J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Business Customer Satisfaction with Electric Utility Companies Declines, Despite Improved Communications to Businesses during Power Outages
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Business customer satisfaction with electric utility communications increases, while overall satisfaction declines, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study (SM )released today.
The study is based on interviews with representatives of more than 25,700 U.S. businesses that spend at least $250 monthly on electricity. More than 90 utility brands serving a total of more than 11.7 million business customers are included in the study. Overall customer satisfaction is measured by examining six factors: power quality and reliability; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; and customer service.
Overall satisfaction among electric utility business customers averages 647 (on a 1,000-point scale), decreasing by 10 points from 2012. Satisfaction decreases in all factors except communications, which increases by four points year over year. The largest decreases in satisfaction are in customer service (down18 points); corporate citizenship (down18); and billing and payment (down15).
“Even with the multiple weather events and an increase in the average outage time, satisfaction with power quality and reliability has decreased only three points,” said John Hazen, senior director of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “In addition to customer service, the area in which utilities are facing significant criticism is in corporate citizenship, where business customers are critical of utility efforts to develop energy supply plans for the future as well as utilities showing business leadership in local communities.”
However, positively impacting satisfaction with power quality and reliability, electric utility companies are demonstrating new ways to ensure open lines of communication with their customers by offering service outage updates via text messaging, social media and email, which yield significantly higher satisfaction levels than any other outage communication type.
In addition to providing information through multiple channels, electric utility companies are also proactively communicating with their business customers during outages, which positively impacts satisfaction as well. Power quality and reliability satisfaction among the 11 percent of business customers who received proactive communications from their utility during an outage is 754, compared with 654 among those who received no communications from their utility.
Within each of the four geographic regions included in the study, utility providers are classified into one of two segments: large (serving 85,000 or more business customers) and midsize (serving between 25,000 and 84,999 business customers). Rankings within each region and segment are as follows:
PPL Electric Utilities ranks highest among large electric utility providers in the East Region with a score of 664. Among midsize electric utilities in the East Region, Central Maine Power (654) ranks highest for the second consecutive year.
In the Midwest Region, We Energies (669) ranks highest among large electric utilities, while Indianapolis Power & Light Company ranks highest among midsize brands with a score of 676.
Georgia Power (695) ranks highest among large utilities in the South Region. Among midsize electric utilities, Entergy Texas ranks highest with a score of 687.
Portland General Electric (694) ranks highest among large electric utilities in the West Region. Among midsize electric utility providers, Seattle City Light ranks highest (689).
The 2013 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 25,700 online interviews with business customers of the 95 largest utility brands throughout the United States. The study was fielded from April through June 2012 and September through December 2012.
Customer Satisfaction Index Scores (Based on a 1,000-point scale) East Region: Large Segment PPL Electric Utilities 664 Con Edison 639 Jersey Central Power & Light 639 NYSEG 638 PSE&G 638 BGE 626 National Grid 623 East Large Segment Average 623 NSTAR 619 PECO 614 Appalachian Power 600 Connecticut Light & Power 578 Long Island Power Authority 540 East Region: Midsize Segment Central Maine Power 654 Penelec 643 Central Hudson Gas & Electric 638 Duquesne Light 636 Rochester Gas & Electric 636 West Penn Power 636 Delmarva Power 629 Atlantic City Electric 623 East Midsize Segment Average 621 Public Service of New Hampshire 615 Met-Ed 614 Potomac Edison 609 Orange & Rockland 600 United Illuminating 582 Pepco 563 NOTE: Included in the study but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Mon Power Midwest Region: Large Segment We Energies 669 Ohio Edison 662 Alliant Energy 661 Xcel Energy-Midwest 660 DTE Energy 652 Ameren Missouri 644 KCP&L 644 Midwest Large Segment Average 642 Duke Energy-Midwest 638 Ameren Illinois 637 Consumers Energy 631 AEP Ohio 627 ComEd 623 Midwest Region: Midsize Segment Indianapolis Power & Light Company 676 Omaha Public Power District 675 MidAmerican Energy 674 Kentucky Utilities 657 Midwest Midsize Segment Average 647 Louisville Gas & Electric 646 Wisconsin Public Service 646 Westar Energy 639 Dayton Power & Light 638 Indiana Michigan Power 636 The Illuminating Company 636 NIPSCO 616 Toledo Edison 612 South Region: Large Segment Georgia Power 695 Alabama Power 689 Dominion Virginia Power 675 South Carolina Electric & Gas 672 Entergy Louisiana 669 South Large Segment Average 669 OG&E 668 Florida Power & Light 664 Duke Energy-Carolinas 662 Progress Energy Carolinas 661 Entergy Arkansas 647 Progress Energy Florida 645 South Region: Midsize Segment Entergy Texas 687 CPS Energy 681 OUC 663 Xcel Energy-South 659 Southwestern Electric Power 658 Gulf Power 656 South Midsize Segment Average 653 NES 649 Tampa Electric 647 Entergy Mississippi 645 Public Service Co. of Oklahoma 645 Austin Energy 639 JEA 619 MLGW 580 NOTE: Included in the study but not ranked due to insufficient sample size are: Cleco power, Mississippi Power and Santee Cooper West Region: Large Segment Portland General Electric 694 SRP 684 APS 680 Southern California Edison 670 San Diego Gas & Electric 659 West Large Segment Average 657 Rocky Mountain Power 655 Pacific Gas and Electric 654 Pacific Power 642 NV Energy 637 Puget Sound Energy 637 Xcel Energy-West 636 L.A. Dept. of Water & Power 630 West Region: Midsize Segment Seattle City Light 689 SMUD 678 Avista 672 Idaho Power 665 Snohomish County PUD 661 Tucson Electric Power 658 West Midsize Segment Average 657 NorthWestern Energy 647 PNM 625 El Paso Electric 622
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company’s leading brands will include: Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.
J.D. Power and Associates Media Contacts:
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations: Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818) 598-1115; firstname.lastname@example.org
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; email@example.com
Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.
SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates