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VIA Via Renewables

Filed: 4 Nov 20, 9:56am

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-Q
 
     QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 
For the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020
 
        TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from          to          
 
Commission File Number: 001-36559
Spark Energy, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware46-5453215
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
12140 Wickchester Ln, Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77079

(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(713) 600-2600
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbols(s)Name of exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per shareSPKEThe NASDAQ Global Select Market
8.75% Series A Fixed-to-Floating Rate

Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share
SPKEPThe NASDAQ Global Select Market
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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
        Yes     No

There were 14,627,284 shares of Class A common stock, 20,800,000 shares of Class B common stock and 3,567,543 shares of Series A Preferred Stock outstanding as of November 2, 2020.



SPARK ENERGY, INC.
INDEX TO QUARTERLY REPORT ON FORM 10-Q
For the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020
Page No.
PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AND DECEMBER 31, 2019 (unaudited)
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME FOR THE THREE AND NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AND 2019 (unaudited) 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY FOR THREE AND NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AND 2019 (unaudited) 
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 AND 2019 (unaudited) 
NOTES TO THE CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (unaudited) 
ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
ITEM 3. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
ITEM 4. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
PART II. OTHER INFORMATION
ITEM 1. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
ITEM 2. UNREGISTERED SALES OF EQUITY SECURITIES AND USE OF PROCEEDS
ITEM 6. EXHIBITS
SIGNATURES

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q (this “Report”) contains forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology including “may,” “should,” “could,” “likely,” “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “plan,” “intend,” “project,” or other similar words. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this Report, regarding strategy, future operations, financial position, estimated revenues and losses, projected costs, prospects, plans, objectives and beliefs of management are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this Report and may include statements about expected impacts of COVID-19, business strategy and prospects for growth, customer acquisition costs, legal proceedings, ability to pay cash dividends, cash flow generation and liquidity, availability of terms of capital, competition and government regulation and general economic conditions. We caution readers that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated, expected, projected or assumed in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot give any assurance that such expectations will prove correct.
The forward-looking statements in this Report are subject to risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

evolving risks, uncertainties and impacts relating to COVID-19, including the geographic spread, the severity of the disease, the scope and duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, actions that may be taken by governmental authorities to contain the COVID-19 outbreak or to treat its impact, and the potential for continuing negative impacts of COVID-19 on economies and financial markets;
changes in commodity prices;
the sufficiency of risk management and hedging policies and practices;
the impact of extreme and unpredictable weather conditions, including hurricanes and other natural disasters;
federal, state and local regulations, including the industry's ability to address or adapt to potentially restrictive new regulations that may be enacted by public utility commissions;
our ability to borrow funds and access credit markets;
restrictions in our debt agreements and collateral requirements;
credit risk with respect to suppliers and customers;
changes in costs to acquire customers as well as actual attrition rates;
accuracy of billing systems;
our ability to successfully identify, complete, and efficiently integrate acquisitions into our operations;
significant changes in, or new changes by, the independent system operators ("ISOs") in the regions we operate;
competition; and
the "Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and in "Item 1A— Risk Factors" of this Report, and in our other public filings and press releases.

You should review the risk factors and other factors noted throughout or incorporated by reference in this Report that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Report. Unless required by law, we disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise these statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. It is not possible for us to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

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PART I. — FINANCIAL INFORMATION

ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
SPARK ENERGY, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except share counts)
(unaudited)
September 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$75,347 $56,664 
Restricted cash33 1,004 
Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $5,156 at September 30, 2020 and $4,797 at December 31, 201963,810 113,635 
Accounts receivable—affiliates4,579 2,032 
Inventory1,796 2,954 
Fair value of derivative assets761 464 
Customer acquisition costs, net8,326 8,649 
Customer relationships, net12,083 13,607 
Deposits5,636 6,806 
Renewable energy credit asset15,296 24,204 
Other current assets9,090 6,109 
Total current assets196,757 236,128 
Property and equipment, net2,867 3,267 
Fair value of derivative assets75 106 
Customer acquisition costs, net885 9,845 
Customer relationships, net8,710 17,767 
Deferred tax assets26,499 29,865 
Goodwill120,343 120,343 
Other assets4,992 5,647 
Total assets$361,128 $422,968 
Liabilities, Series A Preferred Stock and Stockholders' Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable$29,360 $48,245 
Accounts payable—affiliates355 1,009 
Accrued liabilities28,682 37,941 
Renewable energy credit liability20,179 33,120 
Fair value of derivative liabilities3,405 19,943 
Other current liabilities1,308 1,697 
Total current liabilities83,289 141,955 
Long-term liabilities:
Fair value of derivative liabilities459 495 
Long-term portion of Senior Credit Facility100,000 123,000 
Other long-term liabilities51 217 
Total liabilities183,799 265,667 
Commitments and contingencies (Note 12)
Series A Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, 20,000,000 shares authorized, 3,707,256 shares issued and 3,567,543 shares outstanding at September 30, 2020 and 3,707,256 shares issued and 3,677,318 shares outstanding at December 31, 201987,288 90,015 
Stockholders' equity:
       Common Stock:
Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, 120,000,000 shares authorized, 14,771,878 shares issued and 14,627,284 shares outstanding at September 30, 2020 and 14,478,999 shares issued and 14,379,553 shares outstanding at December 31, 2019148 145 
Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, 60,000,000 shares authorized, 20,800,000 shares issued and outstanding at September 30, 2020 and 20,800,000 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2019209 209 
       Additional paid-in capital54,169 51,842 
       Accumulated other comprehensive loss(40)(40)
       Retained earnings12,284 1,074 
       Treasury stock, at cost, 144,594 shares at September 30, 2020 and 99,446 shares at December 31, 2019(2,406)(2,011)
       Total stockholders' equity64,364 51,219 
Non-controlling interest in Spark HoldCo, LLC25,677 16,067 
       Total equity90,041 67,286 
Total liabilities, Series A Preferred Stock and Stockholders' equity$361,128 $422,968 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the condensed consolidated financial statements.
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SPARK ENERGY, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(in thousands, except per share data)
(unaudited)
Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
2020201920202019
Revenues:
Retail revenues$141,188 $207,341 $436,166 $625,300 
Net asset optimization (expense) revenues(558)(254)(319)2,242 
Total Revenues140,630 207,087 435,847 627,542 
Operating Expenses:
Retail cost of revenues85,118 123,867 269,546 477,881 
General and administrative19,080 27,629 66,087 94,352 
Depreciation and amortization7,278 9,496 24,084 31,963 
Total Operating Expenses111,476 160,992 359,717 604,196 
Operating income29,154 46,095 76,130 23,346 
Other (expense)/income:
Interest expense(1,487)(2,174)(4,233)(6,392)
Interest and other income80 322 293 1,005 
Total other expenses(1,407)(1,852)(3,940)(5,387)
Income before income tax expense27,747 44,243 72,190 17,959 
Income tax expense5,141 6,567 12,739 3,022 
Net income$22,606 $37,676 $59,451 $14,937 
Less: Net income attributable to non-controlling interests12,993 22,142 34,200 5,736 
Net income attributable to Spark Energy, Inc. stockholders$9,613 $15,534 $25,251 $9,201 
Less: Dividends on Series A Preferred Stock1,951 2,026 5,490 6,080 
Net income attributable to stockholders of Class A common stock$7,662 $13,508 $19,761 $3,121 
Other comprehensive income, net of tax:
Currency translation loss$$(45)$$(143)
Other comprehensive loss(45)(143)
Comprehensive income$22,606 $37,631 $59,451 $14,794 
Less: Comprehensive income attributable to non-controlling interests12,993 22,116 34,200 5,652 
Comprehensive income attributable to Spark Energy, Inc. stockholders$9,613 $15,515 $25,251 $9,142 
Net income attributable to Spark Energy, Inc. per share of Class A common stock
       Basic$0.52 $0.94 $1.36 $0.22 
       Diluted$0.52 $0.93 $1.35 $0.22 
Weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding
       Basic14,653 14,380 14,531 14,254 
       Diluted14,671 14,514 14,655 14,429 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of the condensed consolidated financial statements.
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SPARK ENERGY, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN EQUITY
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020
Issued Shares of Class A Common StockIssued Shares of Class B Common StockTreasury StockClass A Common StockClass B Common StockTreasury StockAccumulated Other Comprehensive LossAdditional Paid-in CapitalRetained Earnings (Deficit)Total Stockholders' EquityNon-controlling InterestTotal Equity
Balance at December 31, 201914,479 20,800 (99)$145 $209 $(2,011)$(40)$51,842 $1,074 $51,219 $16,067 $67,286 
Impact of adoption of ASC 326
— — — — — — — — (633)(633)— (633)
Balance at January 1, 202014,479 20,800 (99)145 209 (2,011)(40)51,842 441 50,586 16,067 66,653 
Stock based compensation— — — — — — 2,061 — 2,061 — 2,061 
Restricted stock unit vesting293 — — — — — (915)— (912)— (912)
Consolidated net income— — — — — — — — 25,251 25,251 34,200 59,451 
Distributions paid to non-controlling unit holders— — — — — — — — — — (23,409)(23,409)
Dividends paid to Class A common stockholders ($0.54375 per share)— — — — — — — — (7,917)(7,917)— (7,917)
Dividends paid to Preferred Stockholders— — — — — — — — (5,491)(5,491)— (5,491)
Treasury Shares— — (45)— — (395)(395)(395)
Changes in ownership interest— — — — — — — 1,181 — 1,181 (1,181)
Balance at September 30, 202014,772 20,800 (144)$148 $209 $(2,406)$(40)$54,169 $12,284 $64,364 $25,677 $90,041 














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Three Months Ended September 30, 2020
Issued Shares of Class A Common StockIssued Shares of Class B Common StockTreasury StockClass A Common StockClass B Common StockTreasury StockAccumulated Other Comprehensive LossAdditional Paid-in CapitalRetained Earnings (Deficit)Total Stockholders' EquityNon-controlling InterestTotal Equity
Balance at June 30, 202014,77220,800(99)$148 $209 $(2,011)$(40)$53,409 $7,275 $58,990 $22,829 $81,819 
Stock based compensation289289289
Restricted stock unit vesting00
Consolidated net income9,6139,61312,99322,606
Distributions paid to non-controlling unit holders(9,674)(9,674)
Dividends paid to Class A common stockholders ($0.18125 per share)(2,652)(2,652)(2,652)
Dividends paid to Preferred Stockholders(1,952)(1,952)(1,952)
Treasury Shares(45)(395)(395)(395)
Changes in Ownership Interest471471(471)0
Balance at September 30, 202014,77220,800(144)$148 $209 $(2,406)$(40)$54,169 $12,284 $64,364 $25,677 $90,041 















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Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019
Issued Shares of Class A Common StockIssued Shares of Class B Common StockTreasury StockClass A Common StockClass B Common StockTreasury StockAccumulated Other Comprehensive LossAdditional Paid-in CapitalRetained Earnings (Deficit)Total Stockholders' EquityNon-controlling InterestTotal Equity
Balance at December 31, 201814,178 20,800 (99)$142 $209 $(2,011)$$46,157 $1,307 $45,806 $44,488 $90,294 
Stock based compensation— — — — — — — 3,888 — 3,888 — 3,888 
Restricted stock unit vesting301 — — — — — (1,107)— (1,104)— (1,104)
Consolidated net income— — — — — — — — 9,201 9,201 5,736 14,937 
Foreign currency translation adjustment for equity method investee— — — — — — (59)— — (59)(84)(143)
Gain on settlement of TRA, net of tax— — — — — — — 12,179 — 12,179 — 12,179 
Distributions paid to non-controlling unit holders— — — — — — — — — — (28,108)(28,108)
Dividends paid to Class A common stockholders ($0.54375 per share)— — — — — — — (5,170)(2,606)(7,776)— (7,776)
Changes in ownership interest— — — — — — — (223)— (223)223 — 
Dividends to Preferred Stockholders— — — — — — — (2,029)(4,053)(6,082)— (6,082)
Proceeds from disgorgement of stockholder short-swing profits— — — — — — — 55 — 55 — 55 
Acquisition of Customers from Affiliate— — — — — — — — — — (10)(10)
Balance at September 30, 201914,479 20,800 (99)$145 $209 $(2,011)$(57)$53,750 $3,849 $55,885 $22,245 $78,130 




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Three Months Ended September 30, 2019
Issued Shares of Class A Common StockIssued Shares of Class B Common StockTreasury StockClass A Common StockClass B Common StockTreasury StockAccumulated Other Comprehensive LossAdditional Paid-in CapitalRetained Earnings (Deficit)Total Stockholders' EquityNon-controlling InterestTotal Equity
Balance at June 30, 201914,479 20,800 (99)$145 $209 $(2,011)$(38)$42,329 $(7,053)$33,581 $18,124 $51,705 
Stock based compensation— — — — — — — 1,377 — 1,377 — 1,377 
Consolidated Net income— — — — — — — — 15,534 15,534 22,142 37,676 
Foreign currency translation adjustment for equity method investee— — — — — — (19)— — (19)(26)(45)
Gain on settlement of TRA, net of tax— — — — — — — 12,179 — 12,179 — 12,179 
Distributions paid to non-controlling unit holders— — — — — — — — — — (20,130)(20,130)
Dividends paid to Class A common stockholders ($0.18125 per share)— — — — — — — — (2,606)(2,606)— (2,606)
Dividends to Preferred Stockholders— — — — — — — — (2,026)(2,026)— (2,026)
Changes in ownership interest— — — — — — — (2,135)— (2,135)2,135 — 
Balance at September 30, 201914,479 20,800 (99)$145 $209 $(2,011)$(57)$53,750 $3,849 $55,885 $22,245 $78,130 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the condensed consolidated financial statements.
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SPARK ENERGY, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
  Nine Months Ended September 30,
  20202019
Cash flows from operating activities:
Net income$59,451 $14,937 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash flows provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization expense24,084 31,965 
Deferred income taxes3,366 34 
Stock based compensation2,134 4,053 
Amortization of deferred financing costs966 1,002 
Bad debt expense4,613 9,185 
Loss on derivatives, net14,015 42,690 
Current period cash settlements on derivatives, net(32,682)(32,593)
Other(608)
Changes in assets and liabilities:
Decrease in accounts receivable44,579 40,008 
(Increase) decrease in accounts receivable—affiliates(2,546)1,139 
Decrease in inventory1,158 298 
Increase in customer acquisition costs(1,763)(13,608)
Decrease in prepaid and other current assets6,268 9,211 
Increase in other assets(316)(394)
Decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities(39,997)(27,721)
Decrease in accounts payable—affiliates(655)(2,114)
Increase (decrease) in other current liabilities1,439 (374)
Decrease in other non-current liabilities(166)(25)
Net cash provided by operating activities83,948 77,085 
Cash flows from investing activities:
Purchases of property and equipment(1,219)(577)
Acquisition of Customers from Affiliate(5,913)
Net cash used in investing activities(1,219)(6,490)
Cash flows from financing activities:
Buyback of Series A Preferred Stock(2,282)(111)
Borrowings on notes payable420,000 224,500 
Payments on notes payable(443,000)(245,000)
Net borrowings on subordinated debt facility504 
Payments on the Verde promissory note(2,036)
Proceeds from disgorgement of stockholders short-swing profits55 
Purchase of Treasury Stock(395)
Restricted stock vesting(1,107)(1,348)
Payment for acquired customers(972)
Payment of Tax Receivable Agreement liability(11,239)
Payment of dividends to Class A common stockholders(7,917)(7,776)
Payment of distributions to non-controlling unitholders(23,409)(28,108)
Payment of Preferred Stock dividends(5,935)(6,082)
Payment to affiliates for acquisition of customer book(10)
Net cash used in financing activities(65,017)(76,651)
Increase (decrease) in Cash, cash equivalents and Restricted cash17,712 (6,056)
Cash, cash equivalents and Restricted cash—beginning of period57,668 49,638 
Cash, cash equivalents and Restricted cash—end of period$75,380 $43,582 
Supplemental Disclosure of Cash Flow Information:
Non-cash items:
        Property and equipment purchase accrual$$89 
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        Holdback for Verde Note—Indemnified Matters$$4,900 
        Write-off of tax benefit related to tax receivable agreement liability—affiliates$$4,157 
        Gain on settlement of tax receivable agreement liability—affiliates$$(16,336)
Cash paid during the period for:
Interest$3,198 $5,245 
Taxes$13,074 $5,097 
The accompanying notes are an integral part of the condensed consolidated financial statements.
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SPARK ENERGY, INC.
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(UNAUDITED)
1. Formation and Organization
Organization

We are an independent retail energy services company that provides residential and commercial customers in competitive markets across the United States with an alternative choice for natural gas and electricity. Spark Energy, Inc. (the "Company") is a holding company whose sole material asset consists of units in Spark HoldCo, LLC (“Spark HoldCo”). The Company is the sole managing member of Spark HoldCo, is responsible for all operational, management and administrative decisions relating to Spark HoldCo’s business and consolidates the financial results of Spark HoldCo and its subsidiaries. Spark HoldCo is the direct and indirect owner of the subsidiaries through which we operate. We conduct our business through several brands across our service areas, including Electricity Maine, Electricity N.H., Major Energy, Provider Power Massachusetts, Respond Power, Spark Energy, and Verde Energy.
2. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying interim unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of the Company have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC") as it applies to interim financial statements. This information should be read along with our consolidated financial statements and notes contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 (the “2019 Form 10-K”). Our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements are presented on a consolidated basis and include all wholly-owned and controlled subsidiaries. We account for investments over which we have significant influence but not a controlling financial interest using the equity method of accounting. All significant intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements.

