness, and lower risk and volatility. Sustainability is a philosophy that underpins and facilitates value creation across NRG's business for its stakeholders. It is an integral piece of NRG's strategy and ties directly to business success, reduced risks and enhanced reputation.
To effectuate the Company’s strategy, NRG is focused on: (i) serving the energy needs of end-use residential, commercial and industrial, and wholesale counterparties in competitive markets and optimizing on additional revenue opportunities through its multiple brands and channels; (ii) offering a variety of energy products and services, including renewable energy solutions and smart home products and services that are differentiated by innovative features, premium service, integrated platforms, sustainability and loyalty/affinity programs; (iii) excellence in operating performance of its assets; (iv) achieving the optimal mix of supply to serve its customer load requirements through a diversified supply strategy; and (v) engaging in disciplined and transparent capital allocation.
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The following transactions were completed during 2023 in furtherance of the Company’s strategy: (i) the March 10, 2023 acquisition of Vivint Smart Home, a leading smart home platform company; (ii) portfolio optimization, including the sale of the Company’s 44% equity interest in STP for $1.7 billion; and (iii) disciplined capital allocation through the execution of $1.2 billion in share repurchases and $1.4 billion in debt reduction.
Business Overview
The Company’s core businesses are the sale of electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial and wholesale customers, supported by the Company's wholesale electric generation, as well as the sale of smart home products and services. NRG manages its electricity and natural gas operations based on the combined results of the retail and wholesale generation businesses with a geographical focus. Vivint Smart Home operations are reported within the Vivint Smart Home segment.
The Company's business is segmented as follows:
Texas, which includes all activity related to customer, plant and market operations in Texas, other than Cottonwood;
East, which includes all activity related to customer, plant and market operations in the East;
West/Services/Other, which primarily includes the following assets and activities: (i) all activity related to customer, plant and market operations in the West and Canada, (ii) the Services businesses, (iii) activity related to the Cottonwood facility and other investments;
Vivint Smart Home; and
Corporate activities.
In Texas, the Company’s generation supply is fully integrated with its retail load. This integrated model provides the advantage of being able to supply a portion of the Company’s retail customers with electricity from the Company’s assets, which reduces the need to sell electricity to, and buy electricity from, other institutions and intermediaries, resulting in more stable earnings and cash flows, lower transaction costs and less credit exposure. The integrated model also results in a reduction in actual and contingent collateral through offsetting transactions, thereby reducing transactions with third parties.
The integrated model consists of three core functions in each geographic segment above: Customer Operations, Market Operations and Plant Operations.
Customer Operations
Customer Operations is responsible for growing and retaining the customer base and delivering an outstanding customer experience. This includes acquisition and retention of all of NRG’s residential, small commercial, commercial and industrial, and government customers. NRG employs a multi-brand strategy that leverages a wide array of sales and partnership channels, direct face-to-face sales channels, call centers, websites, and brokers. Go-to-market activities include market strategy planning and development, product innovation, offer design, campaign execution, marketing and creative services, and selling. Customer portfolio maintenance and retention activities include fulfillment, billing, payment processing, collections, customer service, issue resolution, and contract renewals. NRG provides energy and related services at either fixed, indexed or month-to-month prices. Home customers typically contract for terms ranging from one month to five years, while Business contracts are often between one year and five years in length. Throughout all Customer Operations activities, the customer experience is kept at the forefront to inform decision-making and optimize retention, while creating supporters and advocates for NRG’s brands in the market. Customer Operations comprises three end-use customer facing teams: NRG Home, which serves residential customers, NRG Business, which serves business customers, and NRG Services, which primarily includes the Services businesses.
Product Offerings
NRG sells a variety of products to residential and small commercial customers, including retail electricity and energy management, natural gas, line and surge protection products, HVAC installation, repair and maintenance, home protection products, carbon offsets, back-up power stations, portable power, portable solar and portable lighting. Home and Services customers make purchase decisions based on a variety of factors, including price, incentive, customer service, brand, innovative offers/features and referrals from friends and family. Through its broad range of service offerings and value propositions, NRG seeks to attract, retain, and increase the value of its customer relationships. NRG's brands are recognized for exemplary customer service, innovative smart energy and technology product offerings, and environmentally-friendly solutions.
The Company provides power and natural gas to the business-to-business markets in North America, as well as retail services, including demand response, commodity sales, energy efficiency and energy management solutions to Business customers. The Company is an integrated provider of supply and distributed energy resources and focuses on distributed products and services as businesses seek greater reliability, cleaner power and other benefits that they cannot obtain from the grid. These solutions include system power, distributed generation, renewable and low-carbon products, carbon management
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and specialty services, backup generation, storage and distributed solar, demand response, and energy efficiency and advisory services.
Market Operations
Market Operations has two primary objectives: to supply energy to customers in the most cost-efficient manner and to maximize the value of the Company's assets in satisfying its customer load requirements. These objectives are intended to reduce supply costs and maximize earnings with predictable cash flows.
Power and natural gas are the two main commercial groups within Market Operations.
Power
The power commercial group is responsible for end-use electricity supply including power plant optimization and certain fuel supply. To meet the market operations objectives, NRG enters into supply, power and gas hedging agreements via a wide range of products and contracts, including (i) physical and financial commodity instruments, (ii) fuel supply and transportation contracts, (iii) PPAs and Renewable PPAs and (iv) capacity and other contracted revenue or supply sources, as further discussed below.
In addition, because changes in power prices in the markets where NRG operates are generally correlated to changes in natural gas prices, NRG uses hedging strategies that may include power and natural gas forward purchases and sales contracts to manage commodity price risk.
Physical and Financial Commodity Instruments
NRG trades power, natural gas, environmental, weather and other physical and financial commodity related products, including forwards, futures, options and swaps. NRG enters into these instruments primarily to manage price and delivery risk, optimize physical and contractual assets in the portfolio, manage working capital requirements, reduce the carbon exposure in its business and to comply with laws and regulations.
Fuel Supply and Transportation Contracts
NRG's fuel requirements consist of various forms of fossil fuel. The prices of fossil fuels can be volatile. The Company obtains its fossil fuels from multiple suppliers and through multiple transporters. Although availability is generally not an issue, localized shortages, transportation availability, delays arising from extreme weather conditions and supplier financial stability issues can and do occur. The preceding factors related to the sources and availability of raw materials are fairly uniform across the Company's business and fuel products used. NRG's primary fuel requirements consist of the following:
Natural Gas — NRG operates a fleet of mid-merit and peaking natural gas plants. Fuel needs are managed by the natural gas commercial group, generally on a spot basis, as the Company does not believe it is prudent to forward purchase natural gas for these types of units as the dispatch is highly unpredictable. Natural gas storage and transportation contracts are utilized to reduce daily volatility.
Coal —NRG actively manages its coal requirements based on forecasted generation, market volatility and its inventory on site. The Company believes it is adequately hedged, using forward coal supply agreements, for its domestic coal consumption for 2024. As of December 31, 2023, NRG had purchased forward contracts to provide fuel for the Company's expected requirements for 2024. For the domestic fleet, NRG purchased approximately 13 million tons of coal in 2023, almost all of which was Powder River Basin coal. For fuel transport, NRG has entered into various rail transportation and rail car lease agreements with varying tenures, which will provide for the Company's transportation requirements of Powder River Basin coal for the next two years.
Renewable PPAs
The Company's strategy is to procure mid to long-term renewable generation through power purchase agreements. As of December 31, 2023, NRG has entered into Renewable PPAs totaling approximately 1.9 GW with third-party project developers and other counterparties, of which approximately 1.1 GW are operational. The average tenure of these agreements is eleven years. The Company expects to continue evaluating and executing similar agreements that support the needs of the business. The total GW entered into through Renewable PPAs may be impacted by contract terminations when they occur.
Capacity and Other Contracted Revenue or Supply Sources
NRG's revenues and/or cash flows, primarily in the East and West, benefit from capacity/demand payments and other contracted revenue sources, originating from market clearing capacity prices, tolling arrangements and other long-term contractual arrangements.
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Natural Gas
The natural gas commercial group is responsible for costing, logistics and supply for all of NRG's residential, commercial and industrial, and wholesale customers. NRG has contractual rights to natural gas transportation and storage assets across its footprint that allow for optimal supply economics in support of its various businesses. NRG's diversified load coupled with this asset portfolio enables the Company to deliver supply economically while providing incremental optimization activities when market conditions allow. The scale of the natural gas operation extends from the wellhead (through its producer services business) to end use customers (through NRG's various sales channels). This scale, coupled with the Company's associated assets, gas system platform and people, create significant value across North America.
Plant Operations
The Company owns and leases a diversified wholesale generation portfolio with approximately 13 GW of fossil fuel, and renewable generation capacity at 19 plants as of December 31, 2023. The Company's wholesale generation assets are diversified by fuel-type and dispatch level, which helps mitigate the risks associated with fuel price volatility and market demand cycles. NRG continually evaluates its generation portfolio to focus on asset optimization opportunities and the locational value of its generation assets in each of the markets where the Company participates, as well as opportunities for the development of new generation.
The following table summarizes NRG's generation portfolio as of December 31, 2023:
(In MW)(a)
Type
Texas
East
West/Services/Other(b)
Total
Natural gas4,353 80 1,279 5,712 
Coal4,174 1,948 605 6,727 
Oil— 455 — 455 
Utility Scale Solar— — 216 216 
Battery Storage— — 
Total generation capacity8,529 2,483 2,100 13,112 
(a)Utility Scale Solar is described in MW on an alternating current basis. MW figures provided represent nominal summer net MW capacity of power generated as adjusted for the Company's owned interest
(b)Includes proportionate share of equity owned investments
Plant Operations is responsible for operating the Company's generation facilities at the highest standards of safety and regulatory compliance, and includes (i) operations and maintenance, (ii) asset management, and (iii) development, engineering and construction.
Operations & Maintenance
NRG operates and maintains its generation portfolio, as well as approximately 6,500 MW of additional coal, natural gas and wind generation capacity at 15 plants operated on behalf of third parties, as of December 31, 2023, using prudent industry practices for the safe, reliable and economic generation of electricity in compliance with all local, state and federal requirements. The Company follows a consistent set of operating requirements, including a solid base of training, required adherence to specific safety and environmental limits, procedure and checklist usage, and the implementation of continuous process improvement through incident investigations.
NRG uses best-in-class maintenance practices for preventive, predictive, and corrective maintenance planning. The Company’s strategic planning process evaluates equipment condition, performance, and obsolescence to support the development of a comprehensive work scope and schedule for long-term performance.
Asset Management
NRG manages all aspects of its generation portfolio to optimize the lifecycle value of the assets, consistent with the Company’s goals. The Company evaluates capital projects required for continued operation and strategic enhancement of the assets, provides quality assurance on capital outlays, and assesses the impact of rules, regulations, and laws on business profitability. In addition, the Company manages its long-term contracts, PPAs, and real estate holdings and provides third-party asset management services.
