Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Reaches 8-Year High in J.D. Power Study

Improved Customer Communications, Corporate Citizenship and Price Satisfaction Drive Gains; Six of Eight Highest-Ranked Providers New to Top of the Rankings

Jan 13, 2016, 08:00 ET from J.D. Power

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Business customer satisfaction with their electric utility is up substantially year over year, with significant improvements in communications, corporate citizenship and price satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction StudySM  released today.    

The study, now in its 17th year, measures satisfaction among business customers of 102 targeted U.S. electric utilities, each of which serves more than 25,000 business customers. In aggregate, these utilities provide electricity to more than 12 million customers. Overall satisfaction is examined across six factors (listed in order of importance): power quality and reliability; corporate citizenship; price; billing and payment; communications; and customer service. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Overall satisfaction among electric utility business customers is 704 in 2016, a significant increase from 677 in 2015 and the highest level in eight years. Performance improvement in 2016 is driven by a sharp year-over-year rise in satisfaction with communications (+55 points), corporate citizenship (+45) and price (+43).

"Communication and corporate citizenship are important to businesses," said John Hazen, director of the energy practice at J.D. Power.  "Providers are doing a better job of proactively communicating with their business customers not only during an outage, but also on a regular basis to keep them informed of things such as energy programs offered, and to gather customer feedback."

Hazen noted that corporate citizenship demonstrates that a provider is an active business partner in the community. "Business customers like to see their provider giving back, whether it's through charities and civic organizations or through economic development such as buying locally and creating jobs," said Hazen.  "Price is important to business customers, but not as critical as it is to residential customers."

Study Rankings
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).

Among the eight providers that rank highest in their respective regions, only two—Omaha Public Power District in the Midwest region's midsize utility segment and SRP (Salt River Project) in the West region's large utility segment—also ranked highest in 2015.

"There are 53 ranked providers with an overall satisfaction score above 700 this year," said Hazen, who noted that in 2014 only four providers achieved scores of 700 or higher. "This clearly demonstrates that when providers make an investment in customer satisfaction and put in the effort, they can improve their customers' experiences."

The following utilities rank highest in business customer satisfaction in their respective regions:

  • East Large: Con Edison
  • East Midsize: Met-Ed
  • Midwest Large: Ameren Missouri
  • Midwest Midsize: Omaha Public Power District
  • South Large: Entergy Arkansas
  • South Midsize: JEA
  • West Large: SRP
  • West Midsize: SMUD

KEY FINDINGS

  • A Partner in Power: Overall satisfaction among businesses with an assigned account manager at their utility is more than 100 points higher than among those that do not have an account manager.
  • Billing Alerts Avoid the Blues: Billing and payment satisfaction averages 708 among the 37% of businesses that indicate they do not receive billing and payment alerts from their utility provider. Satisfaction is 776 when providers send an alert when a bill is due or overdue and jumps to 798 when they send customers confirmation that their payment was received.
  • Twice the Contact, but Lower Resolution: Regardless of the contact channel, twice as many business customers contact their electric utility provider twice as often as residential customers, yet their rate of problem resolution is lower than residential customers. For example, 48% of business customers contact their provider via telephone, compared with 23% of residential customers; however, the problem resolution rate over the phone is only 67% among businesses, compared with 71% among residential customers.
  • Awareness of Product and Services Important to Satisfaction: The more utility products and services customers are aware of, the higher their overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among customers who are aware of 10 or more products and services is 768 and drops to 704 among those who are aware of only four or five. When customers are not aware of any of their provider's offerings, satisfaction plummets to 603.

The 2016 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more 21,000 online interviews with business customers who spend at least $200 monthly on electricity. The study was fielded from March through June 2015 and July through November 2015.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)                           


East Region: Large Segment


Con Edison

728

PPL Electric Utilities

726

PSE&G

702

PECO

689

East Large Average

689

Jersey Central Power & Light

687

BGE

683

Appalachian Power

680

NYSEG

679

National Grid

670

Eversource Energy

655

PSEG Long Island

631



East Region: Midsize Segment


Met-Ed

720

Pepco

711

Delmarva Power

707

Duquesne Light

707

Penelec

704

Central Maine Power

693

East Midsize Average

685

West Penn Power

680

Rochester Gas & Electric

663

United Illuminating

651

Atlantic City Electric

644

Note: Included in the study, but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Central Hudson Gas & Electric,
Green Mountain Power, Mon Power, Orange & Rockland  and Potomac Edison.