In the opinion of the Company's management, the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements reflect all adjustments that are necessary to fairly present the financial position, the results of operations, the changes in equity and the cash flows of the Company for the respective periods. Such adjustments are of a normal recurring nature, unless otherwise disclosed.

Use of Estimates and Assumptions
The preparation of our condensed consolidated financial statements requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the interim financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the period. Actual results could materially differ from those estimates.

Restricted Cash

As part of the acquisition of residential customer equivalents (“RCEs") from Starion Energy, Inc., Starion NY Inc. and Starion Energy PA Inc. (collectively "Starion") in 2018, we funded an escrow account, the balance of which is reflected as restricted cash in our consolidated balance sheet. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the balance in the escrow account related to the Starion acquisition was less than $0.1 million and $1.0 million, respectively. Approximately $1.0 million was released to the seller in July 2020 related to holdback amounts for acquired customers, subject to the terms of the asset purchase agreement. As of September 30, 2020, the balance remaining in escrow represents the amounts pending settlement between the Company and the seller.

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Relationship with our Founder and Majority Shareholder

W. Keith Maxwell, III (our "Founder") is the owner of a majority of the voting power of our common stock through his ownership of NuDevco Retail, LLC ("NuDevco Retail") and Retailco, LLC ("Retailco"). Retailco is a wholly owned subsidiary of TxEx Energy Investments, LLC ("TxEx"), which is wholly owned by Mr. Maxwell. NuDevco Retail is a wholly owned subsidiary of NuDevco Retail Holdings LLC ("NuDevco Retail Holdings"), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electric HoldCo, LLC, which is also a wholly owned subsidiary of TxEx.

On November 2, 2020, the Board of Directors (the "Board") of the Company appointed W. Keith Maxwell III as Chief Executive Officer.

New Accounting Standards Recently Adopted

There have been no changes to our significant accounting policies as disclosed in our 2019 Form 10-K, except as follows:

In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments ("ASU 2016-13"). ASU 2016-13 requires entities to use a current expected credit loss ("CECL") model, which is a new impairment model based on expected losses rather than incurred losses on financial assets, including trade accounts receivables. The model requires financial assets measured at amortized cost to be presented at the net amount expected to be collected. ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years. We adopted ASU 2016-13 and the related amendments effective January 1, 2020, and the adoption resulted in $0.6 million adjustment to retained earnings on January 1, 2020.

Standards Being Evaluated/Standards Not Yet Adopted

Below are accounting standards that have been issued by the FASB but have not yet been adopted by the Company at September 30, 2020. The Company considers the applicability and impact of all ASUs. ASUs not listed below were assessed and determined to be either not applicable or are expected to have minimal impact on our consolidated financial statements.

In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740), Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes ("ASU 2019-12"). These amendments simplify the accounting for income taxes by removing certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740. For public business entities, the amendments in ASU 2019-12 are effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2020. We do not expect adoption of the new standard to have a material impact to our consolidated statement of operations.

In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-04, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting ("ASU 2020-04"). The amendments in ASU 2020-04 provide optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions that reference LIBOR or another reference rate expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform. The expedients and exceptions provided by the amendments do not apply to contract modifications made and hedging relationships entered into or evaluated after December 31, 2022, that an entity has elected certain optional expedients for and that are retained through the end of the hedging relationship. The amendments are effective for all entities as of March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2022. We do not expect adoption of the new standard to have a material impact to our consolidated statement of operations.

3. Revenues
Our revenues are derived primarily from the sale of natural gas and electricity to customers, including affiliates. Revenue is measured based upon the quantity of gas or power delivered at prices contained or referenced in the customer's contract, and excludes any sales incentives (e.g. rebates) and amounts collected on behalf of third parties (e.g. sales tax).
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Our revenues also include asset optimization activities. Asset optimization activities consist primarily of purchases and sales of gas that meet the definition of trading activities per FASB ASC Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. They are therefore excluded from the scope of FASB ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

Revenues for electricity and natural gas sales are recognized under the accrual method when our performance obligation to a customer is satisfied, which is the point in time when the product is delivered and control of the product passes to the customer. Electricity and natural gas products may be sold as fixed-price or variable-price products. The typical length of a contract to provide electricity and/or natural gas is twelve months. Customers are billed and typically pay at least monthly, based on usage. Electricity and natural gas sales that have been delivered but not billed by period end are estimated and recorded as accrued unbilled revenues based on estimates of customer usage since the date of the last meter read provided by the utility. Volume estimates are based on forecasted volumes and estimated residential and commercial customer usage. Unbilled revenues are calculated by multiplying these volume estimates by the applicable rate by customer class (residential or commercial). Estimated amounts are adjusted when actual usage is known and billed.

The following table discloses revenue by primary geographical market, customer type, and customer credit risk profile (in thousands). The table also includes a reconciliation of the disaggregated revenue to revenue by reportable segment (in thousands).
Reportable Segments
Three Months Ended September 30, 2020Three Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail ElectricityRetail Natural GasTotal Reportable SegmentsRetail ElectricityRetail Natural GasTotal Reportable Segments
Primary markets (a)
  New England$46,464 $1,361 $47,825 $76,995 $1,631 $78,626 
  Mid-Atlantic46,878 2,243 49,121 69,763 2,940 72,703 
  Midwest16,933 1,540 18,473 23,310 2,146 25,456 
  Southwest22,683 3,086 25,769 26,942 3,614 30,556 
$132,958 $8,230 $141,188 $197,010 $10,331 $207,341 
Customer type
  Commercial$34,180 $2,705 $36,885 $69,081 $3,378 $72,459 
  Residential103,092 5,082 108,174 134,763 6,696 141,459 
  Unbilled revenue (b)(4,314)443 (3,871)(6,834)257 (6,577)
$132,958 $8,230 $141,188 $197,010 $10,331 $207,341 
Customer credit risk
  POR$87,439 $3,010 $90,449 $136,683 $4,037 $140,720 
  Non-POR45,519 5,220 50,739 60,327 6,294 66,621 
$132,958 $8,230 $141,188 $197,010 $10,331 $207,341 


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Reportable Segments
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail ElectricityRetail Natural GasTotal Reportable SegmentsRetail ElectricityRetail Natural GasTotal Reportable Segments
Primary markets (a)
New England$133,218 $11,144 $144,362 $221,134 $13,311 $234,445 
Mid-Atlantic131,463 23,976 155,439 191,077 29,643 220,720 
Midwest46,428 19,338 65,766 62,890 27,371 90,261 
Southwest55,872 14,727 70,599 64,777 15,097 79,874 
$366,981 $69,185 $436,166 $539,878 $85,422 $625,300 
Customer type
Commercial$103,603 $25,512 $129,115 $196,015 $32,079 $228,094 
Residential275,229 53,410 328,639 356,950 64,307 421,257 
Unbilled revenue (b)(11,851)(9,737)(21,588)(13,087)(10,964)(24,051)
$366,981 $69,185 $436,166 $539,878 $85,422 $625,300 
Customer credit risk
POR$246,046 $34,423 $280,469 $375,890 $45,260 $421,150 
Non-POR120,935 34,762 155,697 163,988 40,162 204,150 
$366,981 $69,185 $436,166 $539,878 $85,422 $625,300 

(a) The primary markets include the following states:

New England - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire;
Mid-Atlantic - Delaware, Maryland (including the District of Colombia), New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania;
Midwest - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio; and
Southwest - Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.

(b) Unbilled revenue is recorded in total until it is actualized, at which time it is categorized between commercial and residential customers.

We record gross receipts taxes on a gross basis in retail revenues and retail cost of revenues. During the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, our retail revenues included gross receipts taxes of $0.3 million and $0.4 million, respectively, and our retail cost of revenues included gross receipts taxes of $1.6 million and $2.2 million, respectively. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, our retail revenues included gross receipts taxes of $1.0 million and $1.1 million, respectively, and our retail cost of revenues included gross receipts taxes of $4.7 million and $6.7 million, respectively.

Accounts receivables and Allowance for Credit Losses

As discussed in Note 2, “Basis of Presentation”, we adopted the new accounting standards for measuring credit losses effective January 1, 2020.

The Company conducts business in many utility service markets where the local regulated utility purchases our receivables, and then becomes responsible for billing the customer and collecting payment from the customer (“POR programs”). These POR programs result in substantially all of the Company’s credit risk being linked to the
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applicable utility, which generally has an investment-grade rating, and not to the end-use customer. The Company monitors the financial condition of each utility and currently believes its receivables are collectible.

In markets that do not offer POR programs or when the Company chooses to directly bill its customers, certain receivables are billed and collected by the Company. The Company bears the credit risk on these accounts and records an appropriate allowance for doubtful accounts to reflect any losses due to non-payment by customers. The Company’s customers are individually insignificant and geographically dispersed in these markets. The Company writes off customer balances when it believes that amounts are no longer collectible and when it has exhausted all means to collect these receivables.

For trade accounts receivables, the Company accrues an allowance for doubtful accounts by business segment by pooling customer accounts receivables based on similar risk characteristics, such as customer type, geography, aging analysis, payment terms, and related macro-economic factors. Expected credit loss exposure is evaluated for each of our accounts receivables pools. Expected credits losses are established using a model that considers historical collections experience, current information, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. The Company writes off accounts receivable balances against the allowance for doubtful accounts when the accounts receivable is deemed to be uncollectible.

A rollforward of our allowance for credit losses for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 are presented in the table below (in thousands):

Balance 12/31/19$(4,797)
Impact of adoption of ASC 326(633)
Current period bad debt provision(3,151)
Write-offs4,006 
Recovery of previous write offs(581)
Balance 9/30/20$(5,156)


4. Equity

Non-controlling Interest

We hold an economic interest and are the sole managing member in Spark HoldCo, with affiliates of our Founder, majority shareholder and Chief Executive Officer holding the remaining economic interests in Spark HoldCo. As a result, we consolidate the financial position and results of operations of Spark HoldCo, and reflect the economic interests owned by these affiliates as a non-controlling interest. The Company and affiliates owned the following economic interests in Spark HoldCo at September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively.
The CompanyAffiliated Owners
September 30, 202041.53 %58.47 %
December 31, 201941.04 %58.96 %

The following table summarizes the portion of net income (loss) and income tax expense (benefit) attributable to non-controlling interest (in thousands):

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Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
2020201920202019
   
Net income allocated to non-controlling interest$14,909 $25,003 $38,717 $7,108 
Income tax expense allocated to non-controlling interest1,916 2,861 4,517 1,372 
Net income attributable to non-controlling interest$12,993 $22,142 $34,200 $5,736 

Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock

Holders of the Company's Class A common stock and Class B common stock vote together as a single class on all matters presented to our stockholders for their vote or approval, except as otherwise required by applicable law or by our certificate of incorporation.

Dividends declared for the Company's Class A common stock are reported as a reduction of retained earnings, or a reduction of additional paid in capital to the extent retained earnings are exhausted. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020, we paid $7.9 million in dividends to the holders of the Company's Class A common stock. This dividend represented a quarterly rate of $0.18125 per share on each share of Class A common stock.

In order to pay our stated dividends to holders of our Class A common stock, our subsidiary, Spark HoldCo is required to make corresponding distributions to holders of its units, including those holders that own our Class B common stock (our non-controlling interest holder). As a result, during the nine months ended September 30, 2020, Spark HoldCo made corresponding distributions of $11.3 million to our non-controlling interest holders.

Share Repurchase Program

On August 18, 2020, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $20.0 million of Class A common stock through August 18, 2021. We are funding the program through available cash balances, our Senior Credit Facility and operating cash flows.

The shares of Class A common stock may be repurchased from time to time in the open market at prevailing market prices or in privately negotiated transactions based on ongoing assessments of capital needs, the market price of the stock, and other factors, including general market conditions. The repurchase program does not obligate us to acquire any particular amount of Class A common stock, may be modified or suspended at any time, and could be terminated prior to completion.

During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, we repurchased 45,148 shares of our Class A common stock at a weighted average price of $8.75 per share, for a total cost of $0.4 million.

Earnings Per Share

Basic earnings per share (“EPS”) is computed by dividing net income attributable to stockholders (the numerator) by the weighted-average number of Class A common shares outstanding for the period (the denominator). Class B common shares are not included in the calculation of basic earnings per share because they are not participating securities and have no economic interests. Diluted earnings per share is similarly calculated except that the denominator is increased by potentially dilutive securities.

The following table presents the computation of basic and diluted income (loss) per share for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 (in thousands, except per share data):
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Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
2020201920202019
Net income attributable to Spark Energy, Inc. stockholders$9,613 $15,534 $25,251 $9,201 
Less: Dividends on Series A preferred stock1,951 2,026 5,490 6,080 
Net income attributable to stockholders of Class A common stock$7,662 $13,508 $19,761 $3,121 
Basic weighted average Class A common shares outstanding14,653 14,380 14,531 14,254 
Basic income per share attributable to stockholders$0.52 $0.94 $1.36 $0.22 
Net income attributable to stockholders of Class A common stock$7,662 $13,508 $19,761 $3,121 
Effect of conversion of Class B common stock to shares of Class A common stock
Diluted net income attributable to stockholders of Class A common stock$7,662 $13,508 $19,761 $3,121 
Basic weighted average Class A common shares outstanding14,653 14,380 14,531 14,254 
Effect of dilutive Class B common stock
Effect of dilutive restricted stock units18 134 124 175 
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding14,671 14,514 14,655 14,429 
Diluted income per share attributable to stockholders$0.52 $0.93 $1.35 $0.22 

The computation of diluted earnings per share for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 excludes 20.8 million shares of Class B common stock because the effect of their conversion was antidilutive. The Company's outstanding shares of Series A Preferred Stock were not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share because they contain only contingent redemption provisions that have not occurred.

Variable Interest Entity

Spark HoldCo is a variable interest entity due to its lack of rights to participate in significant financial and operating decisions and its inability to dissolve or otherwise remove its management. Spark HoldCo owns all of the outstanding membership interests in each of our operating subsidiaries. We are the sole managing member of Spark HoldCo, manage Spark HoldCo's operating subsidiaries through this managing membership interest, and are considered the primary beneficiary of Spark HoldCo. The assets of Spark HoldCo cannot be used to settle our obligations except through distributions to us, and the liabilities of Spark HoldCo cannot be settled by us except through contributions to Spark HoldCo. The following table includes the carrying amounts and classification of the assets and liabilities of Spark HoldCo that are included in our condensed consolidated balance sheet as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
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September 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Assets
Current assets:
   Cash and cash equivalents$75,248 $56,598 
   Accounts receivable63,810 113,635 
   Other current assets53,881 64,476 
   Total current assets192,939 234,709 
Non-current assets:
   Goodwill120,343 120,343 
   Other assets19,390 37,826 
   Total non-current assets139,733 158,169 
   Total Assets$332,672 $392,878 
Liabilities
Current liabilities:
   Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$58,004 $86,097 
   Other current liabilities43,015 65,863 
   Total current liabilities101,019 151,960 
Long-term liabilities:
   Long-term portion of Senior Credit Facility100,000 123,000 
   Other long-term liabilities511 712 
   Total long-term liabilities100,511 123,712 
   Total Liabilities$201,530 $275,672 

5. Preferred Stock

In May 2019, we commenced a share repurchase program (the "Repurchase Program") of our Series A Preferred Stock. The Repurchase Program allowed us to purchase our Series A Preferred Stock through May 20, 2020, and there was no dollar limit on the amount of Series A Preferred Stock that may be repurchased, nor did the Repurchase Program obligate the Company to make any repurchases.

In November 2019, we amended and extended our Repurchase Program of our Series A Preferred Stock. The Repurchase Program allows us to purchase Series A Preferred Stock through December 31, 2020, at prevailing prices, in open market or negotiated transactions, subject to market conditions, maximum share prices and other considerations. The Repurchase Program does not obligate us to make any repurchases and may be suspended at any time.

In May 2020, we initiated a tender offer to purchase up to 1,000,000 shares of our Series A Preferred Stock. In June 2020, we accepted for purchase 36,827 shares of the Series A Preferred Stock at a purchase price of $22.00 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $0.8 million.

During the three months ended September 30, 2020, there were 0 repurchases of Series A Preferred Stock. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020, we repurchased 109,775 shares of Series A Preferred Stock at a weighted-average price of $20.79 per share (including shares purchased through the tender offer described above), for a total cost of approximately $2.3 million.

Holders of the Series A Preferred Stock have no voting rights, except in specific circumstances of delisting or in the case the dividends are in arrears as specified in the Series A Preferred Stock Certificate of Designations. The Series A Preferred Stock accrue dividends at an annual percentage rate of 8.75%, and the liquidation preference provisions of the Series A Preferred Stock are considered contingent redemption provisions because there are rights granted to
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the holders of the Series A Preferred Stock that are not solely within our control upon a change in control of the Company. Accordingly, the Series A Preferred Stock is presented between liabilities and the equity sections in the accompanying condensed consolidated balance sheet.

During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, we paid $2.0 million and $6.0 million in dividends to holders of the Series A Preferred Stock. As of September 30, 2020, we had accrued $1.9 million related to dividends to holders of the Series A Preferred Stock. This dividend was paid on October 15, 2020.