Development, Engineering & Construction
NRG develops, engineers and executes major plant modifications, “new build” generation and energy storage projects that enhance the value of its generation portfolio and provide options to meet generation growth needs in the retail markets it serves, in accordance with the Company’s strategic goals. These projects have included gas-fired generation development and
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construction, coal to gas conversions, grid scale energy storage development, grid scale renewable construction, and asset demolition, remediation and reclamation work.
Vivint Smart Home
In March 2023, NRG completed the acquisition of Vivint Smart Home, which is a leading smart home platform that provides subscribers with technology, products and services to create a smarter, greener, safer home. A smart home has multiple devices integrated into a single expandable platform that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine-learning in its operating system allowing customers to interact with and manage their home from anywhere via the Vivint app on their smart device. Vivint Smart Home enables a customized solution for the home using integrated smart cameras (indoor, outdoor and doorbell), locks, lights, thermostats, garage door control and a host of other safety and security sensors.
Vivint Smart Home provides a fully integrated solution for consumers, including hardware, software, sales, installation by trained and experienced in-home service professionals, customer service, technical support and professional monitoring. This seamless integration of high-quality products and services resulted in an average subscriber lifetime of approximately nine years as of December 31, 2023. The Company believes its ability to offer related or adjacent products and services that leverage the existing smart home platform, as well as energy services, can extend the average subscriber lifetime and increase the lifetime value of subscribers. Vivint Smart Home's cloud-based home platform currently manages more than 30 million in-home devices as of December 31, 2023. The average subscriber on Vivint Smart Home's cloud-based home platform engages with the smart home app approximately 16 times per day and has approximately 15 devices in its home.
Through the addition of Vivint Smart Home, NRG identified opportunities to improve gross margin, customer retention and customer lifetime value.
Operational Statistics
The following statistics represent the Company's retail load and customer count:
 Year ended December 31,
 202320222021
Sales volumes - Electricity (in GWh)
Home - Texas40,032 43,155 42,397 
Home - East12,838 13,269 14,108 
Home - West/Services/Other2,243 2,250 2,252 
Business - Texas 40,250 38,447 34,367 
Business - East46,438 47,724 53,204 
Business - West/Services/Other10,393 10,231 10,625 
Total Load152,194 155,076 156,953 
Sales volumes - Natural gas (in MDth)
Home - East49,990 53,051 50,417 
Home - West/Services/Other75,150 92,035 97,272 
Business - East1,587,052 1,618,946 1,620,036 
Business - West/Services/Other179,888 154,074 109,021 
Total Load1,892,080 1,918,106 1,876,746 
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 Year ended December 31,
 202320222021
Customer count - Electricity customers(a)(b) (in thousands)
      Home - Texas
Average retail 2,878 2,961 3,040 
Ending retail 2,928 2,859 3,010 
     Home - East
Average retail 1,466 1,408 1,484 
Ending retail 1,752 1,381 1,402 
Home - West/Services/Other
Average retail(c)
393 383 525 
Ending retail(c)
404 390 512 
Customer count - Natural gas customers(b) (in thousands)
     Home - East
Average retail390 375 360 
Ending retail385 380 364 
Home - West/Services/Other
Average retail381 416 452 
Ending retail358 396 434 
Total Customer count (in thousands)
Average retail - Home - Electricity and Natural gas5,508 5,543 5,861 
Average - Vivint Smart Home(d)
2,008 — — 
Ending retail - Home - Electricity and Natural gas5,827 5,406 5,722 
Ending - Vivint Smart Home(d)
2,043 — — 
Total Ending retail and Vivint Smart Home 7,870 5,406 5,722 
(a) Includes Services customers
(b) Dual fuel customers are included within electricity customer counts only
(c) Includes 135 thousand whole home warranty customers as of December 31, 2021. The whole home warranty business was sold in January 2022
(d) Vivint Smart Home subscribers includes customers that also purchase other NRG products
The following are industry statistics for the Company's fossil and nuclear plants, as defined by the NERC:
Annual Equivalent Availability Factor, or EAF — Measures the percentage of maximum generation available over time as the fraction of net maximum generation that could be provided over a defined period of time after all types of outages and deratings, including seasonal deratings, are taken into account.
Net Heat Rate — The net heat rate represents the total amount of fuel in BTU required to generate one net kWh provided.
Net Capacity Factor — The net amount of electricity that a generating unit produces over a period of time divided by the net amount of electricity it could have produced if it had run at full power over that time period. The net amount of electricity produced is the total amount of electricity generated minus the amount of electricity used during generation by the station.
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The tables below present these performance metrics for the Company's generation portfolio, including leased facilities, for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022:
 Year Ended December 31, 2023
Fossil and Nuclear Plants (a)
 Net Owned
Capacity (MW)
Net Generation (In thousands of MWh) (a)
Annual Equivalent Availability FactorAverage Net Heat Rate BTU/kWh
Net Capacity
Factor
Texas8,529 30,776 74.2 %11,175 35.4 %
East2,483 2,016 85.5 %13,007 6.6 %
West/Services/Other1,169 5,903 73.5 %7,449 56.8 %
(a)Excludes equity method investments

Year Ended December 31, 2022
Fossil and Nuclear Plants (a)
 Net Owned
Capacity (MW)
Net Generation (In thousands of MWh) (a)
Annual Equivalent Availability FactorAverage Net Heat Rate BTU/kWh
Net Capacity
Factor
Texas10,027 37,275 69.5 %10,733 41.8 %
East4,285 7,282 78.1 %11,959 17.3 %
West/Services/Other1,172 6,676 84.5 %7,442 64.9 %
(a)Excludes equity method investments
The generation performance by region for the three years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021 is shown below:
Net Generation
 (In thousands of MWh)202320222021
Texas
Coal15,576 18,860 18,876 
Gas7,333 8,763 8,846 
Nuclear (a)
7,867 9,652 9,198 
Total Texas30,776 37,275 36,920 
East
Coal 1,328 6,738 5,774 
Oil201 
Gas685 537 1,519 
Total East (b)
2,016 7,282 7,494 
West/Services/Other
Gas5,899 6,669 7,941 
Renewables
Total West/Services/Other (c)
5,903 6,676 7,949 
Total generation performance38,695 51,233 52,363 
(a)Reflects the Company's undivided interest in total MWh generated by STP. The Company sold its interest in STP on November 1, 2023
(b)Includes gas generation of 855 thousand MWh and oil generation of 199 thousand MWh for the year ended December 31, 2021, that was sold to Generation Bridge on December 1, 2021
(c)Includes gas generation of 2,445 thousand MWh for the year ended December 31, 2021, that was sold to Generation Bridge on December 1, 2021
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Competition
While there has been consolidation in the competitive retail energy space over the past few years, there is still considerable competition for customers. In Texas, there is healthy competition in deregulated areas and customers can choose providers based on the most appealing offers. Outside of Texas, electricity retailers compete with the incumbent utilities, in addition to other retail electric providers, which can inhibit competition depending on the market rules of the state. There is a high degree of fragmentation, with both large and small competitors offering a range of value propositions, including value, rewards, and sustainability-based offerings.
Wholesale generation is highly fragmented and diverse in terms of industry structure by region. As such, there is wide variation in terms of the capabilities, resources, nature and identities of the Company’s competitors depending on the market. Competitors include regulated utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, other independent power producers, and power marketers or trading companies, including those owned by financial institutions.
The smart home market is an expanding global opportunity and is in the early stages of broad consumer adoption. It is highly competitive and fragmented. Major competitors range from large-cap technology companies seeking to expand their core market opportunity who predominantly offer do-it-yourself ("DIY") devices that put a large burden on homeowners to self-install and support many devices, to security-based providers, as well as industrial and telecommunications companies that offer connected home experiences. Vivint Smart Home provides the full smart home experience, with an end-to-end solution that includes a wide range of unique capabilities and use cases. Currently, the vast majority of competitors do not offer comprehensive smart home solutions and accompanying services.
Seasonality and Price Volatility
The sale of power and natural gas to retail customers are seasonal businesses with the demand for power generally peaking during the summer, and the demand for natural gas generally peaking during the winter. As a result, net working capital requirements for the Company's retail operations generally increase during summer and winter months along with the higher revenues, and then decline during off-peak months. Weather may impact operating results and extreme weather conditions could have a material impact. The rates charged to retail customers may be impacted by fluctuations in total power prices and market dynamics, such as the price of natural gas, transmission constraints, competitor actions, and changes in market heat rates.
Annual and quarterly operating results of the Company's generation portfolio can be significantly affected by weather and energy commodity price volatility. Significant other events, such as the demand for natural gas, interruptions in fuel supply infrastructure and relative levels of hydroelectric capacity can increase seasonal fuel and power price volatility. The preceding factors related to seasonality and price volatility are fairly uniform across the regions in which the Company operates.
Market Framework
NRG sells electricity, natural gas and related products and services, and smart home products and services to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. In most of the states and regions that have introduced retail consumer choice, NRG competitively offers electricity, natural gas, portable power and other value-enhancing services to customers. Each retail consumer choice state or province establishes its own retail competition laws and regulations, and the specific operational, licensing, and compliance requirements vary by state or province. Regulated terms and conditions of default service, as well as any movement to replace default service with competitive services, as is done in ERCOT, can affect customer participation in retail competition. In Canada, NRG sells energy and related services to residential and commercial customers in the province of Alberta pursuant both to a regulated rate service governed by provincial regulations as well as a competitive service with rates set by market forces. Sales of energy to commercial customers take place in other provinces as well. The attractiveness of NRG's retail offerings may be impacted by the rules, regulations, market structure and communication requirements from public utility commissions in each state and province.
NRG's fleet of power plants which it owns, operates or manages are located in organized energy markets, known as RTOs or ISOs. Each organized market administers day-ahead and real-time centralized bid-based energy and ancillary services markets pursuant to tariffs approved by FERC, or in the case of ERCOT, market rules approved by the PUCT. These tariffs and rules dictate how the energy markets operate, how market participants make bilateral sales with one another and how entities with market-based rates are compensated. Established prices reflect the value of energy at the specific location and time it is delivered, which is known as the Locational Marginal Price. Each market is subject to market mitigation measures designed to limit the exercise of locational market power. These market structures facilitate NRG's sale of power and capacity products at market-based rates.
Other than ERCOT and AESO, each of the ISO regions also operates a capacity or resource adequacy market that provides an opportunity for generating and demand response resources to earn revenues to offset their fixed costs that are not recovered in the energy and ancillary services markets. The ISOs are also responsible for transmission planning and operations.
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Texas
NRG's business in Texas is subject to standards and regulations adopted by the PUCT and ERCOT1, including the requirement for retailers to be certified by the PUCT in order to contract with end-users to sell electricity. The ERCOT market is one of the nation's largest and, historically, fastest growing power markets. ERCOT is an energy-only market. The majority of the retail load in the ERCOT market region is served by competitive retail suppliers, except certain areas that have not opted into competitive consumer choice and are served by municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.
East
While most of the states in the East region of the U.S. have introduced some level of retail consumer choice for electricity and/or natural gas, the incumbent utilities currently provide default service in most of the states and as a result typically serve the majority of residential customers. NRG’s retail activities in the East are subject to standards and regulations adopted by the ISOs, state public utility commissions and legislators, including the requirement for retailers to be certified in each state in order to contract with end-users to sell electricity.
