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    Ontario- and Houston-based Just Energy Group Inc. has reached a deal with a California company to start providing solar power to residential customers.
    Just Energy, which has Amigo Energy, Tara Energy and Hudson Energy as part of its corporate umbrella, is partnering with California-based Clean Power Finance Inc.

    The deal marks Just Energy’s entrance into the solar power game.

    Just Energy will launch its offerings in New York and California early this year, but Texas may not be far behind.

    Deb Merril, the Houston-based co-CEO of Just Energy, said Houston and the rest of Texas are not part of the original surge because the initial push is in places with higher energy prices and regulated markets.

    “With a full deregulated market, you’re approaching it (Texas) more as a puzzle,” she said.

    “In late 2015, early 2016, we’ll get really serious about it (in Texas),” Merril said. “With the solar market in Texas a lot of people are really eyeing it and seeing how it might work.”

    The companies touted the combination of Just Energy’s strengths in customer acquisition and experience with CPF’s solar finance and fulfillment capabilities. Just Energy provides CPF’s network with a large solar sales pipeline, as well as access to Just Energy’s 1.6 million existing residential energy customers.

    Merril said Just Energy does not have a history of solar expertise, so the partnership made more sense. She said she sees solar as a “game changer” for retail electricity companies like Just Energy going forward that fits into the total “value services bundle.” As such, Just Energy will be able sell complementary energy management solutions to solar customers.