A summary of our preferred equity balance for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 is as follows:
(in thousands)
Balance at December 31, 2019$90,015 
Accumulated dividends on Series A Preferred Stock(60)
Repurchase of Series A Preferred Stock(2,667)
Balance at September 30, 2020$87,288 

6. Derivative Instruments

We are exposed to the impact of market fluctuations in the price of electricity and natural gas, basis differences in the price of natural gas, storage charges, renewable energy credits ("RECs"), and capacity charges from independent system operators. We use derivative instruments in an effort to manage our cash flow exposure to these risks. These instruments are not designated as hedges for accounting purposes, and, accordingly, changes in the market value of these derivative instruments are recorded in the cost of revenues. As part of our strategy to optimize pricing in our natural gas related activities, we also manage a portfolio of commodity derivative instruments held for trading purposes. Our commodity trading activities are subject to limits within our Risk Management Policy. For these derivative instruments, changes in the fair value are recognized currently in earnings in net asset optimization revenues.
Derivative assets and liabilities are presented net in our condensed consolidated balance sheets when the derivative instruments are executed with the same counterparty under a master netting arrangement. Our derivative contracts include transactions that are executed both on an exchange and centrally cleared, as well as over-the-counter, bilateral contracts that are transacted directly with third parties. To the extent we have paid or received collateral related to the derivative assets or liabilities, such amounts would be presented net against the related derivative asset or liability’s fair value. As of September 30, 2020 we had received $0.2 million and paid less than $0.1 million in collateral. As of December 31, 2019 we had paid $1.7 million in collateral. The specific types of derivative instruments we may execute to manage the commodity price risk include the following:

Forward contracts, which commit us to purchase or sell energy commodities in the future;
Futures contracts, which are exchange-traded standardized commitments to purchase or sell a commodity or financial instrument;
Swap agreements, which require payments to or from counterparties based upon the differential between two prices for a predetermined notional quantity; and
Option contracts, which convey to the option holder the right but not the obligation to purchase or sell a commodity.

The Company has entered into other energy-related contracts that do not meet the definition of a derivative instrument or for which we made a normal purchase, normal sale election and are therefore not accounted for at fair value including the following:

Forward electricity and natural gas purchase contracts for retail customer load;
Renewable energy credits; and
Natural gas transportation contracts and storage agreements.
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Volumes Underlying Derivative Transactions
The following table summarizes the net notional volumes of our open derivative financial instruments accounted for at fair value by commodity. Positive amounts represent net buys while bracketed amounts are net sell transactions (in thousands):
Non-trading 
CommodityNotionalSeptember 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Natural GasMMBtu2,484 6,130 
Natural Gas BasisMMBtu42 
ElectricityMWh2,391 6,015 
Trading
CommodityNotionalSeptember 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Natural GasMMBtu134 204 

Gains (Losses) on Derivative Instruments
Gains (losses) on derivative instruments, net and current period settlements on derivative instruments were as follows for the periods indicated (in thousands):

Three Months Ended September 30,
  20202019
Gain on non-trading derivatives, net$2,550 $12,528 
Loss on trading derivatives, net(99)(221)
Gain on derivatives, net2,451 12,307 
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives$6,489 $12,764 
Current period settlements on trading derivatives(64)(43)
Total current period settlements on derivatives$6,425 $12,721 

Nine Months Ended September 30,
  20202019
Loss on non-trading derivatives, net$(14,019)$(42,741)
Gain on trading derivatives, net51 
Loss on derivatives, net(14,015)(42,690)
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives (1)
$33,153 $33,677 
Current period settlements on trading derivatives(156)(162)
Total current period settlements on derivatives$32,997 $33,515 
(1) Excludes settlements of $(0.3) million and $(0.9) million, respectively, for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 related to power call options.
Gains (losses) on trading derivative instruments are recorded in net asset optimization revenues and gains (losses) on non-trading derivative instruments are recorded in retail cost of revenues on the condensed consolidated statements of operations.
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Fair Value of Derivative Instruments
The following tables summarize the fair value and offsetting amounts of our derivative instruments by counterparty and collateral received or paid (in thousands):
  
September 30, 2020
DescriptionGross AssetsGross
Amounts
Offset
Net AssetsCash
Collateral
Offset
Net Amount
Presented
Non-trading commodity derivatives$3,747 $(2,859)$888 $(182)$706 
Trading commodity derivatives87 (32)55 55 
Total Current Derivative Assets3,834 (2,891)943 (182)761 
Non-trading commodity derivatives255 (180)75 75 
Trading commodity derivatives— 
Total Non-current Derivative Assets255 (180)75 75 
Total Derivative Assets$4,089 $(3,071)$1,018 $(182)$836 
September 30, 2020
DescriptionGross 
Liabilities
Gross
Amounts
Offset
Net
Liabilities
Cash
Collateral
Offset
Net Amount
Presented
Non-trading commodity derivatives$(8,598)$5,204 $(3,394)$21 $(3,373)
Trading commodity derivatives(32)(32)(32)
Total Current Derivative Liabilities(8,630)5,204 (3,426)21 (3,405)
Non-trading commodity derivatives(501)42 (459)(459)
Trading commodity derivatives
Total Non-current Derivative Liabilities(501)42 (459)(459)
Total Derivative Liabilities$(9,131)$5,246 $(3,885)$21 $(3,864)
  
December 31, 2019
DescriptionGross AssetsGross
Amounts
Offset
Net AssetsCash
Collateral
Offset
Net Amount
Presented
Non-trading commodity derivatives$570 $(275)$295 $$295 
Trading commodity derivatives170 (1)169 169 
Total Current Derivative Assets740 (276)464 464 
Non-trading commodity derivatives333 (227)106 106 
Trading commodity derivatives
Total Non-current Derivative Assets333 (227)106 106 
Total Derivative Assets$1,073 $(503)$570 $0 $570 
December 31, 2019
DescriptionGross 
Liabilities
Gross
Amounts
Offset
Net
Liabilities
Cash
Collateral
Offset
Net Amount
Presented
Non-trading commodity derivatives$(34,434)$12,859 $(21,575)$1,632 $(19,943)
Trading commodity derivatives(194)194 
Total Current Derivative Liabilities(34,628)13,053 (21,575)1,632 (19,943)
Non-trading commodity derivatives(1,951)1,422 (529)34 (495)
Trading commodity derivatives
Total Non-current Derivative Liabilities(1,951)1,422 (529)34 (495)
Total Derivative Liabilities$(36,579)$14,475 $(22,104)$1,666 $(20,438)
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7. Property and Equipment
Property and equipment consist of the following (in thousands):
Estimated useful
lives (years)
September 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Information technology2 – 5$23,229 $22,005 
Furniture and fixtures2 – 51,802 1,802 
Total25,031 23,807 
Accumulated depreciation(22,164)(20,540)
Property and equipment—net$2,867 $3,267 
Information technology assets include software and consultant time used in the application, development and implementation of various systems including customer billing and resource management systems. As of each of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, information technology includes $0.5 million and $0.6 million, respectively, of costs associated with assets not yet placed into service.
Depreciation expense recorded in the condensed consolidated statements of operations was $0.4 million and $0.6 million, respectively, for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 and $1.6 million and $1.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
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8. Intangible Assets
Goodwill, customer relationships and trademarks consist of the following amounts (in thousands):
September 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Goodwill$120,343 $120,343 
Customer relationships—Acquired
Cost$64,083 $64,083 
Accumulated amortization(47,300)(40,231)
Customer relationshipsAcquired
$16,783 $23,852 
Customer relationships—Other
Cost$17,056 $17,056 
Accumulated amortization(13,046)(9,534)
Customer relationshipsOther, net
$4,010 $7,522 
Trademarks
Cost$7,570 $8,502 
Accumulated amortization(2,694)(2,794)
Trademarks, net$4,876 $5,708 

Changes in goodwill, customer relationships (including non-compete agreements) and trademarks consisted of the following (in thousands):
Goodwill
Customer Relationships Acquired
Customer Relationships Other
Trademarks
Balance at December 31, 2019$120,343 $23,852 $7,522 $5,708 
Additions
Amortization(7,069)(3,512)(832)
Balance at September 30, 2020$120,343 $16,783 $4,010 $4,876 

Estimated future amortization expense for customer relationships and trademarks at September 30, 2020 is as follows (in thousands):
Year ending December 31,
2020 (remaining three months)$3,304 
202113,142 
20226,194 
2023605 
2024404 
> 5 years2,020 
Total$25,669 
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9. Debt
Debt consists of the following amounts as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019 (in thousands):
September 30, 2020December 31, 2019
Long-term debt:
  Senior Credit Facility (1) (2)
$100,000 $123,000 
Total long-term debt100,000 123,000 
Total debt$100,000 $123,000 
(1) As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the weighted average interest rate on the Senior Credit Facility was 3.75% and 4.71%, respectively.
(2) As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, we had $31.8 million and $37.4 million in letters of credit issued, respectively.

Capitalized financing costs associated with our Senior Credit Facility were $1.8 million and $1.3 million as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. Of these amounts, $1.0 million and $0.9 million are recorded in other current assets, and $0.8 million and $0.4 million are recorded in other non-current assets in the condensed consolidated balance sheets as of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively.
Interest expense consists of the following components for the periods indicated (in thousands):
Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
2020201920202019
Senior Credit Facility$477 $1,120 $1,904 $3,741 
Verde promissory note230 
Letters of credit fees and commitment fees244 395 1,073 1,253 
Amortization of deferred financing costs
476 497 966 1,002 
Other290 162 290 166 
Interest Expense$1,487 $2,174 $4,233 $6,392 

Senior Credit Facility

The Company, as guarantor, and Spark HoldCo (the “Borrower” and, together with each subsidiary of Spark HoldCo (“Co-Borrowers”)) maintain a senior secured borrowing base credit facility (as amended from time to time, “Senior Credit Facility”) that allows us to borrow on a revolving basis and has a maximum borrowing capacity of $187.5 million as of September 30, 2020.

Subject to applicable sub-limits and terms of the Senior Credit Facility, borrowings are available for the issuance of letters of credit (“Letters of Credit”), working capital and general purpose revolving credit loans (“Working Capital Loans”), and share buyback loans (“Share Buyback Loans”) for the purpose of funding the repurchase of Class A common stock and Series A Preferred Stock.

Pursuant to the Senior Credit Facility, the Company is entitled to Share Buyback Loans of up to $80.0 million, which permit the Company to repurchase up to an aggregate of 8,000,000 shares of our Class A common stock or $80.0 million of Series A Preferred Stock under Share Buyback Loans (subject to the terms and conditions thereof).

The Senior Credit Facility will mature on July 31, 2022, and all amounts outstanding thereunder will be payable on the maturity date. Borrowings under the Senior Credit Facility may be used to pay fees and expenses in connection with the Senior Credit Facility, finance ongoing working capital requirements and general corporate purpose requirements of the Co-Borrowers, to provide partial funding for acquisitions, as allowed under terms of the Senior Credit Facility, and to make open market purchases of our Class A common stock and Series A Preferred Stock.

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Pursuant to the Senior Credit Facility, the interest rate for Working Capital Loans and Letters of Credit under the Senior Credit Facility is generally determined by reference to the Eurodollar rate plus an applicable margin of up to 3.25% per annum (based on the prevailing utilization) or an alternate base rate plus an applicable margin of up to 2.25% per annum (based on the prevailing utilization). The alternate base rate is equal to the highest of (i) the prime rate (as published in the Wall Street Journal), (ii) the federal funds rate plus 0.50% per annum, or (iii) the reference Eurodollar rate plus 1.00%.

Borrowings under the Senior Credit Facility for Share Buyback Loans, are generally determined by reference to the Eurodollar rate plus an applicable margin of 4.50% per annum or the alternate base rate plus an applicable margin of 3.50% per annum.

The Co-Borrowers pay a commitment fee of 0.50% quarterly in arrears on the unused portion of the Senior Credit Facility. In addition, the Co-Borrowers are subject to additional fees including an upfront fee, an annual agency fee, and letter of credit fees based on a percentage of the face amount of letters of credit payable to any syndicate member that issues a letter of credit.

The Senior Credit Facility contains covenants that, among other things, require the maintenance of specified ratios or conditions including:

Minimum Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio. We must maintain a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.25 to 1.00. The Minimum Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio is defined as the ratio of (a) Adjusted EBITDA to (b) the sum of consolidated (with respect to the Company and the Co-Borrowers) interest expense, letter of credit fees, commitment fees, acquisition earn-out payments (excluding earnout payments funded with proceeds from newly issued preferred or common equity), distributions, scheduled amortization payments, and payments made on or after the closing of the Fourth Amendment to the Senior Credit Facility (other than such payments made from escrow accounts which were funded in connection with a permitted acquisition) related to the settlement of civil and regulatory matters if not included in the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA.

Maximum Total Leverage Ratio. We must maintain a ratio of (x) the sum of total indebtedness (excluding eligible subordinated debt and letter of credit obligations), plus (y) gross amounts reserved for civil and regulatory liabilities identified in SEC filings, to Adjusted EBITDA of no more than 2.50 to 1.00.

Maximum Senior Secured Leverage Ratio. We must maintain a Senior Secured Leverage Ratio of no more than 1.85 to 1.00. The Senior Secured Leverage Ratio is defined as the ratio of (a) all indebtedness of the loan parties on a consolidated basis that is secured by a lien on any property of any loan party (including the effective amount of all loans then outstanding under the Senior Credit Facility) to (b) Adjusted EBITDA.

The Senior Credit Facility contains various negative covenants that limit our ability to, among other things, incur certain additional indebtedness, grant certain liens, engage in certain asset dispositions, merge or consolidate, make certain payments, distributions, investments, acquisitions or loans, materially modify certain agreements, or enter into transactions with affiliates. The Senior Credit Facility also contains affirmative covenants that are customary for credit facilities of this type. As of September 30, 2020, we were in compliance with our various covenants under the Senior Credit Facility.

The Senior Credit Facility is secured by pledges of the equity of the portion of Spark HoldCo owned by us, the equity of Spark HoldCo’s subsidiaries, the Co-Borrowers’ present and future subsidiaries, and substantially all of the Co-Borrowers’ and their subsidiaries’ present and future property and assets, including accounts receivable, inventory and liquid investments, and control agreements relating to bank accounts.

The Senior Credit Facility contains certain customary representations and warranties and events of default. Events of default include, among other things, payment defaults, breaches of representations and warranties, covenant defaults, cross-defaults and cross-acceleration to certain indebtedness, certain events of bankruptcy, certain events under ERISA, material judgments in excess of $5.0 million, certain events with respect to material contracts, and
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actual or asserted failure of any guaranty or security document supporting the Senior Credit Facility to be in full force and effect. A default will also occur if at any time W. Keith Maxwell III ceases to, directly or indirectly, own at least 13,600,000 Class A and Class B shares on a combined basis (to be adjusted for any stock split, subdivisions or other stock reclassification or recapitalization), and a controlling percentage of the voting equity interest of the Company, and certain other changes in control. If such an event of default occurs, the lenders under the Senior Credit Facility would be entitled to take various actions, including the acceleration of amounts due under the facility and all actions permitted to be taken by a secured creditor.

Subordinated Debt Facility

The Company maintains an Amended and Restated Subordinated Promissory Note in the principal amount of up to $25.0 million (the “Subordinated Debt Facility”), by and among the Company, Spark HoldCo and Retailco. The Subordinated Debt Facility matures on December 31, 2021.

The Subordinated Debt Facility allows us to draw advances in increments of no less than $1.0 million per advance up to the maximum principal amount of the Subordinated Debt Facility. Advances thereunder accrue interest at 5% per annum from the date of the advance. We have the right to capitalize interest payments under the Subordinated Debt Facility. The Subordinated Debt Facility is subordinated in certain respects to our Senior Credit Facility pursuant to a subordination agreement. We may pay interest and prepay principal on the Subordinated Debt Facility so long as we are in compliance with the covenants under our Senior Credit Facility, are not in default under the Senior Credit Facility and have minimum availability of $5.0 million under the borrowing base under the Senior Credit Facility. Payment of principal and interest under the Subordinated Debt Facility is accelerated upon the occurrence of certain change of control or sale transactions.

As of September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2019, there were 0 outstanding borrowings under the Subordinated Debt Facility.

10. Fair Value Measurements
Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability (exit price) in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Fair values are based on assumptions that market participants would use when pricing an asset or liability, including assumptions about risk and the risks inherent in valuation techniques and the inputs to valuations. This includes the credit standing of counterparties involved and the impact of credit enhancements.
We apply fair value measurements to our commodity derivative instruments based on the following fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs to the valuation techniques used to measure fair value into three broad levels:

Level 1—Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets and liabilities. Instruments categorized in Level 1 primarily consist of financial instruments such as exchange-traded derivative instruments.
Level 2—Inputs other than quoted prices recorded in Level 1 that are either directly or indirectly observable for the asset or liability, including quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in inactive markets, inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability, and inputs that are derived from observable market data by correlation or other means. Instruments categorized in Level 2 primarily include non-exchange traded derivatives such as over-the-counter commodity forwards and swaps and options.
Level 3—Unobservable inputs for the asset or liability, including situations where there is little, if any, observable market activity for the asset or liability.