Power plants owned, operated or managed by NRG and NRG's demand response assets located in the East region of the U.S. are within the control areas of PJM, NYISO and MISO. Each of the market regions in the East region provides for robust competition in the day-ahead and real-time energy and ancillary services markets. Additionally, the assets in the East region receive a significant portion of their revenues from capacity markets. PJM uses a forward capacity auction, while NYISO uses a month-ahead capacity auction. MISO has an annual auction. Capacity market prices are sensitive to design parameters, as well as additions of new capacity. PJM operates a pay-for-performance model where capacity payments are modified based on real-time generator performance. In such markets, NRG’s actual capacity revenues will be the combination of cleared auction prices times the quantity of MW cleared, plus the net of any over-performance "bonus payments" and any under-performance charges. Additionally, bidding rules allow for the incorporation of a risk premium into generator bids.
West
In the West region of the U.S., NRG owns equity interests, operates or manages power plants located entirely within the CAISO footprint. The CAISO operates day-ahead and real-time locational markets for energy and ancillary services, while managing congestion primarily through nodal prices. The CAISO system facilitates NRG's sale of power, ancillary services and capacity products at market-based rates, either within the CAISO's centralized energy and ancillary service markets or bilaterally. The CPUC also determines capacity requirements for LSEs and for specified local areas utilizing inputs from the CAISO. Both the CAISO and CPUC rules require LSEs to contract with sufficient generation resources in order to maintain minimum levels of generation within defined local areas. Additionally, the CAISO has independent authority to contract with needed resources under certain circumstances, typically either when LSEs have failed to procure sufficient resources, or system conditions change unexpectedly.
Canada
In Canada, NRG sells to residential and commercial retail customers in Alberta, within the AESO footprint, under both regulated rates approved by the AUC as well as through competitive service. The Company's regulated rates are approved through periodic rate applications that establish rates for power and gas sales as well as for recovery of other costs associated with operating the regulated business. In addition, the Company sells energy to commercial customers in other provinces. All sales and operations are subject to applicable federal and provincial laws and regulations.
Vivint Smart Home
Vivint Smart Home operates in states that regulate in some manner the sale, installation, servicing, monitoring or maintenance of smart home and electronic security systems. Vivint Smart Home and Vivint Smart Home sales representatives are typically required to obtain and maintain licenses, certifications or similar permits from governmental entities as a condition to engaging in the smart home and security service business. Vivint Smart Home is subject to federal and state laws related to consumer financing which may include rules related to fees and charges, disclosures and regulation of the party extending consumer credit.

1 The Cottonwood facility is located in Deweyville, Texas, but operates in the MISO market
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Energy Regulatory Matters
As participants in wholesale and retail energy markets and owners and operators of power plants, certain NRG entities are subject to regulation by various federal, state and provincial agencies. These include the CFTC, FERC, and the PUCT, as well as other public utility commissions in certain states where NRG's generation or distributed generation assets are located. In addition, NRG is subject to the market rules, procedures and protocols of the various ISO and RTO markets in which it participates. These power markets are subject to ongoing legislative and regulatory changes that may impact NRG's wholesale and retail operations. NRG must also comply with the mandatory reliability requirements imposed by NERC and the regional reliability entities in the regions where NRG operates.
NRG's operations within the ERCOT footprint are not subject to rate regulation by FERC, as they are deemed to operate solely within the ERCOT market and not in interstate commerce. These operations are subject to regulation by the PUCT.
Regional Regulatory Developments
NRG is affected by rule/tariff changes that occur in the ISO regions. For further discussion on regulatory developments see Item 15 — Note 24, Regulatory Matters, to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Texas
Public Utility Commission of Texas’s Actions with Respect to Wholesale Pricing and Market Design — The PUCT continues to analyze and implement multiple options for promoting increased reliability in the wholesale electric market, including the adoption of a reliability standard for resource adequacy and market-based mechanisms to achieve this standard. During the 88th Regular Session, the Texas Legislature authorized deployment of the Performance Credit Mechanism ("PCM"), which will measure real-time contribution to system reliability and provide compensation for resources to be available, subject to certain "guardrails" such as an annual net cost cap, as part of its adoption of the PUCT Sunset Bill (House Bill 1500). The Texas Legislature also directed the PUCT to implement additional market design changes such as the creation of a new ancillary service called Dispatchable Reliability Reserve Service ("DRRS") to further increase ERCOT's capability to manage net load variability and firming requirements for new generation resources which penalize poor performance during periods of low grid reserves. The PUCT directed ERCOT to implement DRRS as a standalone product which will delay implementation until late 2025 or 2026. Additionally, through Senate Bill 2627, the Texas Legislature created the Texas Energy Fund, which received voter approval in November 2023, and will provide grants and low-interest loans to incentivize the development of more dispatchable generation and smaller backup generation in ERCOT. The PUCT has initiated a rulemaking proceeding to establish the process by which the Texas Energy fund loan proceeds will be distributed. A final rule creating the general structure of the loan program is expected to be adopted in March 2024.
Operating Reserve Demand Curve ("ORDC") — On August 3, 2023, the PUCT approved implementation of an enhancement to the ORDC as a bridge solution that was recommended by the ERCOT Technical Advisory Committee and the ERCOT board of directors. The ORDC enhancement will install price floors of $10 and $20 at reserve levels of 7,000 MW and 6,500 MW or below, respectively. ERCOT completed implementation on November 1, 2023.
Ruling on Pricing during Winter Storm Uri — On March 17, 2023, the Third Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Luminant Energy Co. v. PUCT, which is an appeal relating to the validity of two orders issued by the PUCT on February 15 and 16, 2021, respectively, governing scarcity pricing in the ERCOT wholesale electricity market during Winter Storm Uri. The Third Court found that the PUCT exceeded its statutory authority by ordering the market price of energy to be set at the high system wide offer cap due to scarcity conditions as a result of firm load shed occurring in ERCOT. The Third Court reversed the PUCT's orders and remanded the case. On March 23, 2023, the PUCT filed a petition for review to the Supreme Court of Texas seeking reversal of the Third Court's decision, which was granted on September 29, 2023. The Court received briefing on the merits and oral arguments occurred on January 30, 2024. The outcome of this appeal could potentially require a retroactive repricing of the ERCOT market prices during the subject time period.
Voluntary Mitigation Plan ("VMP") Changes — On March 13, 2023, the PUCT Staff determined that a portion of NRG's VMP should be terminated due to the increase in procurement of ancillary services by ERCOT, specifically non-spin reserve services, following Winter Storm Uri. As such, PUCT Staff terminated part of the VMP for NRG which provides protection from wholesale market power abuse accusations related to offers for ancillary services. NRG agreed with these changes to the VMP. At the March 23, 2023 open meeting, the PUCT approved the amended VMP. On February 23, 2024, NRG filed a notice of intent with the PUCT to terminate its existing VMP as of March 1, 2024.
ERCOT Request for Proposals for Winter Capacity — On October 2, 2023, ERCOT issued a Request for Proposals for Capacity ("RFP") for Winter 2023-2024. Proposals were due in early November to provide capacity for the December 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024 period. The RFP requirements were limited to demand response resources that have not participated in ERCOT or price responsive products. Ultimately, ERCOT cancelled the procurement due to lack of participation by qualified participants.
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Lubbock, Texas Transition to Competition — The customers of Lubbock Power and Light ("LP&L"), a municipally owned utility, will enter the Texas retail competitive market in March 2024. Starting in January 2024, LP&L customers can shop for a REP. Customers who do not select a REP by February 15, 2024 will be assigned to one of three default REPs, one of which is Reliant. LP&L customers will start transitioning to their chosen REP or a default REP on March 4, 2024.
PJM
Revisions to PJM Local Deliverability Area Reliability Requirement The Base Residual Auction for the 2024/2025 delivery year commenced on December 7, 2022 and closed on December 13, 2022. On December 19, 2022, PJM announced that it would delay the publication of the auction results. On December 23, 2022, PJM made a filing at FERC to revise the definition of Locational Deliverability Area Reliability Requirement in the Tariff. This would allow PJM to exclude certain resources from the calculation of the Local Deliverability Area Reliability Requirement. On February 21, 2023, FERC accepted PJM's filing. Multiple parties, including NRG, filed for rehearing. Rehearing was denied by operation of law, and multiple parties, including the Company, filed appeals to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The price of the auction cleared significantly lower as a result of the PJM Tariff change.
Capacity Performance Penalties and Bonuses from Winter Storm Elliott — PJM experienced approximately 23 hours of Capacity Performance events from December 23-24, 2022 across PJM's entire footprint. The Company is subject to penalty and bonus payments related to the events. On April 3, 2023, FERC approved PJM's request to allow Winter Storm Elliott penalty payments to be spread over 9 months (with interest) and allow future penalties to have a 9 month window to be satisfied without interest. Multiple generators filed various complaints against PJM at FERC alleging that PJM violated its Tariff in, among other things, the manner in which it operated the system during Winter Storm Elliott and the resulting assessment of capacity performance penalties. On June 5, 2023, FERC issued an order setting the various complaints for settlement. A settlement in principle was filed with FERC on September 29, 2023 and was approved on December 19, 2023.
PJM Base Residual Auction Revisions and Delay — On April 11, 2023, PJM filed, and FERC subsequently approved, to delay the Base Residual Auctions for the 2025/2026 to 2028/2029 delivery years. On October 13, 2023, PJM made two filings proposing to develop market reforms to improve the operation of the capacity market through changes to the Market Seller Offer Cap rules, changes to PJM's resource adequacy risk modeling and capacity accreditation processes, and changes to capacity performance enhancements. On January 30, 2024, FERC accepted certain reforms to PJM's resource adequacy risk modeling and accreditation processes; on February 6, 2024, FERC rejected PJM's proposed changes to certain Market Seller Offer Cap rules and capacity performance enhancements. The approved changes will be in effect for the 2025/2026 Base Residual Auction scheduled to occur in July 2024, and will impact both demand and supply characteristics.
PJM Files to Make Changes to the Performance Assessment Interval Trigger — On May 30, 2023, PJM filed proposed tariff revisions at FERC that narrow the definition of Emergency Actions used to determine Performance Assessment Intervals ("PAIs"). On July 28, 2023, FERC accepted the tariff revisions, and PJM made its compliance filing on August 28, 2023. The new definition narrows the instances of when PAIs can occur and therefore decrease the instances of when capacity performance penalties are assessed.
Independent Market Monitor Market Seller Offer Cap Complaint On March 18, 2021, finding that the calculation of the default Market Seller Offer Cap was unjust and unreasonable, FERC issued an Order, which permitted the PJM May 2021 capacity auction for the 2022/2023 delivery rule to continue under the existing rules and set a procedural schedule for parties to file briefs with possible solutions. On September 2, 2021, FERC issued an order in response to a complaint filed by the PJM Independent Market Monitor's proposal, which eliminated the Cost of New Entry-based Market Seller Offer Cap, implemented a limited default cap for certain asset classes based on going-forward costs and provided for unit specific cost review by the Independent Market Monitor for all other non-zero offers into the auctions. On October 4, 2021, as required by the Order, PJM submitted its compliance tariff and certain parties filed a motion for rehearing, which was denied by operation of law. On February 18, 2022, FERC addressed the arguments raised on rehearing and rejected the rehearing requests. Multiple parties filed appeals at the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and on August 15, 2023, the Court denied the petitions for review. On January 12, 2024, the generator trade association filed a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the August 15, 2023 judgment.
