Infinite Energy is a multistate energy provider and one of the largest privately held companies in Florida. With a focus on customer service, the company has a 4.9/5-star rating on Google. It has also been recognized several times among the best workplaces in Florida and in the nation.
In 1992, Rich Blaser and Darin Cook were two young energy buyers working for their local utility. Energy choice had just come to Florida’s wholesale natural gas market, transforming the industry and creating an entirely new set of rules.
Unburdened by experience with the old processes, the pair thrived, and it wasn’t long before they decided to go into business on their own. But as they tried to find a credit backer for the new business, they met with rejection after rejection. Each time, they used the feedback to improve their business plan.
In 1994, after two years of rejections, they got a backer and founded Infinite Energy. They began operations in an office above Gainesville’s Main Street and hadn’t even unpacked yet when they got their first sale—they had to write the order on the side of a cardboard box.
From there, the company became profitable within the first three months of operations and has continued to grow ever since.
For a while, Infinite Energy operated as a wholesale provider, serving utilities and large industrial customers in Florida. But as more markets began opening for energy choice, Darin and Rich set their sights on expansion.
First, they began offering retail service in Florida, where some businesses are eligible to choose their own suppliers. Then, in 1998, Georgia opened its natural gas market for choice. Infinite Energy was among the providers serving the market on day one.
However, of the slew of providers that entered the market with them, many soon went out of business because they didn’t have the operational ability to support taking on so many new customers. Some didn’t even have a billing system in place.
Because Infinite Energy entered the market with full functionality, it was able to offer products competitors couldn’t yet match, such as long-term rate plans and group billing.
These provided a springboard to enter other retail markets: New Jersey for natural gas service, and then Texas, which marked the company’s first foray into electricity service. This year, Infinite Energy began serving the Ohio market as well.
Throughout, Infinite Energy has continued to provide wholesale natural gas. With an in-house trading department, the company transports natural gas on more than 28 pipelines and serves 22 states.
With a company of more than 300 employees, Darin and Rich have worked to cultivate a strong company culture with people who share the same values, and they wanted to create an environment where people would want to spend their workdays.
That starts with a fair living wage—since 2016, Infinite Energy has ensured a $15 per hour minimum wage for all full-time and part-time positions.
And the company offers a number of perks for employees to use both in and outside of the office. That includes free financial planning courses, executive mentorships, paid volunteer time and a 24/7 on-site gym with an additional permanent pass for a plus one.
And every year at the company holiday party, they hold a $100,000 giveaway to give 11 lucky employees prizes ranging from $2,500 to $50,000. Instead of giving every employee a small year-end bonus, Darin and Rich chose this system because it can make a substantial difference in someone’s life.
Darin and Rich’s philosophy is that investing in employees is the best way to invest in customers. Infinite Energy is a service company first and foremost, and its employees have designed a great customer experience.
Energy can be a big part of monthly expenses for both homes and businesses, so Infinite Energy works to help customers get the best plan for their usage. They offer a wide array of rate plans for homes and create custom plans for every business.
Because the company does almost everything in house, it has the flexibility to quickly update products and services to meet customers’ needs.
To give customers the best experience possible, the company focuses on easy energy management tools such as an online account, mobile app and emailed usage reports.
And the company offers additional resources to help save customers get even more from their Infinite Energy service. That includes renewable energy options, home protection plans and discounts on Google Nest products to save customers time and money.
On the Horizon
This year, Infinite Energy will tear down one of its office buildings in order to construct a new, larger building in its place.
With almost 34,000 square feet of office space, meeting rooms and collaboration areas in the new building, Infinite Energy will no longer need two of its existing buildings. Darin and Rich intend to turn these into an incubator for energy-related start-ups. The pair says they’d love to see Gainesville become a center for energy, and they want to do their part to make that happen.
Infinite Energy has also been supporting a constitutional amendment to bring choice to Florida’s electricity market. In addition to saving the state an estimated $5 billion every year, choice would allow renewable energy to flourish and give consumers more control over this essential service.
Darin and Rich continue to work together as co-CEOs, and they own 97 percent of the business, which gives them the freedom to be as innovative as ever. Both also mentor other local entrepreneurs in Gainesville’s burgeoning start-up scene.
The pair recently celebrated 25 years in business together, and they can’t wait to see how Infinite Energy will continue to grow.