As the fair value hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets (Level 1) and the lowest priority to unobservable data (Level 3), the Company maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use
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of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value. These levels can change over time. In some cases, the inputs used to measure fair value might fall in different levels of the fair value hierarchy. In these cases, the lowest level input that is significant to a fair value measurement in its entirety determines the applicable level in the fair value hierarchy.
Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Recurring Basis
The following tables present assets and liabilities measured and recorded at fair value in our condensed consolidated balance sheets on a recurring basis by and their level within the fair value hierarchy (in thousands):
Level 1Level 2Level 3Total
September 30, 2020    
Non-trading commodity derivative assets$167 $614 $$781 
Trading commodity derivative assets36 19 55 
Total commodity derivative assets$203 $633 $0 $836 
Non-trading commodity derivative liabilities$$(3,832)$$(3,832)
Trading commodity derivative liabilities(32)(32)
Total commodity derivative liabilities$0 $(3,864)$0 $(3,864)
Level 1Level 2Level 3Total
December 31, 2019
Non-trading commodity derivative assets$$401 $$401 
Trading commodity derivative assets169 169 
Total commodity derivative assets$0 $570 $0 $570 
Non-trading commodity derivative liabilities$(1,666)$(18,772)$$(20,438)
Trading commodity derivative liabilities
Total commodity derivative liabilities$(1,666)$(18,772)$0 $(20,438)
We had no transfers of assets or liabilities between any of the above levels during the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and the year ended December 31, 2019.
Our derivative contracts include exchange-traded contracts valued utilizing readily available quoted market prices and non-exchange-traded contracts valued using market price quotations available through brokers or over-the-counter and on-line exchanges. In addition, in determining the fair value of our derivative contracts, we apply a credit risk valuation adjustment to reflect credit risk, which is calculated based on our or the counterparty’s historical credit risks. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the credit risk valuation adjustment was a reduction of derivative liabilities, net of $0.1 million and $0.2 million, respectively.

11. Income Taxes

Income Taxes

We and our subsidiaries, CenStar and Verde Energy USA, Inc. ("Verde Corp"), are each subject to U.S. federal income tax as corporations. CenStar and Verde Corp file consolidated tax returns in jurisdictions that allow combined reporting. Spark HoldCo and its subsidiaries, with the exception of CenStar and Verde Corp, are treated as flow-through entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, are generally not subject to U.S. federal income tax at the entity level. Rather, the tax liability with respect to their taxable income is passed through to their members or partners. Accordingly, we are subject to U.S. federal income taxation on our allocable share of Spark HoldCo’s net U.S. taxable income.

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In our financial statements, we report federal and state income taxes for our share of the partnership income attributable to our ownership in Spark HoldCo and for the income taxes attributable to CenStar and Verde Corp. Net income attributable to non-controlling interest includes the provision for income taxes related to CenStar and Verde Corp.

We account for income taxes using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and the tax bases of the assets and liabilities. We apply existing tax law and the tax rate that we expect to apply to taxable income in the years in which those differences are expected to be recovered or settled in calculating the deferred tax assets and liabilities. Effects of changes in tax rates on deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized in income in the period of the tax rate enactment. A valuation allowance is recorded when it is not more likely than not that some or all of the benefit from the deferred tax asset will be realized.

We periodically assess whether it is more likely than not that we will generate sufficient taxable income to realize our deferred income tax assets. In making this determination, we consider all available positive and negative evidence and make certain assumptions. We consider, among other things, our deferred tax liabilities, the overall business environment, our historical earnings and losses, current industry trends, and our outlook for future years. We believe it is more likely than not that our deferred tax assets will be utilized, and accordingly have not recorded a valuation allowance on these assets.

As of September 30, 2020, we had a net deferred tax asset of $26.5 million, of which approximately $15.6 million related to the original step up in tax basis resulting from the initial purchase of Spark HoldCo units from NuDevco Retail and NuDevco Retail Holdings (predecessor to Retailco) in connection with our initial public offering.

The effective U.S. federal and state income tax rate for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was 18.5% and 14.8%, respectively. The effective U.S. federal and state income tax rate for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was 17.6% and 16.8%, respectively. The effective tax rate for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 differed from the U.S. federal statutory tax rate of 21% primarily due to state taxes and the benefit provided from Spark HoldCo operating as a limited liability company, which is treated as a partnership for federal and state income tax purposes and is not subject to federal and state income taxes. Accordingly, the portion of earnings attributable to non-controlling interest is subject to tax when reported as a component of the non-controlling interest holders' taxable income.
12. Commitments and Contingencies

From time to time, we may be involved in legal, tax, regulatory and other proceedings in the ordinary course of business. Liabilities for loss contingencies arising from claims, assessments, litigation or other sources are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount can be reasonably estimated.

Legal Proceedings

Below is a summary of our currently pending material legal proceedings. We are subject to lawsuits and claims arising in the ordinary course of our business. The following legal proceedings are in various stages and are subject to substantial uncertainties concerning the outcome of material factual and legal issues. Accordingly, unless otherwise specifically noted, we cannot currently predict the manner and timing of the resolutions of these legal proceedings or estimate a range of possible losses or a minimum loss that could result from an adverse verdict in a potential lawsuit. While the lawsuits and claims are asserted for amounts that may be material should an unfavorable outcome occur, management does not currently expect that any currently pending matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Consumer Lawsuits

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Similar to other energy service companies (ESCOs) operating in the industry, from time-to-time, the Company is subject to class action lawsuits in various jurisdictions where the Company sells natural gas and electricity.

Variable Rate Cases

In the cases referred to as Variable Rate Cases, such actions involve consumers alleging they paid higher rates than they would have if they stayed with their default utility. The facts of each case are similar; however, because they have been brought in several different jurisdictions, there is varying applicable case law, and each case is in various stages of progression, the Company agreed to mediate in two aggregated mediations to avoid duplicative defense costs in numerous jurisdictions. The Company continues to deny the allegations asserted by Plaintiffs and intends to vigorously defend these matters.

The August 2020 mediation covered three matters: (1) Janet Rolland et al v. Spark Energy, LLC (D.N.J. Apr. 2017); (2) Burger v. Spark Energy Gas, LLC (N.D. Ill. Dec. 2019); and (3) Local 901 v. Spark Energy, LLC (Sup .Ct. Allen County, Indiana Aug. 2019). Given the ongoing mediation, discovery and current stage of this matters, we cannot predict the outcome of these cases at this time.

The October 2020 mediation covered five matters: (1) Marshall v. Verde Energy USA, Inc. (D.N.J. Jan. 2018); (2) Mercado v. Verde Energy USA, Inc. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 2018); (3) Davis v. Verde Energy USA, Inc., et al. (D. Mass. Apr. 2019); (4) LaQua v. Verde Energy USA New York, LLC (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 2020); and (5) Abbate v. Verde Energy USA Ohio, LLC (S.D. Ohio Jun. 2020). Given the ongoing mediation, discovery and current stage of these matters, we cannot predict the outcome of these cases at this time.

Advertising Case

Katherine Veilleux, et. al. v. Electricity Maine LLC, Provider Power, LLC, Spark HoldCo, LLC, Kevin Dean, and Emile Clavet was a purported class action lawsuit filed on November 18, 2016 in the United States District Court of Maine, alleging that Electricity Maine, LLC (“Electricity Maine”), an entity acquired by Spark Holdco in mid-2016, enrolled customers and conducted advertising, and promotions allegedly not in compliance with law. Plaintiffs sought damages for themselves and the purported class, injunctive relief, restitution, and attorneys' fees. The parties participated in mediation in July 2019 and reached a settlement. The court granted final approval of that settlement in mid-October 2020. The claims period closed September 10, 2020 and customer claims will be processed by year end, closing this matter.

Corporate Matter Lawsuits

Saul Horowitz, as Sellers’ Representative for the former owners of the Major Energy Companies v. National Gas & Electric, LLC (NG&E) and Spark Energy, Inc., is a lawsuit filed on October 17, 2017 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York asserting claims of fraudulent inducement against NG&E, breach of contract against NG&E and Spark, and tortious interference with contract against Spark related to a membership interest purchase agreement, subsequent dropdown, and associated earnout agreements with the Major Energy Companies' former owners. The relief sought includes unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and attorneys’ fees. This case went to trial during the first two weeks of March 2020 and all material has been submitted to the Judge for his decision. Given the trial was in Manhattan, New York, which was previously under a shelter-in-place order and is currently re-opening in phases, we are not able to predict when we receive a final decision on this matter. Spark and NG&E deny the allegations asserted by Plaintiffs and have vigorously defended this matter; however, we cannot predict the outcome or consequences of this case at this time.

In addition to the matters disclosed above, the Company may from time to time be subject to legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business. Although there can be no assurance in this regard, the Company does not expect any of those legal proceedings to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

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Regulatory Matters

Many state regulators have increased scrutiny on retail energy providers, across all industry providers. We are subject to regular regulatory inquiries and preliminary investigations in the ordinary course of our business. Below is a summary of our currently pending material state regulatory matters. The following state regulatory matters are in various stages and are subject to substantial uncertainties concerning the outcome of material factual and legal issues. Accordingly, we cannot currently predict the manner and timing of the resolution of these state regulatory matters or estimate a range of possible losses or a minimum loss that could result from an adverse action. Management does not currently expect that any currently pending state regulatory matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Connecticut. The Company has been working with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority ("PURA") regarding compliance with requirements implemented in 2016 that customer bills include any changes to existing rates effective for the next billing cycle. The Company and other ESCOs in Connecticut have agreed to submit to a proceeding offering amnesty to ESCOs that self-report violations and offer to voluntarily remit refunds to customers. The Company has remitted for its brands operating in Connecticut its report of potential customers who would be eligible for refunds under the amnesty program and submitted its confidential settlement proposals. PURA is completing its review and audit and issuing final decisions regarding such amnesty payments. PURA has approved the Major and Verde brand settlements and refunds have been issued for Major and Verde customers. The Company is working with staff on the final approval for the Spark and Perigee brands, which we believe will be finalized by year end. The HIKO brand should be approved and a settlement completed in the first quarter of 2021.

Illinois. Spark Energy, LLC received a verbal inquiry from the Illinois Commerce Commission ("ICC") and the Illinois Attorney General ("IAG") on January 1, 2020 seeking to understand an increase in complaints from Illinois consumers. The Company met with the ICC and the IAG in February 2020 and plan to discuss a compliance plan to ensure its sales are in compliance with Illinois regulations. The parties also discussed possible restitution payments to any customers impacted by sales not in compliance with Illinois regulations. The Company is currently working with both regulators on this matter.

Maine. In early 2018, Staff of the Maine Public Utilities Commission (“Maine PUC”) issued letters to Electricity Maine seeking information about customer complaints principally associated with historical door-to-door (“D2D”) sales practices. In late July 2018, the Maine PUC issued an Order to Show Cause and Electricity Maine responded in mid-August 2018. The Commission scheduled a procedural conference in early 2019 that resulted in no intervenors other than participation as a party by the Maine Office of Public Advocate. At the conference, the parties agreed on a procedural schedule, including a one-day evidentiary hearing. Following post-hearing discovery, Initial and Reply Briefs were filed on August 30, 2019 and September 10, 2019, respectively. The Maine PUC hearing examiner released its report in April 2020 alleging failures of compliance related to enrollment and marketing practices by Electricity Maine. The Company has been cooperatively working with the Maine Office of Public Advocate and the staff of the Maine PUC. The Company has proposed a resolution of this matter which will be presented to the Maine PUC for approval by the end of 2020.

New York.

New York Attorney General. Prior to the purchase of Major Energy by the Company, in 2015, Major Energy Services, LLC and Major Energy Electric Services were contacted by the Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection for State of New York relating to their marketing practices. Major Energy has exchanged information in response to various requests from the Attorney General and recently agreed to respond to additional questions via remote proceedings in October of 2020. The parties are in settlement negotiations at this time. While investigations of this nature may be resolved in a manner that allows the retail energy supplier to continue operating in New York with stipulations, there can be no assurances that the New York Attorney General will not take more severe action.


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Ohio. Verde Energy USA Ohio, LLC (“Verde Ohio”) was the subject of a formal investigation by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) initiated on April 16, 2019. The investigation asserted that Verde Ohio may have violated Ohio’s retail energy supplier regulations. Verde Ohio voluntary suspended door-to-door marketing in Ohio in furtherance of settlement negotiations with the PUCO Staff. On September 6, 2019, Verde Ohio and PUCO Staff executed and filed with PUCO a Joint Stipulation and Recommendation for PUCO’s review and approval, which sets forth agreed settlement terms, which included approximately $1.9 million in refunds to customers and a penalty of $0.7 million. The settlement was approved by PUCO on February 26, 2020, and the Joint Stipulation and Recommendation resolves all of the issues raised in the investigation. The Company has provided all refunds to customers and is waiting on final approval of its license recertifications, which is expected to be decided by year end.

In addition, in September of 2019, the Ohio Attorney General (“OAG”) alleged that Verde Ohio had violated its Consumer Sales Practice Act and Do Not Call regulations. Verde Ohio is cooperating and responding to the OAG’s document requests; however, at this time, the Company cannot predict the outcome of this matter.

Pennsylvania. Verde Energy USA, Inc. (“Verde”) is the subject of a formal investigation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (“PPUC”) initiated on January 30, 2020. The investigation asserts that Verde may have violated Pennsylvania retail energy supplier regulations. The Company met with the PPUC in February 2020 to discuss the matter and to work with the PPUC cooperatively. Verde reached a settlement, which includes a civil penalty of $1.0 million and a $0.1 million contribution to the PPL hardship fund. On June 30, 2020, Verde and PPUC Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement filed a Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement and Statements in Support of that Joint Petition with the Commission. Verde is currently awaiting final approval of this settlement.

In addition to the matters disclosed above, in the ordinary course of business, the Company may from time to time be subject to regulators initiating informal reviews or issuing subpoenas for information as means to evaluate the Company and its subsidiaries’ compliance with applicable laws, rule, regulations and practices. Although there can be no assurance in this regard, the Company does not expect any of those regulatory reviews to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

Indirect Tax Audits

We are undergoing various types of indirect tax audits spanning from years 2014 to 2020 for which additional liabilities may arise. At the time of filing these condensed consolidated financial statements, these indirect tax audits are at an early stage and subject to substantial uncertainties concerning the outcome of audit findings and corresponding responses.

As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, we had accrued $19.7 million and $29.2 million, respectively, related to litigation and regulatory matters and $2.0 million and $1.8 million, respectively, related to indirect tax audits. The outcome of each of these may result in additional expense.

13. Transactions with Affiliates
Transactions with Affiliates

We enter into transactions with and pay certain costs on behalf of affiliates that are commonly controlled in order to reduce risk, reduce administrative expense, create economies of scale, create strategic alliances and supply goods and services to these related parties. We also sell and purchase natural gas and electricity with affiliates and pay an affiliate to perform telemarketing activities. We present receivables and payables with the same affiliate on a net basis in the condensed consolidated balance sheets as all affiliate activity is with parties under common control. Affiliated transactions include certain services to the affiliated companies associated with employee benefits provided through our benefit plans, insurance plans, leased office space, administrative salaries, due diligence work, recurring management consulting, and accounting, tax, legal, or technology services. Amounts billed are based on
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the services provided, departmental usage, or headcount, which are considered reasonable by management. As such, the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include costs that have been incurred by us and then directly billed or allocated to affiliates, as well as costs that have been incurred by our affiliates and then directly billed or allocated to us, and are recorded net in general and administrative expense on the condensed consolidated statements of operations with a corresponding accounts receivable—affiliates or accounts payable—affiliates, respectively, recorded in the condensed consolidated balance sheets. Transactions with affiliates for sales or purchases of natural gas and electricity are recorded in retail revenues, retail cost of revenues, and net asset optimization revenues in the condensed consolidated statements of operations with a corresponding accounts receivable—affiliate or accounts payable—affiliate are recorded in the condensed consolidated balance sheets.
Cost Allocations

Where costs incurred on behalf of the affiliate or us cannot be determined by specific identification for direct billing, the costs are allocated to the affiliated entities or us based on estimates of percentage of departmental usage, wages or headcount. The total net amount direct billed and allocated (to)/from affiliates was $(0.5) million and $(0.5) million for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The total net amount direct billed and allocated (to)/from affiliates was $(0.5) million and $(0.1) million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

General and administrative costs of $0.1 million and $0.2 million were recorded for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 related to telemarketing activities performed by an affiliate.

Accounts Receivable and PayableAffiliates
As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, we had current accounts receivable—affiliates of $4.6 million and $2.0 million, respectively, and current accounts payable—affiliates of $0.4 million and $1.0 million, respectively.
Revenues and Cost of RevenuesAffiliates
Revenues recorded in net asset optimization revenues in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 related to affiliated sales were $0.1 million and $0.3 million, respectively. Revenues recorded in net asset optimization revenues in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 related to affiliated sales were $0.8 million and $2.1 million, respectively.
Cost of revenues recorded in net asset optimization revenues in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 related to affiliated purchases were less than $0.1 million and less than $0.1 million, respectively. Cost of revenues recorded in net asset optimization revenues in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 related to affiliated purchases were $0.2 million and $0.1 million, respectively. These amounts are presented as net on the condensed consolidated statements of operations.