 



Midwest Region: Large Segment


Ameren Missouri

723

KCP&L

722

DTE Energy

719

Xcel Energy - Midwest

714

Ameren Illinois

709

Duke Energy-Midwest

708

We Energies

707

Ohio Edison

703

Midwest Large Average

702

MidAmerican Energy

701

ComEd

698

Alliant Energy

697

AEP Ohio

675

Consumers Energy

664



Midwest Region: Midsize Segment


Omaha Public Power District

746

Kentucky Utilities

728

Indianapolis Power & Light

721

The Illuminating Company

715

WPS

711

Louisville Gas & Electric

703

Midwest Midsize Average

697

Dayton Power & Light

682

Westar Energy

682

NIPSCO

671

Indiana Michigan Power

642

Note: Included in the study, but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Kentucky Power,
Otter Tail Power and Toledo Edison.

 



South Region: Large Segment


Entergy Arkansas

752

Alabama Power

746

Florida Power & Light

743

Duke Energy-Carolinas

728

South Large Average

723

Georgia Power

718

OG&E

709

South Carolina Electric & Gas

709

Dominion Virginia Power

708

Entergy Louisiana

706

Duke Energy-Progress

703

Duke Energy-Florida

690



South Region: Midsize Segment


JEA

754

NES

734

OUC

734

CPS Energy

722

Entergy Mississippi

721

Entergy Texas

717

Gulf Power

712

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma

708

South Midsize Average

705

Tampa Electric

696

MLGW

671

Austin Energy

669

Southwestern Electric Power

645

Note: Included in the study, but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Cleco Power,
Middle Tennessee EMC, Mississippi Power, Santee Cooper and Xcel Energy-South.

 



West Region: Large Segment


SRP

747

Rocky Mountain Power

736

Puget Sound Energy

735

Pacific Power

722

Portland General Electric

720

Southern California Edison

715

APS

713

West Large Average

713

Pacific Gas and Electric

709

San Diego Gas & Electric

703

NV Energy

702

Xcel Energy - West

698

L. A. Dept. of Water & Power

693



West Region: Midsize Segment


SMUD

754

Seattle City Light

738

West Midsize Average

700

Avista

691

NorthWestern Energy

680

Idaho Power

677

PNM

676

Tucson Electric Power

666

Note: Included in the study, but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Colorado Springs Utilities,
El Paso Electric and Snohomish County PUD.

 


Award-Eligible Electric Utility Providers Included in the Study

Company Name

Executive Name

Company Headquarters

AEP Ohio

Nicholas Akins

Columbus, Ohio

Alabama Power

Mark Crosswhite

Birmingham, Ala.

Alliant Energy

Patricia Kampling

Madison, Wis.

Ameren Illinois

Richard J. Mark

St. Louis, Mo.

Ameren Missouri

Michael L. Moehn

St. Louis, Mo.

Appalachian Power

Nicholas Akins

Columbus, Ohio

APS

Donald Brandt

Phoenix, Ariz.

Atlantic City Electric

David Velazquez

Newark, Del.

Austin Energy

Larry Weis

Austin, Texas

Avista

Scott Morris

Spokane, Wash.

BGE

Calvin Butler

Baltimore, Md.

Central Maine Power

Sara Burns

Augusta, Maine

ComEd

Anne Pramaggiore

Chicago, Ill.

Con Edison

John McAvoy

New York, N.Y.

Consumers Energy

John Russell

Jackson, Mich.

CPS Energy

Paula Gold-Williams

San Antonio, Texas

Dayton Power & Light

Tom Raga

Dayton, Ohio

Delmarva Power

David Velazquez

Newark, Del.

Dominion Virginia Power

Thomas Farrell

Richmond, Va.

DTE Energy

Gerard Anderson

Detroit, Mich.

Duke Energy-Carolinas

Lynn Good

Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy-Florida

Lynn Good

Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy-Midwest

Lynn Good

Charlotte, N.C.

Duke Energy-Progress

Lynn Good

Charlotte, N.C.