California
California Resource Planning Proceedings — As part of the Integrated Resource Procurement docket, the CPUC is requiring that all LSEs procure a pro rata share of 15.5 GW of new non-fossil resource adequacy ("RA") from 2023 to 2026. The new RA program rules adopted in 2023 are now in an implementation phase with a compliance process likely to be continually recalibrated through the first quarter of 2024. CPUC jurisdictional retail providers will be required to procure RA that meets their hourly load shape beginning in 2025. The result of these changes may create upward pressure on RA prices through 2024, and if LSEs cannot meet their RA obligations, penalties and restrictions on serving new customers may be issued. As relief to the tightness of the RA market, the CPUC adopted a final decision in December 2023 to extend PG&E's
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Diablo Canyon nuclear facility. The decision would allow the RA and GHG-free attributes of this 2-GW facility to be allocated to all LSEs to provide some relief to all LSEs' RA positions.
Other Regulatory Matters
From time to time, NRG entities may be subject to examinations, investigations and/or enforcement actions by federal, state and provincial licensing agencies and may face the risk of penalties for violation of financial services, consumer protections and other applicable laws and regulations.

Environmental Regulatory Matters
NRG is subject to numerous environmental laws in the development, construction, ownership and operation of power plants. These laws generally require that governmental permits and approvals be obtained before construction and maintained during operation of power plants. Federal and state environmental laws have become more stringent over time. Future laws may require the addition of emissions controls or other environmental controls or impose restrictions on the Company's operations including unit retirements. Complying with environmental laws often involves specialized human resources and significant capital and operating expenses, as well as occasionally curtailing operations. NRG decides to invest capital for environmental controls based on the relative certainty of the requirements, an evaluation of compliance options and the expected economic returns on capital.
A number of regulations that affect the Company have been and continue to be revised by the EPA, including requirements regarding coal ash, NAAQS revisions and implementation, and effluent limitation guidelines. NRG will evaluate the impact of these regulations as they are revised but cannot fully predict the impact of each until anticipated revisions and legal challenges are finally resolved.
Air 
The CAA and related regulations (as well as similar state and local requirements) have the potential to affect air emissions, operating practices and pollution control equipment required at power plants. Under the CAA, the EPA sets NAAQS for certain pollutants including SO2, ozone, and PM2.5. Many of the Company's facilities are located in or near areas that are classified by the EPA as not achieving certain NAAQS (non-attainment areas). The relevant NAAQS may become more stringent. On February 7, 2024, the EPA released a prepublication version of a final rule that when published in the Federal Register will increase the stringency of the PM2.5 NAAQS. The Company maintains a comprehensive compliance strategy to address continuing and new requirements. Complying with increasingly stringent air regulations could require the installation of additional emissions control equipment at some NRG facilities or retiring of units if installing such controls is not economic. Significant changes to air regulatory programs affecting the Company are described below.
CPP/ACE Rules — The attention in recent years on GHG emissions has resulted in federal and state regulations. In 2019, the EPA promulgated the ACE rule, which rescinded the CPP, which had sought to broadly regulate CO2 emissions from the power sector. On January 19, 2021, the D.C. Circuit vacated the ACE rule (but on February 22, 2021, at the EPA's request, stayed the issuance of the portion of the mandate that would vacate the repeal of the CPP). On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the "generation shifting" approach in the CPP exceeded the powers granted to the EPA by Congress. The Court did not address the related issues of whether the EPA may adopt only measures applied at each source. On May 23, 2023, the EPA proposed significantly revising the manner in which new and existing EGU's GHG emissions should be regulated including using hydrogen as a fuel, capturing and storing/sequestering CO2 and requiring new units to be more efficient. The EPA has stated that it intends to finalize these revisions in 2024. The Company expects that the final rule will be challenged in the courts and accordingly uncertain over the next several years.
Cross-State Air Pollution Rule ("CSAPR") — On March 15, 2023, the EPA signed and released a prepublication of a final rule that sought to significantly revise the CSAPR to address the good-neighbor obligations of the 2015 ozone NAAQS for 23 states after earlier having disapproved numerous state plans to address the issue. Several states, including Texas, challenged the EPA's disapproval of their state plans. On May 1, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stayed the EPA's disapproval of Texas' and Louisiana's state plans, which disapprovals are a condition precedent to the EPA imposing its plan on Texas and Louisiana. Several other states are also similarly situated because of similar stays. Nonetheless, on June 5, 2023, the EPA published this rule in the Federal Register. On July 31, 2023, the EPA promulgated an interim final rule that addresses the various judicial orders that have stayed several State-Implementation-Plan disapprovals by limiting the effectiveness of certain requirements of the final rule promulgated on June 5, 2023 in Texas and five other states. The final rule decreases, over time, the ozone-season NOx allowances allocated to generators in the states not affected by the judicial stays beginning in 2023 by assuming that participants in this cap-and-trade program had or would optimize existing NOx controls and later install additional NOx controls. The Company cannot predict the outcome of the legal challenges to the: (i) various state disapprovals; (ii) the final rule promulgated on June 5, 2023; and (iii) the interim final rule promulgated on July 31, 2023 that seeks to address the judicial orders.
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Regional Haze Proposal — On May 2023, the EPA proposed to withdraw the existing Texas Sulfur Dioxide Trading Program and replace it with unit-specific SO2 limits for 12 units in Texas to address requirements to improve visibility at National Parks and Wilderness areas. If finalized as proposed, the rule would result in more stringent SO2 limits for two of the Company's coal-fired units in Texas. The Company cannot predict the outcome of this proposal.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions — NRG emits CO2 (and small quantities of other GHGs) when generating electricity at a majority of its facilities. Nearly all of NRG's domestic GHG emissions are subject to federal (U.S. EPA) GHG reporting requirements.
NRG's climate goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025, from its current 2014 base year, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions included in NRG's goals are directly controlled emissions, emissions from purchased electricity for NRG's consumption and emissions from employee business travel. In March 2021, the Science Based Targets initiative validated NRG's 2025 and 2050 goals as aligned with a 1.5 degree Celsius trajectory. This validation was based on NRG’s business in 2020, prior to its acquisition of Direct Energy and Vivint. Following the acquisitions, the magnitude of NRG’s indirect emissions changed, and the Company is currently in the process of analyzing these emissions.
From the current 2014 base year through 2023, the Company's directly controlled CO2e emissions decreased from 58 million metric tons to 24 million metric tons, representing a cumulative 58% reduction. The decrease is attributed to reductions in fleet-wide annual net generation and an overall market-driven shift away from coal as a primary fuel to natural gas. The achievement of NRG's 2025 emissions reduction targets could be impacted by volatility within the power markets, driven by market conditions and changes in regulatory policies.
As of December 31, 2023, less than 5% of the Company's consolidated revenues were derived from coal-fired operating assets.
The following charts reflect the Company’s domestic generation portfolio, including leased facilities and those accounted for through equity method investments, but excluding the battery storage and remaining renewables activity. Prior year information on U.S. CO2e emissions and U.S. generation was adjusted to remove divested assets.
GHEchart2023V1.jpg

Byproducts
In 2015, the EPA finalized a rule regulating byproducts of coal combustion (e.g., ash and gypsum) as solid wastes under the RCRA. On August 21, 2018, the D.C. Circuit found, among other things, that the EPA had not adequately regulated unlined ponds and legacy surface impoundments. On August 28, 2020, the EPA finalized "A Holistic Approach to Closure Part A: Deadline to Initiate Closure," which amended the April 2015 Rule to address the August 2018 D.C. Circuit decision and extend some of the deadlines. On November 12, 2020, the EPA finalized "A Holistic Approach to Closure Part B: Alternative Demonstration for Unlined Surface Impoundments," which further amended the April 2015 Rule to, among other things, provide procedures for requesting approval to operate existing ash impoundments with an alternate liner. On May 23, 2023, the EPA proposed establishing requirements for: (i) inactive (or legacy) surface impoundments at inactive facilities and (ii) all CCR management units (regardless of how or when the CCR was placed) at regulated facilities. NRG anticipates further rulemaking related to legacy surface impoundments and the Federal Permit Program.
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Domestic Site Remediation Matters
Under certain federal, state and local environmental laws, a current or previous owner or operator of a facility, including an electric generating facility, may be required to investigate and remediate releases or threatened releases of hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum products. NRG may be responsible for property damage, personal injury and investigation and remediation costs incurred by a party in connection with hazardous material releases or threatened releases. These laws impose liability without regard to whether the owner knew of or caused the presence of the hazardous substances, and the courts have interpreted liability under such laws to be strict (without fault) and joint and several. Cleanup obligations can often be triggered during the closure or decommissioning of a facility, in addition to spills during its operations.
Jewett Mine Lignite Contract The Company's Limestone facility historically burned lignite obtained from the Jewett mine. Active mining ceased as of December 31, 2016; however, the Company remains responsible for reclamation activities and is responsible for all reclamation costs. NRG has recorded an adequate ARO liability. The Railroad Commission of Texas has imposed a bond obligation of approximately $112 million for the reclamation of the Jewett mine, which NRG supports through surety bonds. The cost of the reclamation may exceed the value of the bonds. NRG may provide additional performance assurance if required by the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Water 
The Company is required under the CWA to comply with intake and discharge requirements, requirements for technological controls and operating practices. As with air quality regulations, federal and state water regulations have become more stringent and imposed new requirements.
Effluent Limitations Guidelines — In 2015, the EPA revised the Effluent Limitations Guidelines ("ELG") for Steam Electric Generating Facilities, which imposed more stringent requirements (as individual permits were renewed) for wastewater streams from FGD, fly ash, bottom ash and flue gas mercury control. On September 18, 2017, the EPA promulgated a final rule that, among other things, postponed the compliance dates to preserve the status quo for FGD wastewater and bottom ash transport water by two years to November 2020 until the EPA amended the rule. On October 13, 2020, the EPA amended the 2015 ELG rule by: (i) altering the stringency of certain limits for FGD wastewater; (ii) relaxing the zero-discharge requirement for bottom ash transport water; and (iii) changing several deadlines. In October 2021, NRG informed its regulators that the Company intends to comply with the ELG by ceasing combustion of coal by the end of 2028 at its domestic coal units outside of Texas, and installing appropriate controls by the end of 2025 at its two plants that have coal-fired units in Texas. On March 29, 2023, the EPA proposed revisions to the ELG and sought comments, which the EPA is analyzing.
Regional Environmental Developments
Ash Regulation in Illinois — On July 30, 2019, Illinois enacted legislation that required the state to promulgate regulations regarding coal ash at surface impoundments. On April 15, 2021, the state promulgated the implementing regulation, which became effective on April 21, 2021. NRG has applied for initial operating permits and construction permits (for closure and retrofits) as required by the regulation and is waiting for permits to be issued by the Illinois EPA.