Distributions to and Contributions from Affiliates

During three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, Spark HoldCo made distributions to affiliates of our Founder of $3.8 million for the payments of quarterly distribution on their respective Spark HoldCo units. During the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, Spark HoldCo also made distributions to these affiliates for gross-up distributions of $5.9 million and $16.8 million, respectively, in connection with distributions made between Spark HoldCo and Spark Energy, Inc. for payment of income taxes incurred by us.

During each of the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, Spark HoldCo made distributions to affiliates of our Founder of $11.3 million and $11.3 million, for payments of quarterly distributions on their respective Spark HoldCo units. During the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, Spark HoldCo also made distributions
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to these affiliates for gross-up distributions of $12.1 million and $16.8 million, respectively, in connection with distributions made between Spark HoldCo and Spark Energy, Inc. for payment of income taxes incurred by us.

Subordinated Debt Facility

In June 2019, we and Spark HoldCo entered into a Subordinated Debt Facility with an affiliate owned by our Founder, which allows the Company to borrow up to $25.0 million. The Subordinated Debt Facility allows us to draw advances in increments of no less than $1.0 million per advance up to the maximum principal amount of the Subordinated Debt Facility. Advances thereunder accrue interest at 5% per annum from the date of the advance. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, there was 0 in outstanding borrowings under the Subordinated Debt Facility. See Note 9 "Debt" for a further description of terms and conditions of the Subordinated Debt Facility.

Tax Receivable Agreement

Prior to July 11, 2019, we were party to a Tax Receivable Agreement ("TRA") with affiliates. Effective July 11, 2019, the Company entered into a TRA Termination and Release Agreement (the “Release Agreement”), which provided for a full and complete termination of any further payment, reimbursement or performance obligation of the Company, Retailco and NuDevco Retail under the TRA, whether past, accrued or yet to arise. Pursuant to the Release Agreement, the Company made a cash payment of approximately $11.2 million on July 15, 2019 to Retailco and NuDevco Retail. In connection with the termination of the TRA, Spark HoldCo made a distribution of approximately $16.3 million on July 15, 2019 to Retailco and NuDevco Retail under the Spark HoldCo Third Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement, as amended.

14. Segment Reporting
Our determination of reportable business segments considers the strategic operating units under which we make financial decisions, allocate resources and assess performance of our business. Our reportable business segments are retail electricity and retail natural gas. The retail electricity segment consists of electricity sales and transmission to residential and commercial customers. The retail natural gas segment consists of natural gas sales to, and natural gas transportation and distribution for, residential and commercial customers. Corporate and other consists of expenses and assets of the retail electricity and natural gas segments that are managed at a consolidated level such as general and administrative expenses. Asset optimization activities are also included in Corporate and other.
For the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, we recorded asset optimization revenues of $6.2 million and $14.6 million and asset optimization cost of revenues of $6.8 million and $14.9 million, respectively, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, we recorded asset optimization revenues of $16.5 million and $50.7 million and asset optimization cost of revenues of $16.8 million and $48.5 million, respectively, which are presented on a net basis in asset optimization revenues.
We use retail gross margin to assess the performance of our operating segments. Retail gross margin is defined as operating (loss) income plus (i) depreciation and amortization expenses and (ii) general and administrative expenses, less (i) net asset optimization (expenses) revenues, (ii) net (losses) gains on non-trading derivative instruments, and (iii) net current period cash settlements on non-trading derivative instruments. We deduct net (losses) gains on non-trading derivative instruments, excluding current period cash settlements, from the retail gross margin calculation in order to remove the non-cash impact of net gains and losses on these derivative instruments. Retail gross margin should not be considered an alternative to, or more meaningful than, operating income, as determined in accordance with GAAP.
Below is a reconciliation of retail gross margin to income before income tax expense (in thousands):

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Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
  2020201920202019
Reconciliation of Retail Gross Margin to Income before taxes
Income before income tax expense$27,747 $44,243 $72,190 $17,959 
Interest and other income(80)(322)(293)(1,005)
Interest expense1,487 2,174 4,233 6,392 
Operating income29,154 46,095 76,130 23,346 
Depreciation and amortization7,278 9,496 24,084 31,963 
General and administrative19,080 27,629 66,087 94,352 
Less:
Net asset optimization (expense) revenues(558)(254)(319)2,242 
Net, gain (loss) on non-trading derivative instruments2,550 12,528 (14,019)(42,741)
Net, Cash settlements on non-trading derivative instruments6,489 12,764 33,153 33,677 
Retail Gross Margin$47,031 $58,182 $147,486 $156,483 

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Financial data for business segments are as follows (in thousands):
Three Months Ended September 30, 2020
Retail
Electricity
Retail
Natural Gas
Corporate
and Other
EliminationsConsolidated
Total Revenues$132,958 $8,230 $(558)$$140,630 
Retail cost of revenues82,061 3,057 — 85,118 
Less:
Net asset optimization expense(558)(558)
Net, gain on non-trading derivative instruments1,923 627 2,550 
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives6,212 277 6,489 
Retail Gross Margin$42,762 $4,269 $0 $0 $47,031 
Total Assets at September 30, 2020$2,821,953 $910,665 $322,542 $(3,694,032)$361,128 
Goodwill at September 30, 2020$117,813 $2,530 $0 $0 $120,343 

Three Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail
Electricity
Retail
Natural Gas
Corporate
and Other
EliminationsConsolidated
Total revenues$197,010 $10,331 $(254)$$207,087 
Retail cost of revenues119,100 4,767 123,867 
Less:
Net asset optimization expense(254)(254)
Net gain (loss) on non-trading derivative instruments12,652 (124)12,528 
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives12,115 649 12,764 
Retail Gross Margin$53,143 $5,039 $0 $0 $58,182 
Total Assets at December 31, 2019$2,524,884 $820,601 $341,411 $(3,263,928)$422,968 
Goodwill at December 31, 2019$117,813 $2,530 $0 $0 $120,343 
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Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020
Retail
Electricity
Retail
Natural Gas
Corporate
and Other
EliminationsConsolidated
Total revenues$366,981 $69,185 $(319)$$435,847 
Retail cost of revenues241,712 27,834 269,546 
Less:
Net asset optimization expense(319)(319)
Net (loss) gain on non-trading derivatives(14,416)397 (14,019)
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives30,544 2,609 33,153 
Retail Gross Margin$109,141 $38,345 $0 $0 $147,486 
Total Assets at September 30, 2020$2,821,953 $910,665 $322,542 $(3,694,032)$361,128 
Goodwill at September 30, 2020$117,813 $2,530 $0 $0 $120,343 
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail
Electricity
Retail
Natural Gas
Corporate
and Other
EliminationsConsolidated
Total revenues$539,878 $85,422 $2,242 $$627,542 
Retail cost of revenues433,175 44,706 477,881 
Less:
Net asset optimization revenues2,242 2,242 
Net, (loss) gain on non-trading derivatives(42,984)243 (42,741)
Current period settlements on non-trading derivatives32,957 720 33,677 
Retail Gross Margin$116,730 $39,753 $0 $0 $156,483 
Total Assets at December 31, 2019$2,524,884 $820,601 $341,411 $(3,263,928)$422,968 
Goodwill at December 31, 2019$117,813 $2,530 $0 $0 $120,343 
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15. Subsequent Events

Declaration of Dividends

On October 19, 2020, we declared a quarterly dividend of $0.18125 per share to holders of record of our Class A common stock on December 1, 2020, which will be paid on December 15, 2020.

On October 19, 2020, we also declared a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.546875 per share to holders of record of the Series A Preferred Stock on January 1, 2021. The dividend will be paid on January 15, 2021.

Senior Credit Facility Expansion

On October 30, 2020, a new lender was added to the Senior Credit Facility, bringing total commitments under the Senior Credit Facility to $202.5 million.

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ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION
AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this Report and the audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations included in our 2019 Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 5, 2020. Results of operations and cash flows for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of results to be attained for any other period. See "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors."
Overview

We are an independent retail energy services company founded in 1999 that provides residential and commercial customers in competitive markets across the United States with an alternative choice for natural gas and electricity. We purchase our natural gas and electricity supply from a variety of wholesale providers and bill our customers monthly for the delivery of natural gas and electricity based on their consumption at either a fixed or variable price. Natural gas and electricity are then distributed to our customers by local regulated utility companies through their existing infrastructure. As of September 30, 2020, we operated in 100 utility service territories across 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Our business consists of two operating segments:

Retail Electricity Segment. In this segment, we purchase electricity supply through physical and financial transactions with market counterparties and ISOs and supply electricity to residential and commercial consumers pursuant to fixed-price and variable-price contracts. For the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, approximately 94% and 95%, respectively, of our retail revenues were derived from the sale of electricity.

Retail Natural Gas Segment. In this segment, we purchase natural gas supply through physical and financial transactions with market counterparties and supply natural gas to residential and commercial consumers pursuant to fixed-price and variable-price contracts. For the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, approximately 6% and 5%, respectively, of our retail revenues were derived from the sale of natural gas.

Recent Developments

Senior Credit Facility Expansion

On October 30, 2020, a new lender was added to the Senior Credit Facility, bringing total commitments under the Senior Credit Facility to $202.5 million.

Appointment of Chief Executive Officer

On November 2, 2020, our Board of Directors appointed W. Keith Maxwell III as Chief Executive Officer.

Class A Common Stock Repurchase Program

On August 18, 2020, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $20.0 million of Class A common stock through August 18, 2021. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, we repurchased 45,148 shares of our Class A common stock at a weighted average price of $8.75 per share, for a total cost of $0.4 million. Please see “Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds” in Part II of this Form 10-Q.

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COVID-19

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19") is a rapidly developing situation around the globe that has adversely impacted economic activity and conditions worldwide. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we deployed a remote working strategy in March 2020 that enables certain of our employees to work from home, provided timely communication to team members, implemented protocols for team members' safety, and initiated strategies for monitoring and responding to local COVID-19 impacts. Our preparedness efforts, coupled with quick and decisive plan implementation, resulted in minimal impacts to our workforce. Our employees continue to work remotely, but we plan to return to an on-site work strategy once health and safety conditions permit.

As described further below under "Drivers of our Business", during the three months ended September 30, 2020, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2019, we had fewer organic customer acquisitions, which resulted in reduced customer acquisition costs. In addition, for the three months ended September 30, 2020 compared to three months ended September 30, 2019, we experienced lower customer attrition, slight increases in residential demand, and slight decreases in C&I demand. The financial impact of the decrease in C&I demand was offset by higher demand from residential customers, which have higher margins. Overall, we believe we have not experienced a material adverse impact to our business, financial condition or results of operations during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to monitor developments involving our workforce, customers and suppliers and the impact on our operations, business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations for future periods. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.

Residential Customer Equivalents

We measure our number of customers using residential customer equivalents ("RCEs"). The following table shows our RCEs by segment during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020:

RCEs:
(In thousands)June 30, 2020AdditionsAttritionSeptember 30, 2020% Increase (Decrease)
Retail Electricity42011(38)393(6)%
Retail Natural Gas1141(9)106(7)%
Total Retail53412(47)499(7)%
RCEs:
(In thousands)December 31, 2019AdditionsAttritionSeptember 30, 2020% Increase (Decrease)
Retail Electricity53333(173)393(26)%
Retail Natural Gas1398(41)106(24)%
Total Retail67241(214)499(26)%

The following table details our count of RCEs by geographical location as of September 30, 2020:
RCEs by Geographic Location:
(In thousands)Electricity % of TotalNatural Gas % of TotalTotal % of Total
New England16041%2221%18236%
Mid-Atlantic13534%3634%17134%
Midwest3910%3028%6914%
Southwest5915%1817%7716%
Total393100%106100%499100%
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The geographical locations noted above include the following states:

New England - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire;
Mid-Atlantic - Delaware, Maryland (including the District of Columbia), New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania;
Midwest - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio; and
Southwest - Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Texas.

Across our market areas, we have operated under a number of different retail brands. We currently operate under seven retail brands. During 2019, we began consolidating our brands and billing systems in an effort to simplify our business operations where practical. Our goal is to continue our efforts to reduce the number of separate brands throughout 2020.

Drivers of our Business

The success of our business and our profitability are impacted by a number of drivers, the most significant of which are discussed below.

Customer Growth

Customer growth is a key driver of our operations. Our ability to acquire customers organically or by acquisition is important to our success as we experience ongoing customer attrition. Our customer growth strategy includes growing organically through traditional sales channels complemented by customer portfolio and business acquisitions. Our customer book may decrease if we are unable to replace customer attrition in the ordinary course of business through organic growth and/or acquisitions.

Our organic sales strategies are designed to offer competitive pricing, price certainty, and/or green product offerings to residential and commercial customers. We manage growth on a market-by-market basis by developing price curves in each of the markets we serve and creating competitive product offerings that provide value to our targeted customer segments. To support these sales initiatives, we develop marketing campaigns using a combination of sales channels. Our marketing team continuously evaluates the effectiveness of each customer acquisition channel and makes adjustments in order to achieve desired targets.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain Public Utility Commissions, regulatory agencies, and other governmental authorities in most of our markets continue to maintain orders prohibiting energy services companies from door-to-door marketing and in some cases telemarketing during the pandemic, which has restricted some of the manners we have historically used to market for organic sales. In March 2020, as a result of these actions, the Company continues to hold off on active door-to-door marketing activities in all markets regardless of states' regulations. In response, the Company has focused on development of products and channels, partners for web sales, as well as accelerating its telemarketing sales quality programs to react to available opportunities in the second half of 2020.

During the three months ended September 30, 2020, we added approximately 12,000 RCEs primarily through organic web sales and telemarketing activities. This amount was significantly lower than historical periods due to the marketing limitations discussed above, as well as an active decision to slow sales activities as we focus our efforts to improve our organic sales channels, including vendor selection and sales quality. As most markets continue to enforce a ban on door-to-door activities, and we are focused on rebuilding our sales infrastructure, we do not anticipate piloting door-to-door campaigns until late fourth quarter of 2020, but we will continue to market in the manners that are permitted. Although we expect to acquire less customers organically in future periods than we have historically while marketing restrictions are in place, we are unable to predict the ultimate effect on our organic sales at this time. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.

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We acquire companies and portfolios of customers through both external and affiliated channels. Our ability to realize returns from acquisitions that are acceptable to us is dependent on our ability to successfully identify, negotiate, finance and integrate acquisitions.

Customer Acquisition Costs

Managing customer acquisition costs is a key component of our profitability. Customer acquisition costs are those costs related to obtaining customers organically and do not include the cost of acquiring customers through acquisitions, which are recorded as customer relationships.

We strive to maintain a disciplined approach to recovery of our customer acquisition costs within a 12-month period. We capitalize and amortize our customer acquisition costs over a two-year period, which is based on our estimate of the expected average length of a customer relationship. We factor in the recovery of customer acquisition costs in determining which markets we enter and the pricing of our products in those markets. Accordingly, our results are significantly influenced by our customer acquisition costs. Changes in customer acquisition costs from period to period reflect our focus on growing organically versus growth through acquisitions. We are currently focused on growing through organic sales channels; however, we continue to evaluate opportunities to acquire customers through acquisitions and pursue such acquisitions when it makes sense economically or strategically for the Company.

As described above, certain Public Utility Commissions, regulatory agencies, and other governmental authorities in all of our markets have issued orders that impact the way we have historically acquired customers, such as door to door marketing. Our reduced marketing resulted in significantly reduced customer acquisition costs during the three months ended September 30, 2020 compared to historical amounts. As long as these orders are in effect and marketing is reduced, we expect to incur reduced customer acquisition costs in future periods. However, we may incur increased costs through other manners of marketing, such as online marketing. We also expect our customer acquisition costs with respect to door to door marketing to return to historic levels once door to door marketing restriction orders are lifted. We are unable to predict the ultimate impact on our customer acquisition costs at this time. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.”

Customer Attrition

Customer attrition occurs primarily as a result of: (i) customer initiated switches; (ii) residential moves; (iii) disconnection resulting from customer payment defaults; and (iv) pro-active non-renewal of contracts. Average monthly customer attrition for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was 3.0% and 4.0%, respectively.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused regulatory agencies and other governmental authorities to take, and potentially continue to take, emergency or other actions in light of the pandemic that may impact our overall customer attrition, including prohibiting the termination of service for non-payment during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, some state commissions continue discussions on allowing utilities to spread costs over time while allowing for full financial recovery plus cost of cash at a later date. This could create an advantage for incumbent utilities as energy service companies have to absorb or pass along COVID-19 related costs to customers, resulting in further disparity between market pricing and the utility price for customers. Furthermore, like us, due to restrictions on door-to-door activities, other energy service companies are limited in their ability to market, which may reduce customer initiated switches. We believe these orders and circumstances caused our customer attrition to be lower for the third quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter of 2019. Consistent with our previously communicated strategy to shrink our C&I customer book, our customer attrition for C&I customers was slightly higher than the prior year because of our pro-active non-renewal of some of our large commercial contracts; however, this impact was more than offset by the decline in residential customer attrition during the current year. Although customer attrition was slightly lower during the third quarter of 2020, we are unable to predict the ultimate impact of these actions on overall customer attrition over the next six months, at this time. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.