Duquesne Light

Richard Riazzi

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Entergy Arkansas

Leo Denault

New Orleans, La.

Entergy Louisiana

Leo Denault

New Orleans, La.

Entergy Mississippi

Leo Denault

New Orleans, La.

Entergy Texas

Leo Denault

New Orleans, La.

Eversource Energy

Thomas May

Springfield, Mass.

Florida Power & Light

Eric Silagy

Juno Beach, Fla.

Georgia Power

Paul Bowers

Atlanta, Ga.

Gulf Power

Stanley Connally

Pensacola, Fla.

Idaho Power

Darrel Anderson

Boise, Idaho

Indiana Michigan Power

Nicholas Akins

Columbus, Ohio

Indianapolis Power & Light

Kenneth Zagzebski

Indianapolis, Ind.

JEA

Paul McElroy

Jacksonville, Fla.

Jersey Central Power & Light

Charles Jones

Akron, Ohio

KCP&L

Terry Bassham

Kansas City, Mo.

Kentucky Utilities

Victor Staffieri

Lexington, Ky.

L. A. Dept. of Water & Power

Marcie L. Edwards

Los Angeles, Calif.

Louisville Gas & Electric

Victor Staffieri

Louisville, Ky.

Met-Ed

Charles Jones

Akron, Ohio

MidAmerican Energy

William Fehrman

Des Moines, Iowa

MLGW

Jerry Collins

Memphis, Tenn.

National Grid

Steven Holliday

London, England

NES

Decosta Jenkins

Nashville, Tenn.

NIPSCO

Jimmie Stanley

Merrillville, Ind.

NorthWestern Energy

Robert Rowe

Sioux Falls, S.D.

NV Energy

Paul Caudill

Las Vegas, Nev.

NYSEG

Robert D. Kump

Binghamton, N.Y.

OG&E

Peter Delaney

Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ohio Edison

Charles Jones

Akron, Ohio

Omaha Public Power District

Timothy Burke

Omaha, Neb.

OUC

Kenneth Ksionek

Orlando, Fla.

Pacific Gas and Electric

Anthony F. Earley, Jr.

San Francisco, Calif.

Pacific Power

Stefan Bird

Portland, Ore.

PECO

Craig Adams

Philadelphia, Pa.

Penelec

Charles Jones

Akron, Ohio

Pepco

Joseph Rigby

Washington, D.C.

PNM

Patricia Vincent-Collawn

Albuquerque, N.M.

Portland General Electric

James Piro

Portland, Ore.

PPL Electric Utilities

Gregory Dudkin

Allentown, Pa.

PSE&G

Ralph Izzo

Newark, N.J.

PSEG Long Island

Ralph Izzo

Newark, N.J.

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma

Nicholas Akins

Columbus, Ohio

Puget Sound Energy

Kimberly Harris

Bellevue, Wash.

Rochester Gas & Electric

Robert D. Kump

Rochester, N.Y.

Rocky Mountain Power

Cindy Crane

Salt Lake City, Utah

San Diego Gas & Electric

Jeffrey Martin

San Diego, Calif.

Seattle City Light

Jim Baggs

Seattle, Wash.

SMUD

Arlen Orchard

Sacramento, Calif.

South Carolina Electric & Gas

Kevin Marsh

Cayce, S.C.

Southern California Edison

Pedro J. Pizarro

Rosemead, Calif.

Southwestern Electric Power

Nicholas Akins

Columbus, Ohio

SRP

Mark Bonsall

Tempe, Ariz.

Tampa Electric

John Ramil

Tampa, Fla.

The Illuminating Company

Charles Jones

Akron, Ohio

Tucson Electric Power

David Hutchens

Tucson, Ariz.

United Illuminating

Robert D. Kump

New Haven, Conn.

We Energies

Gale Klappa

Milwaukee, Wis.

West Penn Power

Paul Evanson

Greensburg, Pa.

Westar Energy

Mark Ruelle

Topeka, Kan.

WPS

Gale Klappa

Milwaukee, Wisc.

Xcel Energy - Midwest

Benjamin Fowke

Minneapolis, Minn.

Xcel Energy - West

Benjamin Fowke

Minneapolis, Minn.

 

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

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