Houston Nonattainment for 2008 Ozone Standard — During the fourth quarter of 2022, the EPA changed the Houston area’s classification from Serious to Severe nonattainment for the 2008 Ozone Standard. Accordingly, Texas is required to develop a new control strategy and submit it to the EPA, which is expected by May 2024.
Customers
NRG sells to a wide variety of customers, primarily end-use customers in the residential, commercial and industrial, and wholesale sectors. The Company owns and operates power plants to generate and sell power to wholesale customers, such as utilities and other intermediaries. The Company had no customer that comprised more than 10% of the Company's consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2023.
Human Capital
As of December 31, 2023, NRG and its consolidated subsidiaries had 18,131 employees, including 5,187 active smart home direct sales and installation individuals, which are largely seasonal. Approximately 4% of the Company's employees were covered by U.S. collective bargaining agreements. During 2023, the Company did not experience any labor stoppages or labor disputes at any of its facilities.
NRG believes its employees are vital to its success and is committed to offering employees a rewarding career that provides opportunities for growth and the ability to make valuable contributions toward the achievement of the Company’s business objectives. NRG focuses on safety, health and wellness, diversity, equity and inclusion, talent development and total rewards for its employees.
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Safety
Safety is embedded in the culture at NRG. The Company strives to begin meetings with a safety moment and regularly reminds its employees that safety comes first. NRG has achieved its targeted top decile safety record of Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injury rates in each of the 5 previous years.
The following chart reflects the Company's 5 year safety record, excluding Vivint Smart Home which uses different industry specific safety benchmarks.
SafetyRecord.jpg
Health and Wellness
For several years, NRG has invested in the health and well-being of its employees and their families. NRG provides programs that holistically support its employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellness, allowing employees the opportunity to take control of their well-being and focus on what matters most to them for a healthy, secure future.
For the 2023 plan year, the Company included well-being goals in the Annual Incentive Plan (AIP), ensuring participants are motivated to improve their physical, emotional and financial well-being.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
NRG is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) as an integral way the Company operates. In 2023, NRG completed a gender and race pay equity study to analyze the Company's pay decisions in light of gender, race, or other similar factors. The study demonstrated equitable pay practices after accounting for job level, experience, tenure and location. The Company first conducted this study in 2020 and committed to conduct the study every three years. In 2023, Forbes and Statista recognized NRG as one of The Best Employers for Diversity. Also in 2023, NRG created designated reflection rooms in its headquarters to accommodate religious practices and reflection. NRG held its first Lunar New Year's celebrations hosted by VIVIDH, the Company's Asian American Pacific Islander Business Resource Group. The Company also hosted its inaugural listening session in recognition of Canada's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation sponsored by RISE, its Indigenous Communities Business Resource Group.
Talent Development
NRG deploys various talent development strategies and programs with the goal of ensuring a pipeline of leadership that can execute on the Company’s strategy and drive value for all stakeholders. The Board of Directors regularly engages with management on leadership development and succession planning, including providing feedback on development plans and bench strength for key senior leader positions. The Board of Directors also has a structured program that allows directors to interact directly with individuals deeper within the organization whom management, through a robust talent assessment program, as well as mentoring relationships, has identified as high potential future leaders. In 2021, the Company launched an annual Emerging Leaders Program to strengthen the identified pipeline of future leaders and create a cohort of high potential candidates for leadership positions. In 2023, the Company launched a front-line leader program called Peak Leadership with the intent to onboard first-level leaders into their leadership role in select business units and is planning to expand its impact in 2024. The Company has a performance management tool that emphasizes a continuous feedback loop and a robust online training curriculum with topics including leadership, communication and productivity.
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Total Rewards
NRG seeks to provide market competitive compensation and benefits, benchmarked against direct peers, industry, and, where appropriate, general peers. To ensure incentives are properly aligned with business needs and can attract and retain qualified employees, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors actively reviews the Company's total rewards programs, including benchmarking programs against peer groups, assessing the risks of programs and evaluating the design of the short-term and long-term incentive programs. NRG continues to evaluate its benefits and offerings taking into consideration the needs of its employees to ensure they are competitive and best serve its employees. Every two years, the Company engages an independent third-party to benchmark its compensation and benefits programs against its peers and report the results to the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors.
For further discussion and recent available data regarding the Company’s efforts and programs please see the Company’s 2023 Proxy Statement and 2022 Sustainability Report, which are available on the Company’s website at: www.nrg.com. Information included in these documents is not intended to be incorporated into this Form 10-K.
Available Information
NRG's annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available free of charge through the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and through the Company's website, www.nrg.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The Company also routinely posts press releases, presentations, webcasts, sustainability reports and other information regarding the Company on the Company's website. The information posted on the Company's website is not a part of this report.
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Item 1A — Risk Factors
NRG's risk factors are grouped into the following categories: (i) Risks Related to the Acquisition of Vivint Smart Home; (ii) Risks Related to the Operation of NRG's Business; (iii) Risks Related to Governmental Regulation and Laws; and (iv) Risks Related to Economic and Financial Market Conditions, and the Company's Indebtedness.
Risks Related to the Acquisition of Vivint Smart Home
The acquisition of Vivint Smart Home may not achieve its intended results and its integration may disrupt or have a negative impact on the Company’s business.
Achieving the anticipated cost savings and operating efficiencies from the acquisition of Vivint Smart Home is subject to risks, including whether the businesses of NRG and Vivint Smart Home are integrated in an efficient and effective manner. These risks include, but are not limited to:
the difficulty of managing and integrating Vivint Smart Home and its operations;
difficulties in implementing and maintaining uniform processes, systems, standards, controls, procedures, practices, policies and compensation standards;
unanticipated issues in integrating information technology, communications, and other systems;
the possibility of faulty assumptions underlying expectations regarding the integration process;
the potential difficulty in managing an increased number of locations and employees;
difficulty addressing any possible differences in corporate cultures and management philosophies; and
the effect of any government regulations which relate to the business acquired.
Many of these factors are outside of the Company’s control. Failure to address these risks effectively could result in increased costs, lower-than-expected revenues or income generated by the combined company and diversion of management's time and energy and could have an adverse effect on the Company's business, financial results and prospects.
Risks Related to the Operation of NRG's Business
NRG's financial performance may be impacted by price fluctuations in the retail and wholesale power and natural gas markets, as well as fluctuations in coal and oil markets and other market factors that are beyond the Company's control.
Market prices for power, capacity, ancillary services, natural gas, coal, oil and renewable energy credits are unpredictable and tend to fluctuate substantially. Electric power generally must be produced concurrently with its use. As a result, power prices are subject to significant volatility due to supply and demand imbalances, especially in the day-ahead and spot markets. Long and short-term power and gas prices may also fluctuate substantially due to other factors outside of the Company's control, including:
changes in generation capacity in the Company’s markets, including the addition of new supplies of power as a result of the development of new plants, expansion of existing plants, the continued operation of uneconomic power plants due to state subsidies, retirement of existing plants or addition of new transmission capacity;
electric supply disruptions, including plant outages and transmission disruptions;
changes in power and gas transmission infrastructure;
transportation capacity constraints or inefficiencies;
weather conditions, including extreme weather conditions and seasonal fluctuations, including the effects of climate change;
changes in commodity prices and the supply of commodities, including but not limited to natural gas, coal and oil;
changes in the demand for power or gas, or in patterns of power or gas usage, including the potential development of demand-side management tools and practices, distributed generation, and more efficient end-use technologies;
development of new fuels, new technologies and new forms of competition for the production of power;
economic and political conditions;
changes in law, including judicial decisions, environmental regulations and environmental legislation; and
federal, state and provincial power regulations and legislation, and regulations and actions of the ISO and RTOs.
While retail rates are generally designed to allow retail sellers of electricity and natural gas to pass through price fluctuations and other changes to costs, the Company may not be able to pass through all such changes to customers. For example, serving retail power customers in ISOs that have a capacity market exposes the Company to the risk that capacity costs can change and may not be recoverable, or the Company may engage in sales of power at fixed prices. Additionally, increases in wholesale costs to retail customers may cause additional customer defaults or increased customer attrition, or may be impacted by regulatory rules.
Further, in low natural gas price environments, natural gas can be the more cost-competitive fuel compared to coal for generating electricity. The Company enters into guaranteed supply contracts to provide for the amount of coal needed to operate its base load coal-fired generating facilities. The Company may experience periods where it holds excess amounts of coal if fuel
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pricing results in the Company reducing or idling coal-fired generating facilities. In addition, the Company may incur costs to terminate supply contracts for coal in excess of its generating requirements.
Such factors and the associated fluctuations in power prices have affected the Company's wholesale and retail profitability in the past and are expected to continue to do so in the future.
Volatile power and gas supply costs and demand for power and gas could adversely affect the financial performance of NRG's retail operations.
The Company's earnings and cash flows could be adversely affected in any period in which the wholesale power or gas prices rise at a greater rate than the rates the Company can charge to customers. The price of wholesale electricity and gas supply purchases associated with the retail operations' energy commitments can be different than that reflected in the rates charged to customers due to, among other factors:
varying supply procurement contracts used and the timing of entering into related contracts;
subsequent changes in the overall price of natural gas;
daily, monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the price of natural gas relative to the 12-month forward prices;
transmission and transportation constraints and the Company's ability to move power or gas to its customers; and
changes in market heat rate (i.e., the relationship between power and natural gas prices).
The Company's earnings and cash flows could also be adversely affected in any period in which its customers' actual usage of electricity or gas significantly varies from the forecasted usage, which could occur due to, among other factors, weather events, changes in usage patterns, competition and economic conditions.
NRG's trading operations and use of hedging agreements could result in financial losses that negatively impact its results of operations, and NRG's hedging activities may increase the volatility in the Company's quarterly and annual financial results.
The Company typically enters into hedging agreements, including contracts to purchase or sell commodities at future dates and at fixed prices, to manage the commodity price risks inherent in its business. The Company’s risk management policies and hedging procedures may not mitigate risk as planned, and the Company may fail to fully or effectively hedge its commodity supply and price risk. In addition, these activities, although intended to mitigate price volatility, expose the Company to other risks. When the Company sells or buys power or gas forward, it gives up the opportunity to buy or sell at the future price, which not only may result in lost opportunity costs but also may require the Company to post significant amounts of cash collateral or other credit support to its counterparties. The Company also relies on counterparty performance under its hedging agreements and is exposed to the credit quality of its counterparties under those agreements. Further, if the values of the financial contracts change in a manner that the Company does not anticipate, or if a counterparty fails to perform under a contract, it could harm the Company's business, operating results or financial position.
NRG does not typically hedge the entire exposure of its operations against commodity price volatility. To the extent it does not hedge against commodity price volatility, the Company's results of operations and financial position may be improved or diminished based upon movement in commodity prices.
NRG may engage in trading activities, including the trading of power, natural gas, fuel, emissions allowances, environmental attributes and credits, weather, and other physical and financial commodity related products that are not directly related to the operation of the Company's generation facilities or the management of related risks. These trading activities take place in volatile markets and some of these trades could be characterized as speculative. This trading activity may expose the Company to the risk of significant financial losses which could have a material adverse effect on its business and financial condition.