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Customer Credit Risk

Our bad debt expense for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was 0.9% and 2.7%, respectively, and our bad debt expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was 2.0% and 3.4% respectively, for non-purchase of receivable market ("non-POR") revenues. An increased focus on collection efforts, timely billing and credit monitoring for new enrollments in non-POR markets beginning in late 2019 have led to an improvement in the bad debt expense over the past several months, including the three months ended September 30, 2020. We have also been able to collect on debts that were previously written off, which has further reduced our bad debt expense during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused regulatory agencies and other governmental authorities to take, and potentially continue to take, emergency or other actions in light of the pandemic that may impact our customer credit risk, including prohibiting the termination of service for non-payment during the current COVID-19 pandemic, requiring deferred payment plans for certain customers unable to pay their bill, and utilities increasing POR fees they charge us in an effort to recoup their bad debts losses. Although the Company noted no significant impact as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as related to credit risk for the three months ended September 30, 2020, because of the time lag between the delivery of electricity and natural gas, the issuance of an invoice, and the customer’s payment due date, there may be a substantial lag in time before we are able to determine specific trends in bad debt expense as a result of COVID-19. We are also monitoring other events that may have an impact on our credit risk, such as the expiration of unemployment benefits in September 2020 in many of our service territories. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions directly influence the demand for natural gas and electricity and affect the prices of energy commodities. Our hedging strategy is based on forecasted customer energy usage, which can vary substantially as a result of weather patterns deviating from historical norms. We are particularly sensitive to this variability in our residential customer segment where energy usage is highly sensitive to weather conditions that impact heating and cooling demand.

Our risk management policies direct that we hedge substantially all of our forecasted demand, which is typically hedged to long-term normal weather patterns. We also attempt to add additional protection through hedging from time to time to protect us from potential volatility in markets where we have historically experienced higher exposure to extreme weather conditions. Because we attempt to match commodity purchases to anticipated demand, unanticipated changes in weather patterns can have a significant impact on our operating results and cash flows from period to period.

During the third quarter of 2020, we experienced milder than anticipated weather across many of our markets as well as slight decreases in C&I demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which negatively impacted overall customer usage. This was partially offset by slight increases in residential demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial impact of overall demand reductions was offset by increased margins as a result of our strategy to shift away from C&I customers to a primarily residential customer base, resulting in an overall positive impact on our electricity and natural gas unit margins in the third quarter of 2020.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may experience changes in customer demand in future periods that we cannot fully anticipate. While not weather related, these changes in demand may lead us to experience financial gains and/or losses in much the same fashion as a weather event as the current circumstances make it more difficult to accurately predict demand. While we continue to conduct analytics on our customer base to anticipate these changes in demand, we cannot predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately impact our hedging strategy related to our load forecasts. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.

Asset Optimization

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Our asset optimization opportunities primarily arise during the winter heating season when demand for natural gas is typically at its highest. Given the opportunistic nature of these activities and because we account for these activities using the mark to market method of accounting, we experience variability in our earnings from our asset optimization activities from year to year.

Net asset optimization resulted in a loss of $0.6 million and $0.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Non-GAAP Performance Measures

We use the non-GAAP performance measures of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin to evaluate and measure our operating results as follows:
 Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
(in thousands)2020201920202019
Adjusted EBITDA$27,749 $28,084 $81,897 $66,742 
Retail Gross Margin$47,031 $58,182 $147,486 $156,483 


Adjusted EBITDA. We define “Adjusted EBITDA” as EBITDA less (i) customer acquisition costs incurred in the current period, plus or minus (ii) net (loss) gain on derivative instruments, and (iii) net current period cash settlements on derivative instruments, plus (iv) non-cash compensation expense, and (v) other non-cash and non-recurring operating items. EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) before the provision for income taxes, interest expense and depreciation and amortization.

We deduct all current period customer acquisition costs (representing spending for organic customer acquisitions) in the Adjusted EBITDA calculation because such costs reflect a cash outlay in the period in which they are incurred, even though we capitalize and amortize such costs over two years. We do not deduct the cost of customer acquisitions through acquisitions of businesses or portfolios of customers in calculating Adjusted EBITDA.

We deduct our net (losses) gains on derivative instruments, excluding current period cash settlements, from the Adjusted EBITDA calculation in order to remove the non-cash impact of net gains and losses on these instruments. We also deduct non-cash compensation expense that results from the issuance of restricted stock units under our long-term incentive plan due to the non-cash nature of the expense. Finally, we also adjust from time to time other non-cash or unusual and/or infrequent charges due to either their non-cash nature or their infrequency.

We believe that the presentation of Adjusted EBITDA provides information useful to investors in assessing our liquidity and financial condition and results of operations and that Adjusted EBITDA is also useful to investors as a financial indicator of our ability to incur and service debt, pay dividends and fund capital expenditures. Adjusted EBITDA is a supplemental financial measure that management and external users of our condensed consolidated financial statements, such as industry analysts, investors, commercial banks and rating agencies, use to assess the following:

our operating performance as compared to other publicly traded companies in the retail energy industry, without regard to financing methods, capital structure or historical cost basis;
the ability of our assets to generate earnings sufficient to support our proposed cash dividends;
our ability to fund capital expenditures (including customer acquisition costs) and incur and service debt; and
our compliance with financial debt covenants. (Refer to Note 9 "Debt" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report for discussion of the material terms of our Senior Credit Facility, including the covenant requirements for our Minimum Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio, Maximum Total Leverage Ratio, and Maximum Senior Secured Leverage Ratio.)

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The GAAP measures most directly comparable to Adjusted EBITDA are net (loss) income and net cash provided by (used in) operating activities. The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to these GAAP measures for each of the periods indicated.
  Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
(in thousands)2020201920202019
Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net income:
Net income$22,606 $37,676 $59,451 $14,937 
Depreciation and amortization7,278 9,496 24,084 31,963 
Interest expense1,487 2,174 4,233 6,392 
Income tax expense5,141 6,567 12,739 3,022 
EBITDA
36,512 55,913 100,507 56,314 
Less:
Net, gain (loss) on derivative instruments2,451 12,307 (14,015)(42,690)
Net cash settlements on derivative instruments6,425 12,721 32,997 33,515 
Customer acquisition costs207 4,423 1,762 13,608 
       Plus:
       Non-cash compensation expense320 1,622 2,134 4,054 
Non-recurring legal and regulatory settlements— — — 10,807 
Adjusted EBITDA$27,749 $28,084 $81,897 $66,742 


The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net cash provided by operating activities for each of the periods indicated.
  Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
(in thousands)2020201920202019
Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net cash provided by operating activities:
Net cash provided by operating activities$12,165 $26,056 $83,948 $77,085 
Amortization of deferred financing costs(476)(497)(966)(1,002)
Bad debt expense(880)(3,170)(4,613)(9,185)
Interest expense1,487 2,174 4,233 6,392 
Income tax expense5,141 6,567 12,739 3,022 
Changes in operating working capital
Accounts receivable, prepaids, current assets1,709 1,034 (48,301)(50,358)
Inventory823 1,560 (1,158)(298)
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities9,374 (963)39,213 30,209 
Other(1,594)(4,677)(3,198)10,877 
Adjusted EBITDA$27,749 $28,084 $81,897 $66,742 
Cash Flow Data:
Cash flows provided by operating activities$12,165 $26,056 $83,948 $77,085 
Cash flows used in investing activities$(640)$(117)$(1,219)$(6,490)
Cash flows used in financing activities$(15,769)$(10,937)$(65,017)$(76,651)

Retail Gross Margin. We define retail gross margin as operating income (loss) plus (i) depreciation and amortization expenses and (ii) general and administrative expenses, less (iii) net asset optimization (expenses) revenues, (iv) net gains (losses) on non-trading derivative instruments, and (v) net current period cash settlements
44


on non-trading derivative instruments. Retail gross margin is included as a supplemental disclosure because it is a primary performance measure used by our management to determine the performance of our retail natural gas and electricity segments. As an indicator of our retail energy business’s operating performance, retail gross margin should not be considered an alternative to, or more meaningful than, operating income (loss), its most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.

We believe retail gross margin provides information useful to investors as an indicator of our retail energy business's operating performance.

The GAAP measure most directly comparable to Retail Gross Margin is operating income (loss). The following table presents a reconciliation of Retail Gross Margin to operating income (loss) for each of the periods indicated.

  Three Months Ended September 30,Nine Months Ended September 30,
(in thousands)2020201920202019
Reconciliation of Retail Gross Margin to Operating income:
Operating income$29,154 $46,095 $76,130 $23,346 
Plus:
Depreciation and amortization7,278 9,496 24,084 31,963 
General and administrative expense19,080 27,629 66,087 94,352 
Less:
Net asset optimization (expense) revenues(558)(254)(319)2,242 
Gain (loss) on non-trading derivative instruments2,550 12,528 (14,019)(42,741)
Cash settlements on non-trading derivative instruments6,489 12,764 33,153 33,677 
Retail Gross Margin$47,031 $58,182 $147,486 $156,483 
Retail Gross Margin - Retail Electricity Segment$42,762 $53,143 $109,141 $116,730 
Retail Gross Margin - Retail Natural Gas Segment$4,269 $5,039 $38,345 $39,753 

Our non-GAAP financial measures of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin should not be considered as alternatives to net income (loss), net cash provided by (used in) operating activities, or operating income (loss). Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin are not presentations made in accordance with GAAP and have limitations as analytical tools. You should not consider Adjusted EBITDA or Retail Gross Margin in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Because Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin exclude some, but not all, items that affect net income (loss), net cash provided by operating activities, and operating income (loss), and are defined differently by different companies in our industry, our definition of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.
Management compensates for the limitations of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin as analytical tools by reviewing the comparable GAAP measures, understanding the differences between the measures and incorporating these data points into management’s decision-making process.

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Consolidated Results of Operations

Three Months Ended September 30, 2020 Compared to Three Months Ended September 30, 2019
(In Thousands)Three Months Ended September 30,
20202019
Revenues:
Retail revenues$141,188 $207,341 
Net asset optimization (expense) revenues(558)(254)
Total Revenues140,630 207,087 
Operating Expenses:
Retail cost of revenues85,118 123,867 
General and administrative expense19,080 27,629 
Depreciation and amortization7,278 9,496 
Total Operating Expenses111,476 160,992 
Operating income29,154 46,095 
Other (expense)/income:
Interest expense(1,487)(2,174)
Interest and other income80 322 
Total other expense(1,407)(1,852)
Income before income tax expense27,747 44,243 
Income tax expense5,141 6,567 
Net income$22,606 $37,676 
Other Performance Metrics:
  Adjusted EBITDA (1)
$27,749 $28,084 
  Retail Gross Margin (1)
$47,031 $58,182 
  Customer Acquisition Costs$207 $4,423 
  Average Monthly RCE Attrition3.0 %4.0 %
(1) Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin are non-GAAP financial measures. See " Non-GAAP Performance Measures" for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

Total Revenues. Total revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $140.6 million, a decrease of approximately $66.5 million, or 32%, from approximately $207.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions). This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in electricity and natural gas volumes as a result of milder weather and a smaller customer book in the third quarter of 2020 as compared to the third quarter of 2019, partially offset by an increase in electricity unit revenue per MWh.
Change in electricity volumes sold$(70.0)
Change in natural gas volumes sold(1.6)
Change in electricity unit revenue per MWh6.0 
Change in natural gas unit revenue per MMBtu(0.5)
Change in net asset optimization revenue(0.4)
Change in total revenues$(66.5)

Retail Cost of Revenues. Total retail cost of revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $85.1 million, a decrease of approximately $38.8 million, or 31%, from approximately $123.9 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions). This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in electricity and natural gas volumes as a result of milder weather and a smaller
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customer book in 2020, a decrease in natural gas and electricity unit cost and a change in the fair value of our retail derivative portfolio.
Change in electricity volumes sold$(51.1)
Change in natural gas volumes sold(0.8)
Change in electricity unit cost per MWh(2.4)
Change in natural gas unit cost per MMBtu(0.5)
Change in value of retail derivative portfolio16.0 
Change in retail cost of revenues$(38.8)

General and Administrative Expense. General and administrative expense for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $19.1 million, a decrease of approximately $8.5 million, or 31%, as compared to $27.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease in sales and marketing costs in 2020 due to limitation of our door-to-door marketing as a result of COVID-19, lower bad debt expense in 2020 due to improved collection efforts and legal and regulatory settlements and litigation expense in the third quarter of 2019 that did not reoccur in 2020.

Depreciation and Amortization Expense. Depreciation and amortization expense for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $7.3 million, a decrease of approximately $2.2 million, or 23%, from approximately $9.5 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to the decreased amortization expense associated with customer intangibles.

Customer Acquisition Cost. Customer acquisition cost for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $0.2 million, a decrease of approximately $4.2 million, or 96%, from approximately $4.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to limitation on our ability to use door-to-door marketing as a result of COVID-19 and a reduction in targeted organic customer acquisitions as we focus our efforts to improve our organic sales channels, including vendor selection and sales quality.
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Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020 Compared to Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019
(In Thousands)Nine Months Ended September 30,
20202019
Revenues:
Retail revenues$436,166 $625,300 
Net asset optimization revenues(319)2,242 
Total Revenues435,847 627,542 
Operating Expenses:
Retail cost of revenues269,546 477,881 
General and administrative66,087 94,352 
Depreciation and amortization24,084 31,963 
Total Operating Expenses359,717 604,196 
Operating income76,130 23,346 
Other (expense)/income:
Interest expense(4,233)(6,392)
Interest and other income293 1,005 
Total other expense(3,940)(5,387)
Income before income tax expense72,190 17,959 
Income tax expense12,739 3,022 
Net income$59,451 $14,937 
Other Performance Metrics:
Adjusted EBITDA (1)
$81,897 $66,742 
Retail Gross Margin (1)
$147,486 $156,483 
Customer Acquisition Costs$1,762 $13,608 
RCE Attrition4.1 %4.4 %
(1) Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin are non GAAP financial measures. See " Non-GAAP Performance Measures" for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA and Retail Gross Margin to their most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP.

Total Revenues. Total revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $435.8 million, a decrease of approximately $191.7 million, or 31%, from approximately $627.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions). This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in electricity and natural gas volumes as a result of a milder weather and a smaller customer book in 2020 as compared to 2019, partially offset by an increase in electricity unit revenue per MWh.
Change in electricity volumes sold$(194.2)
Change in natural gas volumes sold(16.3)
Change in electricity unit revenue per MWh21.3 
Change in natural gas unit revenue per MMBtu0.1 
Change in net asset optimization revenue (expense)(2.6)
Change in total revenues$(191.7)

Retail Cost of Revenues. Total retail cost of revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $269.5 million, a decrease of approximately $208.4 million, or 44%, from approximately $477.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions). This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in electricity and natural gas volumes as a result of a smaller customer book in 2020, a decrease in electricity unit cost per MWh, and a change in fair value of our retail derivative portfolio.
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Change in electricity volumes sold$(152.2)
Change in natural gas volumes sold(8.7)
Change in electricity unit cost per MWh(13.1)
Change in natural gas unit cost per MMBtu(6.2)
Change in value of retail derivative portfolio(28.2)
Change in retail cost of revenues$(208.4)

General and Administrative Expense. General and administrative expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $66.1 million, a decrease of approximately $28.2 million, or 30%, as compared to $94.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily attributable to the legal and regulatory settlements and increased litigation expense in 2019 that did not reoccur in 2020, a decrease in sales and marketing costs in 2020 due to limitation of our door-to-door marketing as a result of COVID-19 and lower bad debt expense in 2020 due to improved collection efforts.

Depreciation and Amortization Expense. Depreciation and amortization expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $24.1 million, a decrease of approximately $7.9 million, or 25%, from approximately $32.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to the decreased amortization expense associated with customer relationship intangibles.

Customer Acquisition Cost. Customer acquisition cost for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $1.8 million, a decrease of approximately $11.8 million, or 87%, from approximately $13.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to limitation on our ability to use door-to-door marketing as a result of COVID-19 and a reduction in targeted organic customer acquisitions as we focus our efforts to improve our organic sales channels, including vendor selection and sales quality.
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Operating Segment Results
 Three Months Ended  
September 30,
Nine Months Ended  
September 30,
  2020201920202019
 (in thousands, except volume and per unit operating data)
Retail Electricity Segment
Total Revenues$132,958 $197,010 $366,981 $539,878 
Retail Cost of Revenues82,061 119,100 241,712 433,175 
Less: Net gain (loss) on non-trading derivatives, net of cash settlements8,135 24,767 16,128 (10,027)
Retail Gross Margin (1) — Electricity
$42,762 $53,143 $109,141 $116,730 
Volumes — Electricity (MWhs)1,165,500 1,808,276 3,235,222 5,052,498 
Retail Gross Margin (2) — Electricity per MWh
$36.69 $29.39 $33.74 $23.10 
Retail Natural Gas Segment
Total Revenues$8,230 $10,331 $69,185 $85,422 
Retail Cost of Revenues3,057 4,767 27,834 44,706 
Less: Net gain on non-trading derivatives, net of cash settlements904 525 3,006 963 
Retail Gross Margin (1) — Gas
$4,269 $5,039 $38,345 $39,753 
Volumes — Gas (MMBtus)949,088 1,119,126 8,198,827 10,127,857 
Retail Gross Margin (2) — Gas per MMBtu
$4.50 $4.50 $4.68 $3.93 

(1) Reflects the Retail Gross Margin attributable to our Retail Electricity Segment or Retail Natural Gas Segment, as applicable. Retail Gross Margin is a non-GAAP financial measure. See " Non-GAAP Performance Measures" for a reconciliation of Retail Gross Margin to most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP.
(2) Reflects the Retail Gross Margin for the Retail Electricity Segment or Retail Natural Gas Segment, as applicable, divided by the total volumes in MWh or MMBtu, respectively.

Three Months Ended September 30, 2020 Compared to Three Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail Electricity Segment
Total revenues for the Retail Electricity Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $133.0 million, a decrease of approximately $64.0 million, or 33%, from approximately $197.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was largely due to lower volumes sold, resulting in a decrease of $70.0 million as a result of milder weather and a smaller customer book in 2020. This decrease was partially offset by higher retail electricity prices as a result of the decrease of C&I RCEs as a total percentage of our customer book, which resulted in an increase of $6.0 million.
Retail cost of revenues for the Retail Electricity Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $82.1 million, a decrease of approximately $37.0 million, or 31%, from approximately $119.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to fewer customers, resulting in a decrease of $51.1 million, a decrease in supply costs of $2.4 million, and a change in the value of our retail derivative portfolio used for hedging, which resulted in a increase of $16.5 million.
Retail gross margin for the Retail Electricity Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $42.8 million, a decrease of approximately $10.3 million, or 19%, from approximately $53.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions).
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Change in volumes sold$(19.0)
Change in unit margin per MWh8.7 
Change in retail electricity segment retail gross margin$(10.3)
Retail Natural Gas Segment
Total revenues for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $8.2 million, a decrease of approximately $2.1 million, or 20%, from approximately $10.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily attributable to lower volumes sold, which decreased total revenues by $1.6 million.
Retail cost of revenues for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $3.1 million, a decrease of $1.7 million, or 36%, from approximately $4.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to lower volumes resulting in a decrease of $0.8 million, lower natural gas prices, which resulted in a decrease of $0.5 million, and a change in the value of our derivative portfolio used for hedging, which resulted in a decrease of $0.4 million.
Retail gross margin for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the three months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $4.3 million, a decrease of approximately $0.7 million, or 15%, from approximately $5.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions).
Change in volumes sold$(0.8)
Change in unit margin per MMBtu0.1 
Change in retail natural gas segment retail gross margin$(0.7)

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Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020 Compared to Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019
Retail Electricity Segment
Total revenues for the Retail Electricity Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $367.0 million, a decrease of approximately $172.9 million, or 32%, from approximately $539.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was largely due to a decrease in volumes, resulting in a decrease of $194.2 million. This was partially offset by higher weighted average revenue rates, due to our customer mix shifting away from large commercial customers, which resulted in an increase of $21.3 million.
Retail cost of revenues for the Retail Electricity Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $241.7 million, a decrease of approximately $191.5 million, or 44%, from approximately $433.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily due to a decrease in volumes, resulting in a decrease of $152.2 million. This decrease was further impacted by decreased electricity prices, which resulted in a decrease in retail cost of revenues of $13.1 million and a decrease of $26.2 million due to a change in the value of our retail derivative portfolio used for hedging.
Retail gross margin for the Retail Electricity Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $109.1 million, a decrease of approximately $7.6 million, or 7%, from approximately $116.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions).
Change in volumes sold$(41.9)
Change in unit margin per MWh34.3 
Change in retail electricity segment retail gross margin$(7.6)
Retail Natural Gas Segment
Total revenues for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 were approximately $69.2 million, a decrease of approximately $16.2 million, or 19%, from approximately $85.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease in volumes of $16.3 million, partially offset by higher rates, which resulted in an increase in total revenues of $0.1 million.
Retail cost of revenues for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $27.8 million, a decrease of approximately $16.9 million, or 38%, from approximately $44.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. This decrease was due to decreased supply costs of $6.2 million, a decrease of $8.7 million related to decreased volumes, and a $2.0 million change in the fair value of our retail derivative portfolio used for hedging.
Retail gross margin for the Retail Natural Gas Segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $38.3 million, a decrease of approximately $1.5 million, or 4%, from approximately $39.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, as indicated in the table below (in millions).
Change in volumes sold$(7.6)
Change in unit margin per MMBtu6.1 
Change in retail natural gas segment retail gross margin$(1.5)
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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Overview

Our primary sources of liquidity are cash generated from operations and borrowings under our Senior Credit Facility. Our principal liquidity requirements are to meet our financial commitments, finance current operations, fund organic growth and/or acquisitions, service debt and pay dividends. Our liquidity requirements fluctuate with our level of customer acquisition costs, acquisitions, collateral posting requirements on our derivative instruments portfolio, distributions, the effects of the timing between the settlement of payables and receivables, including the effect of bad debts, weather conditions, and our general working capital needs for ongoing operations. We believe that cash generated from operations and our available liquidity sources will be sufficient to sustain current operations and to pay required taxes and quarterly cash distributions, including the quarterly dividends to the holders of the Class A common stock and the Series A Preferred Stock, for the next twelve months. Estimating our liquidity requirements is highly dependent on then-current market conditions, including impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, weather events, forward prices for natural gas and electricity, market volatility and our then existing capital structure and requirements.

We believe that the financing of any additional growth through acquisitions and/or the need for more liquidity in the remainder of 2020 may require further equity or debt financing and/or further expansion of our Senior Credit Facility.

Liquidity Position

The following table details our available liquidity as of September 30, 2020:
($ in thousands)September 30, 2020
Cash and cash equivalents$75,347 
Senior Credit Facility Availability (1)
55,733 
Subordinated Debt Facility Availability (2) (3)
25,000 
Total Liquidity$156,080 
(1) Reflects maximum cash availability or amount of Letters of Credit that could be issued based on existing covenants as of September 30, 2020.
(2) The accordion of the Senior Credit Facility was exercised on October 30, 2020 from $187.5 million, to $202.5 million, which will positively affect liquidity in future quarters.
(3) The availability of the Subordinated Facility is dependent on our Founder's willingness and ability to lend. See "—Sources of Liquidity and Capital Resources— Amended and Restated Subordinated Debt Facility."

Borrowings and related posting of letters of credit under our Senior Credit Facility are subject to material variations on a seasonal basis due to the timing of commodity purchases to satisfy natural gas inventory requirements and to meet customer demands during periods of peak usage. Additionally, borrowings are subject to borrowing base and covenant restrictions.

For further discussion of our Senior Credit Facility and the Subordinated Debt Facility, see Note 9 "Debt."

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Cash Flows

Our cash flows were as follows for the respective periods (in thousands):
  Nine Months Ended September 30,
  20202019Change
Net cash provided by operating activities$83,948 $77,085 $6,863 
Net cash used in investing activities$(1,219)$(6,490)$5,271 
Net cash used in financing activities$(65,017)$(76,651)$11,634 

Nine Months Ended September 30, 2020 Compared to the Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019

Cash Flows Provided by Operating Activities. Cash flows provided by operating activities for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 increased by $6.9 million compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The increase was primarily the result of higher net income in 2020, and changes in working capital for the nine months ended September 30, 2020.

Cash Flows Used in Investing Activities. Cash flows used in investing activities decreased by $5.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020. The decrease was primarily the result of the amount paid for acquisitions during the nine months ended September 30, 2019 with no corresponding acquisition payments during the nine months ended September 30, 2020.

Cash Flows Used in Financing Activities. Cash flows used in financing activities decreased by $11.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, primarily due to an $11.2 million payment to settle the TRA liability during the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and a payment of $2.0 million related to a Verde Promissory Note made during the nine months ended September 30, 2019, both of which did not reoccur during the nine months ended September 30, 2020.

Sources of Liquidity and Capital Resources

Senior Credit Facility

As of September 30, 2020, we had total commitments of $187.5 million under the Senior Credit Facility, of which $131.8 million was outstanding, including $31.8 million of outstanding letters of credit, with a maturity date of July 31, 2022.

On July 31, 2020, we entered into the Fourth Amendment, which, among other things, extended the maturity date of the Senior Credit Facility to July 31, 2022, and decreased the maximum borrowing capacity under the Senior Credit Facility to $187.5 million. The Fourth Amendment also revised the Fixed Charge Coverage Ratio, Maximum Total Leverage Ratio and Maximum Senior Secured Leverage Ratio (each as defined in the Senior Credit Facility), eliminated Bridge Loans, and provided for Share Buyback Loans of up to $80.0 million, which permit the Company to repurchase up to an aggregate of 8,000,000 shares of Class A common stock or $80.0 million of Series A Preferred Stock. Under the Senior Credit Facility, we have various limits on advances for Working Capital Loans, Letters of Credit and Share Buyback Loans. For a description of the terms and conditions of our Senior Credit Facility, as amended, including descriptions of the interest rate, commitment fee, covenants and terms of default, please see Note 9 "Debt" in the notes to our condensed consolidated financial statements.

On October 30, 2020, a new lender was added to the Senior Credit Facility, bringing total commitments under the Senior Credit Facility to $202.5 million.

As of September 30, 2020, we were in compliance with the covenants under our Senior Credit Facility. Based upon existing covenants as of September 30, 2020, we had availability to borrow up to $55.7 million under the Senior Credit Facility.
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Amended and Restated Subordinated Debt Facility

Our Subordinated Debt Facility allows us to draw advances in increments of no less than $1.0 million per advance up to $25.0 million. Although we may use the Subordinated Debt Facility from time to time to enhance short term liquidity, we do not view the Subordinated Debt Facility as a material source of liquidity. See Note 9 "Debt" for additional details. As of September 30, 2020, there was zero outstanding borrowings under the Subordinated Debt Facility, and availability to borrow up to $25.0 million under the Subordinated Debt Facility, dependent on our Founder's willingness and ability to lend.

Uses of Liquidity and Capital Resources

Repayment of Current Portion of Senior Credit Facility

Our Senior Credit Facility, as amended by the Fourth Amendment, matures in July 2022, and thus, no amounts are due currently. However, due to the revolving nature of the facility, excess cash available is generally used to reduce the balance outstanding, which at September 30, 2020 was $100.0 million. The current variable interest rate on the facility at September 30, 2020 was 3.75%.

Customer Acquisitions

Our customer acquisition strategy consists of customer growth obtained through organic customer additions as well as opportunistic acquisitions. During the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, we spent a total of $0.2 million and $4.4 million, respectively, on organic customer acquisitions.

Capital Expenditures

Our capital requirements each year are relatively low and generally consist of minor purchases of equipment or information system upgrades and improvements. Capital expenditures for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 included $1.2 million and $0.6 million, respectively, related to information systems improvements.

Dividends and Distributions

During the nine months ended September 30, 2020, we paid dividends to holders of our Class A common stock for the quarter ended December 31, 2019, March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020 of approximately $0.18125 per share for each dividend declaration or $7.9 million in the aggregate. In order to pay our stated dividends to holders of our Class A common stock, our subsidiary, Spark HoldCo is required to make corresponding distributions to holders of its units, including those holders that own our Class B common stock (our non-controlling interest holder). As a result, during the nine months ended September 30, 2020, Spark HoldCo made corresponding distributions of $11.3 million to our non-controlling interest holders.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, we paid $6.0 million related to dividends to holders of Series A Preferred Stock. As of September 30, 2020, we had accrued $1.9 million related to dividends to holders of our Series A Preferred Stock, which was paid on October 15, 2020. For the full year ended December 31, 2020, at the stated dividend rate of the Series A Preferred Stock of $2.1875 per share, we would be required to pay dividends of $7.9 million in the aggregate based on the Series A Preferred Stock outstanding as of September 30, 2020.

On October 19, 2020, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.18125 per share of the Class A common stock and $0.546875 for the Series A Preferred Stock for the third quarter of 2020. Dividends on Class A common stock will be paid on December 15, 2020 to the holders of record as of December 1, 2020, and Series A Preferred Stock dividends will be paid on January 15, 2021 to the holders of record as of January 1, 2021.

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Our ability to pay dividends in the future will depend on many factors, including potential impacts of COVID-19, the performance of our business and restrictions under our Senior Credit Facility. If our business does not generate sufficient cash for Spark HoldCo to make distributions to us to fund our Class A common stock and Series A Preferred Stock dividends, we may have to borrow to pay such amounts or temporarily suspend the dividends. Further, even if our business generates cash in excess of our current annual dividend (of $0.725 per share on our Class A common stock), we may reinvest such excess cash flows in our business and not increase the dividends payable to holders of our Class A common stock. Our future dividend policy is within the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon the results of our operations, our financial condition, capital requirements and investment opportunities.

Share Repurchase Program

On August 18, 2020, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $20.0 million of Class A common stock through August 18, 2021. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, we repurchased 45,148 shares of our Class A common stock at a weighted average price of $8.75 per share, for a total cost of $0.4 million. Please see “Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds” in Part II of this Form 10-Q.

Collateral Posting Requirements

Our contractual agreements with certain local regulated utilities and our supplier counterparties require us to maintain restricted cash balances or letters of credit as collateral for credit risk or the performance risk associated with the future delivery of natural gas or electricity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain local regulated utilities and our supplier counterparties have contacted us inquiring about our financial condition and the impact the pandemic is having on our operations. These inquiries may lead to additional requests for cash or letters of credit in an effort to mitigate the risk of default in paying our obligations related to the future delivery of natural gas or electricity. As of September 30, 2020, we have not been required to post additional collateral as a result of COVID-19. We have no way to predict what the local regulated utilities or our supplier counterparties may ask for in terms of additional collateral in the future, or how long any increased levels of collateral may endure. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.
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Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
As of September 30, 2020, we had no material "off-balance sheet arrangements."

Related Party Transactions

For a discussion of related party transactions, see Note 13 "Transactions with Affiliates" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our critical accounting policies and estimates are described in “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” in our 2019 Form 10-K. There have been no changes to these policies and estimates since the date of our 2019 Form 10-K.

Refer to Note 2 "Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report for a discussion on recent accounting pronouncements.
Contingencies
In the ordinary course of business, we may become party to lawsuits, administrative proceedings and governmental investigations, including regulatory and other matters. Except as described in Note 12 "Commitments and Contingencies" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report, as of September 30, 2020, management did not believe that any of our outstanding lawsuits, administrative proceedings or investigations could result in a material adverse effect. Liabilities for loss contingencies arising from claims, assessments, litigation, fines, penalties and other sources are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount can be reasonably estimated. For a discussion of the status of current legal and regulatory matters, see Note 12 "Commitments and Contingencies" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report.

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ITEM 3. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Market risks relating to our operations result primarily from changes in commodity prices and interest rates, as well as counterparty credit risk. We employ established risk management policies and procedures to manage, measure, and limit our exposure to these risks.
Commodity Price Risk

We hedge and procure our energy requirements from various wholesale energy markets, including both physical and financial markets and through short and long-term contracts. Our financial results are largely dependent on the margin we realize between the wholesale purchase price of natural gas and electricity plus related costs and the retail sales price we charge our customers for these commodities. We actively manage our commodity price risk by entering into various derivative or non-derivative instruments to hedge the variability in future cash flows from fixed-price forecasted sales and purchases of natural gas and electricity in connection with our retail energy operations. These instruments include forwards, futures, swaps, and option contracts traded on various exchanges, such as NYMEX and Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, as well as over-the-counter markets. These contracts have varying terms and durations, which range from a few days to several years, depending on the instrument. We also utilize similar derivative contracts in connection with our asset optimization activities to attempt to generate incremental gross margin by effecting transactions in markets where we have a retail presence. Generally, any such instruments that are entered into to support our retail electricity and natural gas business are categorized as having been entered into for non-trading purposes, and instruments entered into for any other purpose are categorized as having been entered into for trading purposes.

Our net gain (loss) on our non-trading derivative instruments, net of cash settlements, was $9.0 million and $25.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively and $19.1 million and $(9.1) million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

We have adopted risk management policies to measure and limit market risk associated with our fixed-price portfolio and our hedging activities. For additional information regarding our commodity price risk and our risk management policies, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in our 2019 Form 10-K.

We measure the commodity risk of our non-trading energy derivatives using a sensitivity analysis on our net open position. As of September 30, 2020, our Gas Non-Trading Fixed Price Open Position (hedges net of retail load) was a short position of 28,700 MMBtu. An increase of 10% in the market prices (NYMEX) from their September 30, 2020 levels would have decreased the fair market value of our net non-trading energy portfolio by less than $0.1 million. Likewise, a decrease of 10% in the market prices (NYMEX) from their September 30, 2020 levels would have increased the fair market value of our non-trading energy derivatives by less than $0.1 million. As of September 30, 2020, our Electricity Non-Trading Fixed Price Open Position (hedges net of retail load) was a short position of 179,410 MWhs. An increase of 10% in the forward market prices from their September 30, 2020 levels would have decreased the fair market value of our net non-trading energy portfolio by $1.4 million. Likewise, a decrease of 10% in the forward market prices from their September 30, 2020 levels would have increased the fair market value of our non-trading energy derivatives by $1.4 million.

Credit Risk

In many of the utility services territories where we conduct business, Purchase of Receivables ("POR programs") have been established, whereby the local regulated utility purchases our receivables, and becomes responsible for billing the customer and collecting payment from the customer. These POR programs result in substantially all of our credit risk being with the utility and not to our end-use customers in these territories. Approximately 64% and 68% of our retail revenues were derived from territories in which substantially all of our credit risk was with local regulated utility companies for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and 64% and 67% for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively all of which had investment grade ratings as of such date.
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We paid these local regulated utilities a weighted average discount of 1.4% and 0.9%, for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and 1.1% and 0.9% for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, respectively, of total revenues for customer credit risk protection. In certain of the POR markets in which we operate, the utilities limit their collections exposure by retaining the ability to transfer a delinquent account back to us for collection when collections are past due for a specified period.