NRG generally attempts to balance its fixed-price physical and financial purchases and sales commitments in terms of contract volumes and the timing of performance and delivery obligations through the use of financial and physical derivative contracts. These derivatives are accounted for in accordance with the FASB ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging ("ASC 815"), which requires the Company to record all derivatives on the balance sheet at fair value with changes in the fair value resulting from fluctuations in the underlying commodity prices immediately recognized in earnings, unless the derivative qualifies for cash flow hedge accounting treatment or a scope exception. As a result, the Company's quarterly and annual results are subject to significant fluctuations caused by changes in market prices.
Competition may have a material adverse effect on NRG's results of operations, cash flows and the market value of its assets.
The Company's retail operations face competition for customers. Competitors may offer different products, lower prices, and other incentives which may attract customers away from the Company. In some retail electricity markets, the principal competitor may be the incumbent utility. The incumbent utility often has the advantage of long-standing relationships with its customers and strong brand recognition. Furthermore, NRG may face competition from other energy service providers, other
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energy industry participants, or nationally branded providers of consumer products and services, who have, and may in the future, develop businesses and offerings that compete with NRG.
The Company's smart home services market faces competition from residential security companies as well as other companies that are able to bundle their existing offerings, such as cable, telecommunications and internet service, with automation and monitored security services, and from do-it-yourself smart home systems, which customers are able to install without subscription services.
The Company’s plant operations face competition from newer or more efficient plants owned by competitors, which may put some of the Company's plants at a disadvantage to the extent these competitors are able to consume the same or less fuel as the Company's plant. Over time, the Company's plants may be unable to compete with these more efficient plants, which could result in asset retirements.
NRG’s competitors may have greater liquidity, greater access to credit and other financial resources, lower cost structures, more effective risk management policies and procedures, greater ability to incur losses, longer-standing relationships with customers, greater brand awareness, greater potential for profitability from retail sales or greater flexibility in the timing of their sale of generation capacity and ancillary services than NRG does. Competitors may also have better access to subsidies or other out-of-market payments that put NRG at a competitive disadvantage.
NRG's competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new laws or regulations or emerging technologies, or devote greater resources to marketing of retail energy and home services than NRG can. In addition, current and potential competitors may make strategic acquisitions or establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties. Accordingly, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among current and new competitors may emerge and rapidly gain significant market share.
There can be no assurance that NRG will be able to compete successfully against current and future competitors, and any failure to do so would have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow.
NRG’s strategy relies, in part, on its ability to cross-serve and optimize its network of retail and Smart Home services customers, and if it is unable to retain existing customers and expand their use of the Company’s products and services, its expected growth and operating results could be adversely affected.
As part of NRG’s growth strategy, it is important for the Company to cross-sell energy sales and services to smart home services subscribers and smart home services to residential retail customers. As the Company continues pursuing cross-selling opportunities between these customers, there can be no assurances that its efforts in this regard will be successful. Additionally, for the Company to be successful in such cross-selling opportunities, it must retain its existing customers. The length of the terms for which NRG’s retail customers are contracted can be for multi-year periods, but many customers are contracted for a period of one year or less. Smart home services customers historically have entered into subscriptions that range from three to five years. These customers are not obligated to, and may not, renew their contracts or subscriptions after the expiration of their original commitments. If customers terminate their contracts, do not renew their contracts or do not expand their use of NRG’s products and services, the Company’s growth strategy may not be successful and its expected results of operations may be adversely affected.
NRG's costs, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely impacted by disruption of its fuel supplies.
NRG relies on natural gas, coal and oil to fuel a majority of its power generation facilities. Grid operations depend on the continuing financial viability of contractual counterparties, as well as the infrastructure (including rail lines, rail cars, barge facilities, roadways, riverways and natural gas pipelines) available to serve generation facilities and to ensure that there is sufficient power produced to meet retail demand. As a result, the Company’s wholesale generation facilities are subject to the risks of disruptions or curtailments in the production of power at its generation facilities if no fuel is available at any price, if a counterparty fails to perform or if there is a disruption in the fuel delivery infrastructure.
NRG routinely hedges both its wholesale sales and purchases to support its retail load obligations. In order to hedge these obligations, the Company may enter into long-term and short-term contracts for the purchase and delivery of fuel. Many of the forward power sales contracts do not allow the Company to pass through changes in fuel costs or discharge the power sale obligations in the case of a disruption in fuel supply due to force majeure events or the default of a fuel supplier or transporter. Disruptions in the Company's fuel supplies or power supply arrangements may therefore require it to supply replacement power either by running its other, higher cost power plants or by obtaining power from third-party sources at market prices that could substantially exceed the contract price, or to pay damages to counterparties for failure to deliver power or sell electricity or natural gas as contracted. Any such event could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial performance.
NRG also buys energy and fuel on a short-term or spot market basis. Prices sometimes rise or fall significantly over a relatively short period of time. The price NRG can obtain for the sale of energy may not rise at the same rate, or may not rise at
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all, to match a rise in fuel or delivery costs. Retail rates may also not rise at the same rate or may not rise at all. This may have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial performance.
NRG's plant operating characteristics and equipment, particularly at its coal-fired plants, often dictate the specific fuel quality to be combusted. The availability and price of specific fuel qualities may vary due to supplier financial or operational disruptions, transportation disruptions and force majeure. At times, coal of specific quality may not be available at any price or the Company may not be able to transport such coal to its facilities on a timely basis. In this case, the Company may not be able to run the coal facility even if it would be profitable. Operating a coal facility with different quality coal can lead to emission or operating problems. If the Company had sold forward the power from such a coal facility, it could be required to supply or purchase power from alternate sources, perhaps at a loss. This could have a material adverse impact on the financial results of specific plants and on the Company's results of operations.
There may be periods when NRG will not be able to meet its commitments under forward sale or purchase obligations at a reasonable cost or at all.
The Company may sell fixed price gas as a proxy for power. Because the obligations under most of the Company's forward sale agreements are not contingent on a unit being available to generate power, NRG is generally required to deliver power to the buyer, even in the event of a plant outage, fuel supply disruption or a reduction in the available capacity of the unit. To the extent that the Company does not have sufficient lower-cost capacity to meet its commitments under its forward sale obligations, the Company would be required to supply replacement power either by running its other, higher cost power plants or by obtaining power from third-party sources at market prices that could substantially exceed the contract price. If NRG fails to deliver the contracted power, it would be required to pay the difference between the market price at the delivery point and the contract price, and the amount of such payments could be substantial.
NRG may not have sufficient liquidity to hedge market risks effectively.
The Company is exposed to market risks through its retail and wholesale operations, which involve the purchase of electricity and natural gas for resale, the sale of energy, capacity and related products, and the purchase and sale of fuel, transmission services and emission allowances. These market risks include, among other risks, volatility arising from location and timing differences that may be associated with buying and transporting fuel, converting fuel into energy and delivering energy to a buyer.
NRG undertakes to hedge these market activities through agreements with various counterparties. Many of the Company's agreements with counterparties include provisions that require the Company to provide guarantees, offset or netting arrangements, letters of credit, a first lien on assets and/or cash collateral to protect the counterparties against the risk of the Company's default or insolvency. The amount of such credit support that must be provided typically is based on the difference between the price of the commodity in a given contract and the market price of the commodity. Significant movements in market prices can result in the Company being required to provide cash collateral and letters of credit in very large amounts. The effectiveness of the Company's strategy may depend on the amount of collateral available to enter into or maintain these contracts, and liquidity requirements may be greater than the Company anticipates or will be able to meet. Without a sufficient amount of working capital to post as collateral in support of performance guarantees or as a cash margin, the Company may not be able to manage price volatility effectively or to implement its strategy. An increase in the amount of letters of credit or cash collateral required to be provided to the Company's counterparties may negatively affect the Company's liquidity and financial condition.
Further, if retail customers use more power or gas than expected, or if any of NRG's facilities experience unplanned outages, the Company may be required to procure additional power or gas at spot market prices to fulfill contractual commitments. Without adequate liquidity to meet margin and collateral requirements, the Company may be exposed to significant losses, may miss significant opportunities, and may have increased exposure to the volatility of spot markets.
The operation of the Company's businesses is subject to advanced persistent cyber-based security threats and integrity risk. Attacks on NRG's infrastructure that breach cyber/data security measures could expose the Company to significant liabilities, reputational damage, regulatory action, and disrupt business operations, which could have a material adverse effect.
Numerous functions affecting the efficient operation of NRG’s businesses depend on the secure and reliable storage, processing and communication of electronic data and the use of sophisticated computer hardware and software systems, much of which is connected (directly or indirectly) to the internet. As a result, NRG's information technology systems and infrastructure, and those of its vendors and suppliers, are susceptible to cyber-based security threats which could compromise confidentiality, integrity or availability. While the Company has controls in place designed to protect its infrastructure, such breaches and threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, requiring continuing evolution of its program. Any such breach, disruption or similar event that impairs NRG's information technology infrastructure could disrupt normal business operations and affect the Company's ability to control its generation assets, provide smart home services, maintain
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confidentiality, availability and integrity of restricted data, access retail customer information and limit communication with third parties, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company.
As part of the continuing development of new and modified reliability standards, the FERC has approved changes to its Critical Infrastructure Protection reliability standards and has established standards for assets identified as "critical cyber assets." Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the FERC can impose penalties (up to $1 million per day, per violation) for failure to comply with mandatory electric reliability standards, including standards to protect the power system against potential disruptions from cyber/data and physical security breaches.
Further, the Company's retail, Home and Services businesses, as well as Vivint Smart Home's smart home platform, require accessing, collecting, storing and transmitting sensitive customer data in the ordinary course of business. Concerns about data privacy have led to increased regulation and other actions that could impact NRG's businesses and changes in data privacy and data protection laws and regulations or any failure to comply with such laws and regulations could adversely affect the Company's business and financial results. NRG's retail, Home, Services and Smart Home businesses may need to provide sensitive customer data to vendors and service providers who require access to this information in order to provide services, such as call center operations, to such businesses. The services and the networks and information systems utilized by the Company may be at risk for breaches as a result of third-party actions, employee or vendor error, malfeasance or other factors.
Although the Company takes precautions to protect its infrastructure, it has been, and will likely continue to be, subject to attempts at phishing and other cybersecurity intrusions. International conflict increases the risk of state-sponsored cyber threats and escalated use of cybercriminal and cyber-espionage activities. In particular, the current geopolitical climate has further escalated cybersecurity risk, with various government agencies, including the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, issuing warnings of increased cyber threats, particularly for U.S. critical infrastructure. While the Company has not experienced a cyber/data event causing any material operational, reputational or financial impact, it recognizes the growing threat within the general marketplace and the industry, and there is no assurance that NRG will be able to prevent any such impacts in the future. If a material breach of the Company's information technology systems were to occur, the critical operational capabilities and reputation of its business may be adversely affected, customer confidence may be diminished, and NRG may be subject to substantial legal or regulatory scrutiny and claims, any of which may contribute to potential legal or regulatory actions against the Company, loss of customers, fines, penalties or other sanctions and otherwise have a material adverse effect. Any loss or disruption of critical operational capabilities to support the Company's generation, commercial or retail operations, loss of customers, or loss of confidential or proprietary data through a breach, unauthorized access, disruption, misuse or disclosure could adversely affect NRG's reputation, expose the Company to material legal or regulatory claims and impair the Company's ability to execute its business strategy, which could have a material adverse effect. In addition, NRG may experience increased capital and operating costs to implement increased security for its information technology infrastructure. NRG cannot provide any assurance that such events and impacts will not be material in the future, and the Company's efforts to deter, identify and mitigate future breaches may require additional significant capital and may not be successful.
NRG relies on storage, transportation assets and suppliers, which it does not own or control, to deliver natural gas.
The Company depends on natural gas pipelines and other transportation and storage facilities owned and operated by third parties to deliver natural gas to wholesale and retail markets and to provide retail energy services to customers. The Company's ability to provide natural gas for its present and projected customers will depend upon its suppliers' ability to obtain and deliver supplies of natural gas, as well as NRG's ability to acquire supplies. Factors beyond the control of the Company and its suppliers may affect the Company's ability to deliver such supplies. These factors include other parties' control over the drilling of new wells and the facilities to transport natural gas to the Company's receipt points, development of additional interstate pipeline infrastructure, availability of supply sources competition for the acquisition of natural gas, priority allocations, impact of severe weather disruptions to natural gas supplies and the regulatory and pricing policies of federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as the availability of Canadian reserves for export to the U.S. Energy deregulation legislation may increase competition among natural gas utilities and impact the quantities of natural gas requirements needed for sales service. If supply, transportation or storage is disrupted, including for reasons of force majeure, the ability of the Company to sell and deliver its products and services may be hindered. As a result, the Company may be responsible for damages incurred by its customers, such as the additional cost of acquiring alternative supply at then-current market rates. These conditions could have a material impact on the Company's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Operation of power generation facilities involves significant risks and hazards customary to the power industry that could have a material adverse effect on NRG's revenues and results of operations, and NRG may not have adequate insurance to cover these risks and hazards.
The ongoing operation of NRG's facilities involves risks that include the breakdown or failure of equipment or processes, performance below expected levels of output or efficiency and the inability to transport the Company's products to its customers in an efficient manner due to a lack of transmission capacity. Unplanned outages of generating units, including extensions of scheduled outages due to mechanical failures or other problems occur from time to time and are an inherent risk of the
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Company's business. Unplanned outages typically increase the Company's operation and maintenance expenses and may reduce the Company's revenues as a result of selling fewer MWh or incurring non-performance penalties and/or require NRG to incur significant costs as a result of obtaining replacement power from third parties in the open market or running one of its higher cost units to satisfy the Company's forward power sales obligations. NRG's inability to operate the Company's plants efficiently, manage capital expenditures and costs, and generate earnings and cash flow from the Company's asset-based businesses could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
In addition, NRG provides plant operations and commercial services to a variety of third parties. There is a risk that mistakes, mis-operations or actions taken by these third parties could be attributed to NRG, including the risk of investigation or penalties being assessed to NRG in connection with the services it offers, or that regulators could question whether NRG had the appropriate safeguards in place.
Power generation involves hazardous activities, including acquiring, transporting and unloading fuel, operating large pieces of rotating equipment and delivering electricity to transmission and distribution systems. In addition to natural risks such as earthquake, flood, lightning, hurricane and wind, other hazards, such as fire, explosion, structural collapse and machinery failure are inherent risks in the Company's operations. These and other hazards can cause significant personal injury or loss of life, severe damage to and destruction of property, plant and equipment, contamination of, or damage to, the environment and suspension of operations. The occurrence of any one of these events may result in NRG being named as a defendant in lawsuits asserting claims for substantial damages, including for environmental cleanup costs, personal injury and property damage and fines and/or penalties.
NRG maintains an amount of insurance protection that it considers adequate, obtains warranties from vendors and obligates contractors to meet certain performance levels, but the Company cannot provide any assurance that these measures will be sufficient or effective under all circumstances and against all hazards or liabilities to which it may be subject. A successful claim for which the Company is not adequately insured or protected could hurt its financial results and materially harm NRG's financial condition. NRG cannot provide any assurance that its insurance coverage will continue to be available at all or at rates or on terms similar to those presently available. Any losses not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Supplier and/or customer concentration, the inability of suppliers to meet their obligations and dependence on third-party service providers may expose the Company to significant financial credit or performance risks and adversely affect NRG's results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
NRG often relies on a single contracted supplier or a small number of suppliers for the provision and transportation of fuel, chemicals and other services required for the operation of certain of its facilities. If these suppliers cannot perform these services, the Company utilizes the marketplace. There can be no assurance that the marketplace can provide these services as, when and where required or at comparable prices. The Company also relies on a number of sole or limited source suppliers for critical components for its smart home products and services, and those services are dependent on third-party cellular, telecommunications and/or internet providers.
The failure of any supplier or customer to fulfill its contractual obligations to NRG, the inability of NRG to source products and services on acceptable terms, if at all, and the failure of third parties to provide services to its customers that are necessary for the Company’s smart home services could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial results. As a result, the financial performance of the Company's facilities is dependent on the credit quality of, and continued performance by, suppliers and customers, which cannot be guaranteed.
Maintenance, expansion and refurbishment of power generation facilities involve significant risks that could result in unplanned power outages or reduced output and could have a material adverse effect on NRG's results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
NRG's facilities require periodic maintenance and repair. Any unexpected failure, including failure associated with breakdowns, forced outages or any unanticipated capital expenditures could result in reduced profitability. NRG cannot be certain of the level of capital expenditures that will be required due to changing environmental and safety laws (including changes in the interpretation or enforcement thereof), needed facility repairs and unexpected events (such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks). The unexpected requirement of large capital expenditures could have a material adverse effect on the Company's liquidity and financial condition.
NRG relies on power transmission and distribution facilities that it does not own or control and that are subject to transmission constraints within a number of the Company's core regions.
NRG depends on transmission and distribution facilities owned and operated by others to deliver power to its customers. If transmission or distribution is disrupted, including by force majeure events, or if the transmission or distribution infrastructure is inadequate, NRG's ability to deliver power may be adversely impacted. The Company also cannot predict
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whether transmission or distribution facilities will be expanded in specific markets to accommodate competitive access to those markets.
In addition, in certain of the markets in which NRG operates, energy transmission congestion may occur and the Company may be deemed responsible for congestion costs associated with power sales or purchases, or retail sales, particularly where the Company’s load is not co-located with its retail sales obligations. If NRG were liable for such congestion costs, the Company's financial results could be adversely affected.
Rates and terms for service of certain residential and commercial customers in Alberta are subject to regulatory review and approval.
The Company owns Direct Energy Regulated Services, which serves as a regulated rate supplier for residential and commercial energy customers in portions of the province of Alberta. It is required to engage in regulatory approval proceedings as a part of the process of establishing the terms and rates for sales of power and natural gas. These proceedings typically involve multiple parties, including governmental bodies and officials, consumer advocacy groups and various consumers of energy, who have differing concerns but also have the common objective of limiting rate increases or even reducing rates. Decisions are subject to appeal, potentially leading to additional uncertainty associated with the approval proceedings. The potential duration of such proceedings creates a risk that rates ultimately approved by the applicable regulatory body may not be sufficient for the Company to recover its costs by the time the rates become effective. Established rates are also subject to subsequent reviews by regulators, whereby various portions of rates could be adjusted, subject to refund or disallowed. In certain instances, the Company could agree to negotiated settlements related to various rate matters and other cost recovery elements. These settlements are subject to regulatory approval. The ultimate outcome and timing of regulatory rate proceedings have a significant effect on the Company to recover its costs or earn an adequate return. In addition, subsequent legislative or regulatory action could alter the terms on which the regulated business operates and future earnings could be negatively impacted. The Company also operates a competitive energy supply business in Alberta that is not subject to rate regulation and is subject to stringent requirements to segregate operations and information relating to the competitive business from the regulated business. Failure to comply with these and other requirements on the business could subject the Company's regulated and competitive businesses in Alberta to fines, penalties, and restrictions on the ability to continue business.
Because NRG owns less than a majority of the ownership interests of some of its project investments, the Company cannot exercise complete control over their operations.
NRG has limited control over the operation of some project investments and joint ventures because the Company's investments are in projects where it beneficially owns less than a majority of the ownership interests. NRG seeks to exert a degree of influence with respect to the management and operation of projects in which it owns less than a majority of the ownership interests by negotiating to obtain positions on management committees or to receive certain limited governance rights, such as rights to veto significant actions. However, the Company may not always succeed in such negotiations. NRG may be dependent on its co-venturers to operate such projects. The Company's co-venturers may not have the level of experience, technical expertise, human resources management or other attributes necessary to operate these projects optimally. The approval of co-venturers also may be required for NRG to receive distributions of funds from projects or to transfer the Company's interest in projects.
Future acquisition or disposition activities could involve unknown risks and may have materially adverse effects and NRG may be subject to trailing liabilities from businesses that it disposes of or that are inactive.
NRG may in the future acquire or dispose of businesses or assets, acquire or sell books of retail customers, or pursue other business activities, directly or indirectly, through subsidiaries that involve a number of risks. The acquisition of companies and assets, and their integration, is subject to substantial risks, including the failure to identify material problems during due diligence, the risk of over-paying for assets or customers, the inability to retain customers and the inability to arrange financing for an acquisition as may be required or desired. Further, the integration and consolidation of acquisitions requires substantial human, financial and other resources and, ultimately, the Company's acquisitions may not be successfully integrated. In the case of dispositions, such risks may relate to employment matters, counterparties, regulators and other stakeholders in the disposed business, the separation of disposed assets from NRG’s business, the management of NRG’s ongoing business, and other financial, legal and operational matters related to such disposition, which may be unknown to NRG at the time. In addition, NRG may be subject to material trailing liabilities from disposed businesses. Any such risk may result in one or more costly disputes or litigation. There can be no assurances that any future acquisitions will perform as expected or that the returns from such acquisitions will support the indebtedness incurred to acquire them or the capital expenditures needed to develop them. There can also be no assurances that NRG will realize the anticipated benefits from any such dispositions. The failure to realize the anticipated returns or benefits from an acquisition or disposition could adversely affect NRG's results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
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Negative publicity may damage NRG's reputation or its brands and negatively impact its business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees.
NRG’s reputation and brands could be damaged for numerous reasons, including negative views of the Company’s environmental impact, sustainability goals, supply chain practices, product and service offerings, sponsorship relationships, charitable giving programs and public statements made by Company officials. Additionally, the Company is from time to time named in investigations, claims and lawsuits arising in the ordinary course of business, and customers have in the past communicated complaints to consumer protection organizations, regulators or the media. Negative claims or publicity regarding the Company or its operations, offerings, practices or customer service may damage its brands or reputation, even if such claims are untrue. The Company may also experience criticism or backlash from media, customers, employees, government entities, advocacy groups and other stakeholders that disagree with positions taken by the Company or its executives. If the Company’s brands or reputation are damaged, it could negatively impact the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations, and ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees.