If our collection efforts are unsuccessful, we return the account to the local regulated utility for termination of service to the extent the ability to terminate service has not been limited as a result of COVID-19. Under these service programs, we are exposed to credit risk related to payment for services rendered during the time between when the customer is transferred to us by the local regulated utility and the time we return the customer to the utility for termination of service, which is generally one to two billing periods. We may also realize a loss on fixed-price customers in this scenario as we will have already fully hedged the customer’s expected commodity usage for the life of the contract.

In non-POR markets (and in POR markets where we may choose to direct bill our customers), we manage customer credit risk through formal credit review in the case of commercial customers, and credit score screening, deposits and disconnection for non-payment, in the case of residential customers. Economic conditions (including impacts from COVID-19) may affect our customers’ ability to pay bills in a timely manner, which could increase customer delinquencies and may lead to an increase in bad debt expense. Our bad debt expense for the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was approximately 0.9% and 2.7% of non-POR market retail revenues, respectively, and our bad debt expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019 was approximately 2.0% and 3.4% of non-POR market retail revenues, respectively. See “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Drivers of Our Business—Customer Credit Risk” for an analysis of our bad debt expense related to non-POR markets during the nine months ended September 30, 2020.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused regulatory agencies and other governmental authorities to take, and potentially continue to take, emergency or other actions in light of the pandemic that may impact our customer credit risk, including prohibiting the termination of service for non-payment during the current COVID-19 pandemic, requiring deferred payment plans for certain customers unable to pay their bill, and utilities increasing POR fees they charge us in an effort to recoup their bad debts losses. Please see “Item 1A—Risk Factors” in this Report.
We are exposed to wholesale counterparty credit risk in our retail and asset optimization activities. We manage this risk at a counterparty level and secure our exposure with collateral or guarantees when needed. At September 30, 2020, less than $0.1 million of our total exposure of $1.6 million was either with a non-investment grade counterparty or otherwise not secured with collateral or a guarantee. The credit worthiness of the remaining exposure with other customers was evaluated with no material allowance recorded at September 30, 2020.
Interest Rate Risk
We are exposed to fluctuations in interest rates under our variable-price debt obligations. At September 30, 2020, we were co-borrowers under the Senior Credit Facility, under which $100.0 million of variable rate indebtedness was outstanding. Based on the average amount of our variable rate indebtedness outstanding during the three months ended September 30, 2020, a 1% increase in interest rates would have resulted in additional annual interest expense of approximately $1.0 million.
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ITEM 4. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, has evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures as of the end of the period covered by this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. The term “disclosure controls and procedures,” as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, means controls and other procedures of a company that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the SEC's rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive and principal financial officers or persons performing similar functions, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives, and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. Based on this evaluation, management concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of September 30, 2020 at the reasonable assurance level.

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

There was no change in our internal control over financial reporting identified in connection with the evaluation required by Rule 13a-15(d) and 15d-15(d) of the Exchange Act that occurred during the three months ended September 30, 2020 that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.


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PART II. OTHER INFORMATION

Item 1. Legal Proceedings.

See Note 12 "Commitments and Contingencies" to Part I, Item 1 of this Report, which is incorporated by reference into this Part II, Item 1, for a description of certain ligation, legal proceedings, and regulatory matters.


Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Security holders and potential investors in our securities should carefully consider the risk factors under "Item 1A— Risk Factors" in our 2019 Form 10-K and in our Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020. There has been no material change in our risk factors from those described in the 2019 Form 10-K, except as described below. The COVID-19 pandemic could increase the significance of the risks previously disclosed in our 2019 Form 10-K. Our description of risks are not the sole risks for investors. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We face risks related to health epidemics, pandemics and other outbreaks, including COVID-19.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation around the globe that continues to adversely impact economic activity and conditions worldwide. In particular, efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 have led to governmental shutdowns, business closures, and disruptions to supply chains and consumer behaviors around the world. The ultimate extent of such impact on our operations is unknown at this time. We are continuing to monitor developments involving our workforce, customers and suppliers and cannot predict whether COVID-19 will have a material impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations. However, an extended slowdown of the United States' economic growth, demand for commodities and/or material changes in governmental policy could result in lower economic growth and lower demand for natural gas and electricity in our key markets as well as the ability of various employees, customers, contractors, suppliers and other business partners to fulfill their obligations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We are subject to direct credit risk for certain customers who may fail to pay their bills as they become due.

We bear direct credit risk related to customers located in markets that have not implemented POR programs as well as indirect credit risk in those POR markets that pass collection efforts along to us after a specified non-payment period. As of September 30, 2020, customers in non-POR markets represented approximately 36% of our retail revenues. We generally have the ability to terminate contracts with customers in the event of non-payment, but in most states in which we operate we cannot disconnect their natural gas or electricity service. In POR markets where the local regulated utility has the ability to return non-paying customers to us after specified periods, we may realize a loss for several billing periods until we can terminate these customers’ contracts. We may also realize a loss on fixed-price customers in this scenario due to the fact that we will have already fully hedged the customer’s expected commodity usage for the life of the contract and we also remain liable to our suppliers of natural gas and electricity for the cost of our supply commodities. Furthermore, in the Texas market, we are responsible for billing the distribution charges for the local regulated utility and are at risk for these charges, in addition to the cost of the commodity, in the event customers fail to pay their bills. Changing economic factors, such as rising unemployment rates and energy prices also result in a higher risk of customers being unable to pay their bills when due.

In addition, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused regulatory agencies and other governmental authorities to take, and potentially continue to take, emergency or other actions in light of the pandemic that continue to impact us, including prohibiting the termination of service for non-payment during the current COVID-19 pandemic, requiring deferred payment plans for certain customers unable to pay their bill, and utilities increasing POR fees they charge us in an effort to recoup their bad debts losses. Because of the time lag between the delivery of
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electricity and natural gas, the issuance of an invoice, and the customer’s payment due date, there may be a substantial lag in time before we are able to determine specific trends in bad debt expense as a result of COVID-19. We are also monitoring other events that may have an impact on our credit risk, such as the expiration of unemployment benefits in September 2020 in many of our service territories. These actions taken by regulatory agencies and governmental authorities may impact our financial results, cash flow and liquidity and the duration of these changes are unknown. At this time, we are unable to predict the impact that this or other related events may have on our collection efforts due to non-payment.

Our financial results may be adversely impacted by weather conditions; changes in consumer demand.

Weather conditions directly influence the demand for and availability of natural gas and electricity and affect the prices of energy commodities. Generally, on most utility systems, demand for natural gas peaks in the winter and demand for electricity peaks in the summer. Typically, when winters are warmer or summers are cooler, demand for energy is lower than expected, resulting in less natural gas and electricity consumption than forecasted. When demand is below anticipated levels due to weather patterns, we may be forced to sell excess supply at prices below our acquisition cost, which could result in reduced margins or even losses.

Conversely, when winters are colder or summers are warmer, consumption may outpace the volumes of natural gas and electricity against which we have hedged, and we may be unable to meet increased demand with storage or swing supply. In these circumstances, we may experience reduced margins or even losses if we are required to purchase additional supply at higher prices. We may fail to accurately anticipate demand due to fluctuations in weather or to effectively manage our supply in response to a fluctuating commodity price environment.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced slight increases in residential demand, and slight decreases in C&I demand. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may experience changes in customer demand in future periods that we cannot fully anticipate. While not weather related, these changes in demand may lead us to experience financial gains and/or losses in much the same fashion as a weather event as the current circumstances make it more difficult to accurately predict demand. While we continue to conduct analytics on our customer base to anticipate these changes in demand, we cannot predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately impact our hedging strategy related to our load forecasts.

Our access to marketing channels may be contingent upon the viability of our telemarketing and door-to-door agreements with our vendors.

Our vendors are essential to our telemarketing and door-to-door sales activities. Our ability to increase revenues in the future will depend significantly on our access to high quality vendors. If we are unable to attract new vendors and retain existing vendors to achieve our marketing targets, our growth may be materially reduced. There can be no assurance that competitive conditions will allow these vendors and their independent contractors to continue to successfully sign up new customers. Further, if our products are not attractive to, or do not generate sufficient revenue for our vendors, we may lose our existing relationships. In addition, the decline in landlines reduces the number of potential customers that may be reached by our telemarketing efforts and as a result our telemarketing sales channel may become less viable and we may be required to use more door-to-door marketing. Door-to-door marketing is continually under scrutiny by state regulators and legislators, which may lead to new rules and regulations that impact our ability to use these channels.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain Public Utility Commissions, regulatory agencies, and other governmental authorities in most of our markets continue to maintain orders prohibiting energy services companies from door-to-door marketing, and in some cases telemarketing, during the pandemic, which has restricted some of the manners we use to market for organic sales. Since March 2020, the Company continues to hold off on active door-to-door marketing activities in all markets regardless of states' regulations.

During the three months ended September 30, 2020, we added approximately 12,000 RCEs through organic web sales and telemarketing activities. This amount was significantly lower than historical periods due to the marketing
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limitations discussed above, as well as an active decision to slow sales activities as we focus our efforts to improve our organic sales channels, including vendor selections and sales quality. As most markets continue to enforce a ban on door-to-door activities, and we are focused on rebuilding our sales infrastructure, we do not anticipate piloting door-to-door campaigns until late fourth quarter of 2020, but we will continue to market in the manners that are permitted. Although we expect to acquire less customers organically in future periods than we have historically while marketing restrictions are in place, which may cause our customer book to decrease, we are unable to predict the ultimate effect on our organic sales, financial results, cash flows, and liquidity at this time.

Any increased collateral requirements in connection with our supply activities may restrict our liquidity.

Our contractual agreements with certain local regulated utilities and our supplier counterparties require us to maintain restricted cash balances or letters of credit as collateral for credit risk or the performance risk associated with the future delivery of natural gas or electricity. These collateral requirements may increase as we grow our customer base. Collateral requirements will increase based on the volume or cost of the commodity we purchase in any given month and the amount of capacity or service contracted for with the local regulated utility. Significant changes in market prices also can result in fluctuations in the collateral that local regulated utilities or suppliers require.

In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain local regulated utilities and our supplier counterparties have contacted us inquiring about our financial condition and the impact the pandemic is having on our operations. These inquiries may lead to additional requests for cash or letters of credit in an effort to mitigate the risk of default in paying our obligations related to the future delivery of natural gas or electricity. As of September 30, 2020, we have not been required to post additional collateral as a result of COVID-19. We have no way to predict what the local regulated utilities or our supplier counterparties may ask for in terms of additional collateral in the future or how long any increased levels of collateral may endure.

The effectiveness of our operations and future growth depend in part on the amount of cash and letters of credit available to enter into or maintain these contracts. The cost of these arrangements may be affected by changes in credit markets, such as interest rate spreads in the cost of financing between different levels of credit ratings. Although we currently have ample liquidity to address any increased collateral requirements, these liquidity requirements may be greater than we anticipate or are able to meet.

Compliance with New York Public Service Commission Orders may adversely impact customer acquisition and renewal revenue and profitability

In December 2017, the New York Public Service Commission (“PSC”) held an evidentiary hearing to assess the retail energy market in New York. On September 18, 2020, the PSC issued an order adopting the changes to the New York retail energy market, with the product restrictions going into effect in 150 days, on February 15, 2021 (“2020 Order”). The 2020 Order limits the types of the services energy retailer marketers may offer new customers or renewals, in terms of pricing for non-renewable commodities and renewable product offerings. Although the Company is working to ensure that its products and services are fully compatible with the 2020 Order, such compliance may adversely impact customer acquisition and renewal revenue and profitability, and organic growth. The Company is evaluating its options and seeking additional clarity to the 2020 Order from the PSC.

Pursuant to our cash dividend policy, we distribute a portion of our cash through regular quarterly dividends on our Class A common stock and Series A Preferred Stock, and our ability to grow and make acquisitions with cash on hand could be limited.

Pursuant to our cash dividend policy, we have historically distributed and intend in the future to distribute, a portion of our cash through regular quarterly dividends to holders of our Class A common stock and dividends on our Series A Preferred Stock. As such, our growth may not be as fast as that of businesses that reinvest their available cash to expand ongoing operations, and we may have to rely upon external financing sources, including the issuance of debt, equity securities, convertible subordinated notes and borrowings under our Senior Credit Facility and
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Subordinated Facility. These sources may not be available, and our ability to grow and maintain our business may be limited.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may have liquidity needs that would prevent us from continuing our historical practice as it relates to the payment of dividends on our Class A common stock and Series A Preferred Stock. The primary factors that would lead to a change in the dividend policy would be decreased liquidity due to a decreasing customer book, bad debt associated with the policies adopted by state and regulatory authorities, and increased collateral requirements from suppliers. At this time, we cannot predict the impact the pandemic will have on our ability to continue to pay shareholder dividends.

We cannot guarantee that our Repurchase Program will enhance shareholder value and purchases, if any, could increase the volatility of the price of our Class A Common Stock.

Our Board of Directors has authorized a repurchase program, which permits us to purchase our Class A common stock through August 18, 2021 (the “Common Stock Repurchase Program”). The Common Stock Repurchase Program does not obligate us to purchase any particular amount of Class A common stock. The specific timing and amount of purchases, if any, will depend upon several factors, including ongoing assessments of capital needs, the market price of the Class A common stock, and other factors, including general market conditions. There can be no assurance that we will make future purchases of Class A common stock or that we will purchase a sufficient number of shares to satisfy market expectations.
Purchases of our Class A common stock could affect the market price and increase volatility of our Class A common stock. We cannot provide any assurance that purchases under the Common Stock Repurchase Program will be made at the best possible price. Additionally, purchases under our Common Stock Repurchase Program could diminish our cash reserves or increase borrowings under our Senior Credit Facility or Subordinated Facility, which may impact our ability to finance future growth and to pursue possible future strategic opportunities and acquisitions. Although our Common Stock Repurchase Program is intended to enhance long-term shareholder value, there is no assurance that it will do so.
We are permitted to and could discontinue our Common Stock Repurchase Program prior to its expiration or completion. The existence of the Common Stock Repurchase Program could cause our Class A common stock price to be higher than it would be in the absence of such a program, and any such discontinuation could cause the market price of our Class A common stock to decline.


Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds.

The following table sets forth information regarding purchases of our Class A common stock by us during the three months ended September 30, 2020. Stock purchases may be made in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions based on ongoing assessments of capital needs, the market price of the Class A common stock, and other factors, including general market conditions. The share buyback program does not obligate us to acquire any specific dollar amount or number of shares of Class A common stock, and it may be terminated prior to completion.

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PeriodTotal Number of Class A Common Stock PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per Share of Class A Common Stock
Total Number of Class A Common Stock Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Program (1)
Approximate Dollar Value of Class A Common Stock That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Program (in thousands) (1)
July 1, 2020 - July 31, 2020— $— — $— 
August 1, 2020 - August 31, 2020 (2)
38,888 $8.78 38,888 $19,658 
September 1 - September 30, 2020 (2)
6,260 $8.55 6,260 $19,605 
Total45,148 $8.75 45,148 $19,605 

(1) On August 18, 2020, the Company announced that the Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $20.0 million of Class A common stock through August 18, 2021.
(2) During August and September 2020, the Company acquired 45,148 shares of common stock at a weighted-average price of $8.75 for a total purchase price of $0.4 million (including fees, commissions and expenses). The number of shares of Class A common stock purchased reflects trades that were executed and settled during the month.




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Item 6. Exhibits

The exhibits required to be filed by Item 6 are set forth in the Exhibit Index included below.

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INDEX TO EXHIBITS
  Incorporated by Reference
ExhibitExhibit DescriptionFormExhibit NumberFiling DateSEC File No.
2.1#10-Q2.15/5/2016001-36559
2.2#10-Q2.25/5/2016001-36559
2.3#8-K2.18/1/2016001-36559
2.4#10-Q2.45/8/2017001-36559
2.58-K2.17/6/2017001-36559
2.6#8-K2.11/16/2018001-36559
2.7#10-K2.73/9/2018001-36559
2.8#8-K2.110/25/2018001-36559
2.910-Q2.98/5/2020001-36559
3.18-K3.18/4/2014001-36559
3.28-K3.28/4/2014001-36559
3.38-A53/14/2017001-36559
4.1S-14.16/30/2014333-196375
10.1#10-Q10.18/5/2020001-36559
10.2*
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31.1*
31.2*
32**
101.INS*XBRL Instance Document – the instance document does not appear in the Interactive Data File because its XBRL tags are embedded within the Inline XBRL
101.SCH*Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document.
101.CAL*Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document.
101.LAB*Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document.
101.PRE*Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document.
101.DEF*Inline XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document.
104*Cover Page Interactive Data File (formatted as Inline XBRL and contained in Exhibit 101.INS)

* Filed herewith
** Furnished herewith
# Certain schedules, exhibits and annexes have been omitted in reliance on Item 601 (a)(5) of Regulation S-K, the registrant agrees to furnish supplementally a copy of any omitted schedule, exhibit or annex to the Commission upon request
Compensatory plan or arrangement


SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
Spark Energy, Inc.
November 4, 2020/s/ James G. Jones II
James G. Jones II
Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer)


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