The Company has made investments focused on consumer products that may not be successful, may not achieve the intended financial results or may result in product liability and reputational risk that could adversely affect the Company.
The Company may be liable to customers for any damage caused to customers’ homes, facilities, belongings or property during the installation of Company products and systems, such as smart home systems, home back-up generators and residential HVAC system repairs, installation and replacements. Where such work is performed by independent contractors, such as repairs performed under the Company's home protection plan products, the Company may nonetheless face claims and costs for damage. In addition, shortages of skilled labor for Company projects could significantly delay a project or otherwise increase its costs. The products that the Company sells or manufactures may expose the Company to product liability claims relating to personal injury, death, or environmental or property damage, and may require product recalls or other actions. Although the Company maintains liability insurance and its service contracts limit Company liability, the Company cannot be certain that its coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to the Company on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that contractual limitations will be enforced. The laws of some states limit or prohibit insurance coverage for certain liabilities and actions, and any significant uninsured damages could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and cash flows. Further, any product liability claims or damage caused by the Company could significantly impair the Company’s brand and reputation, which may result in a failure to maintain customers and achieve the Company’s desired growth initiatives in these new businesses.
Changes in technology may impair the value of, and the attractiveness of, its retail products, smart home services and NRG’s generation facilities.
Research and development activities are ongoing in the industry to provide alternative and more efficient technologies to produce power, including wind, photovoltaic (solar) cells, hydrogen, energy storage, and improvements in traditional technologies and equipment, such as more efficient gas turbines. Advances in these or other technologies, including through artificial intelligence, could reduce the costs of power production to a level below what the Company has currently forecasted, which could adversely affect its cash flows, results of operations or competitive position. Technology, including distributed technology or changes in retail rate structures, may also have a material impact on the Company’s ability to retain retail customers. Further, technological innovation and changes could cause the Company’s smart home products and services to become obsolete, or otherwise more expensive and less effective than those of competitors, putting the Company at a competitive disadvantage.
Some emerging technologies, such as distributed renewable energy technologies, broad consumer adoption of electric vehicles and energy storage devices, could affect the price of energy. These emerging technologies may affect the financial viability of utility counterparties and could have significant impacts on wholesale market prices, which could ultimately have a material adverse effect on NRG's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The Company’s smart home services rely on intellectual property and any failure to adequately protect such intellectual property, or claims that the Company has infringed on others’ intellectual property rights, could have an adverse effect on its business and operations and result in a competitive disadvantage.
The Company relies on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws of the United States and other countries and a combination of confidentiality procedures, contractual provisions and other methods, to protect its intellectual property, all of which offer only limited protection. If the Company fails to acquire the necessary intellectual property rights or adequately protect or assert its intellectual property rights, competitors may manufacture and market similar products and services or convert customers, which could adversely affect market share and results of operations for smart home services. In addition, patent rights may not prevent competitors from developing, using or selling products or services that are similar to or address the same market as the Company’s smart home products and services. Certain of the Company’s smart home solutions contain software modules licensed under “open-source” licenses, which may entail greater risks than the use of third-party commercial software, as open-source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding
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infringement claims or the quality of the code. Further, if proprietary software is combined with open-source software, in certain cases the Company could be required to release the source code of the proprietary software to the public, allowing competitors to create similar products with lower development effort and time.
It is possible that certain of the Company’s smart home products and services or those of third parties incorporated into its offerings could infringe the intellectual property rights of others. From time to time, Vivint Smart Home has been subject to claims based on allegations of infringement, misappropriation or other violations of the intellectual property rights of others. If the Company is unable to successfully defend against such claims or license necessary third-party technology or other intellectual property on acceptable terms it may be required to develop alternative, non-infringing technology, which could require significant time, effort, and expense and may ultimately not be successful.
NRG's business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted by strikes or work stoppages by its unionized employees or inability to replace employees as they retire.
As of December 31, 2023, approximately 4% of NRG's employees were covered by collective bargaining agreements. In the event that the Company's union employees strike, participate in a work stoppage or slowdown or engage in other forms of labor strife or disruption, NRG would be responsible for procuring replacement labor or the Company could experience reduced power generation or outages. Although NRG's ability to procure such labor is uncertain, contingency staffing planning is completed as part of each respective contract negotiation. Strikes, work stoppages or the inability to negotiate future collective bargaining agreements on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, a number of the Company's employees at NRG's plants are close to retirement. The Company's inability to replace retiring workers could create potential knowledge and expertise gaps as such workers retire.
NRG's failure to manage key executive succession and retention and to continue to attract qualified personnel could adversely affect the Company's financial condition and results of operations.
The loss of one or more of the Company’s key personnel or the inability to effectively identify a suitable successor to a key role could adversely affect the Company’s business. The failure to successfully transition and assimilate key employees, the effectiveness of the Company’s leaders, and any further transition, could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
Risks that are beyond NRG's control, including but not limited to acts of terrorism or related acts of war, natural disaster or other catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on NRG's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
NRG's generation facilities and the facilities of third parties on which they rely may be targets of terrorist activities, as well as events occurring in response to or in connection with such activities, all of which could cause environmental repercussions and/or result in full or partial disruption of the facilities ability to generate, transmit, transport or distribute electricity or natural gas. Strategic targets, such as energy-related facilities, may be at greater risk of future terrorist activities than other domestic targets. Any such environmental repercussions or disruption could result in a significant decrease in revenues or significant reconstruction or remediation costs beyond what could be recovered through insurance policies, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, significant weather events or terrorist actions could damage or shut down the power or gas transmission and distribution facilities upon which the Company is dependent, which may reduce retail volume for extended periods of time. Power or gas supply may be sold at a loss if these events cause a significant loss of retail customer demand.
Risks Related to Governmental Regulation and Laws
NRG's business is subject to substantial energy regulation and may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, as well as liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future energy regulations or requirements.
NRG's business is subject to extensive U.S. federal, state and local laws and foreign laws. Compliance with, or changes to, the requirements under these legal regimes may cause the Company to incur significant additional costs, reduce the Company's ability to hedge exposure or to sell retail power within certain states or to certain classes of retail customers, or restrict the Company’s marketing practices, its ability to pass through costs to retail customers, or its ability to compete on favorable terms with competitors, including the incumbent utility. Retail competition and home protection services are regulated on a state-by-state or at the province-by-province level and are highly dependent on state and provincial laws, regulations and policies, which could change at any moment. Failure to comply with such requirements could result in the shutdown of a non-complying facility or line of business, the imposition of liens, fines, and/or civil or criminal liability.
Public utilities under the FPA are required to obtain FERC acceptance of their rate schedules for wholesale sales of electricity. Except for ERCOT generation facilities and power marketers, all of NRG's non-qualifying facility generating companies and power marketing affiliates in the U.S. make sales of electricity in interstate commerce and are public utilities for
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purposes of the FPA. FERC has granted each of NRG's generating and power marketing companies that make sales of electricity outside of ERCOT the authority to sell electricity at market-based rates. FERC's orders that grant NRG's generating and power marketing companies market-based rate authority reserve the right to revoke or revise that authority if FERC subsequently determines that NRG can exercise market power in transmission or generation, create barriers to entry, or engage in abusive affiliate transactions. In addition, NRG's market-based sales are subject to certain market behavior rules, and if any of NRG's generating and power marketing companies were deemed to have violated those rules, they are subject to potential disgorgement of profits associated with the violation and/or suspension or revocation of their market-based rate authority. If NRG's generating and power marketing companies were to lose their market-based rate authority, such companies would be required to obtain FERC's acceptance of a cost-of-service rate schedule and could become subject to the accounting, record-keeping, and reporting requirements that are imposed on utilities with cost-based rate schedules. This could have a material adverse effect on the rates NRG charges for power from its facilities.
The Company's generation assets are also subject to the reliability standards promulgated by the designated Electric Reliability Organization (currently NERC) and approved by FERC. If NRG fails to comply with the mandatory reliability standards, NRG could be subject to sanctions, including substantial monetary penalties and increased compliance obligations. NRG is also affected by legislative and regulatory changes, as well as changes to market design, market rules, tariffs, cost allocations, and bidding rules that occur in the existing ISOs. The ISOs that oversee most of the wholesale power markets impose, and in the future may continue to impose, mitigation, including price limitations, offer caps, non-performance penalties and other mechanisms to address some of the volatility and the potential exercise of market power in these markets. These types of price limitations and other regulatory mechanisms may have a material adverse effect on the profitability of NRG's generation facilities that sell energy and capacity into the wholesale power markets.
The regulatory environment is subject to significant changes due to state and federal policies affecting wholesale and retail competition and the creation of incentives for the addition of large amounts of new renewable generation and, in some cases, transmission. These changes are ongoing, and the Company cannot predict the future design of the wholesale power markets or the ultimate effect that the changing regulatory environment will have on NRG's business. In addition, in some of these markets, interested parties have proposed material market design changes. If competitive restructuring of the electric power markets is reversed, discontinued, or delayed, the Company's business prospects and financial results could be negatively impacted. In addition, there have been a number of reforms to the regulation of the derivatives markets, both in the United States and internationally. These regulations, and any further changes thereto, or adoption of additional regulations, including any regulations relating to position limits on futures and other derivatives or margin for derivatives, could negatively impact NRG’s ability to hedge its portfolio in an efficient, cost-effective manner by, among other things, potentially decreasing liquidity in the forward commodity and derivatives markets or limiting NRG’s ability to utilize non-cash collateral for derivatives transactions.
NRG’s business may be affected by interference in the competitive wholesale marketplace.
NRG’s generation and competitive retail operations rely on a competitive wholesale marketplace. The competitive wholesale marketplace may be impacted by out-of-market subsidies, imports of power from Canada, renewable mandates or subsidies, mandates to sell power below its cost of acquisition and associated costs as well as out-of-market payments to new or existing generators. These out-of-market subsidies to existing or new generation undermine the competitive wholesale marketplace, which can lead to premature retirement of existing facilities, including those owned by the Company. If these measures continue, capacity and energy prices may be suppressed, and the Company may not be successful in its efforts to insulate the competitive market from this interference. The Company's retail operations may be materially impacted by rules or regulations that allow regulated utilities to participate in competitive retail markets or own and operate facilities that could be provided by competitive market participants.
Additions or changes in tax laws and regulations could potentially affect the Company’s financial results or liquidity.
NRG is subject to various types of tax arising from normal business operations in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates. Any additions or changes to tax legislation, or their interpretation and application, including those with retroactive effect, could have a material adverse effect on NRG’s financial condition and results of operations, including income tax provision and accruals reflected in the consolidated financial statements. Beginning in 2023, the Company is now subject to a 15% corporate alternative minimum tax as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act. The CAMT may lead to volatility in the Company’s cash tax payment obligations, particularly in periods of significant commodity or currency variability resulting from potential changes in the fair value of derivative instruments. The Company continuously monitors and assesses proposed tax legislation that co