2014

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Satisfaction Among Residential Electric Utility Customers Increases Due to Perceptions of Fewer Outages and Lower Bill Amounts Delivery of Key Performance Indicators Substantially Affects Overall Customer Satisfaction

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Residential customers of electric utility providers indicate that their monthly electric bill amounts have declined and power reliability has improved from 2009, resulting in a notable increase in overall satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

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The study measures customer satisfaction with electric utility companies by examining six key factors: power quality and reliability; price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; and customer service.

Residential customer satisfaction with utility companies averages 630 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010—increasing from 618 in 2009. In 2010, customer-reported bill amounts have decreased by 5 percent from 2009. Power reliability has also improved, with customer-reported service interruptions decreasing by 8 percent. Overall, 37 percent of customers indicate experiencing no power interruptions in 2010, compared with 33 percent in 2009.

When outages do occur, utility companies are doing a better job of communicating with their customers about power restoration, as well as meeting estimated restoration times in 2010, compared with 2009.

"Utility companies are continuing to improve when it comes to managing customer expectations around power outages and restoration of service," said Jeff Conklin, senior director of the energy and utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Even though outages can have a negative impact on satisfaction, utility providers who manage these incidents properly—by providing sufficiently detailed information about the outage and restoring power when they say they will—may be able to mitigate declines, or even improve satisfaction."

The study finds that 11 percent of customers have contacted their utility company regarding an overdue bill amount. While overall satisfaction is particularly low among these customers (611, on average), efforts taken by utility companies to assist customers with their bills may substantially raise satisfaction. In particular, among customers whose utility companies waived their late payment fees, satisfaction averages 704—well above the industry average, and also higher than satisfaction among customers who didn't have an overdue balance (634, on average).

Fulfilling key performance indicators may have a substantial positive impact on customer satisfaction with electric utility companies. In particular, among customers who say that their utility delivered on five key performance indicators—such as making customers aware of community outreach activities and conservation programs—satisfaction averages nearly 275 points higher than satisfaction among customers whose utilities performed only one key indicator.

The study also finds that fewer than one in six residential customers say they are aware of actions taken by their utility to implement smart grid and smart meter technology. While overall awareness of utility actions to implement smart grid technology is relatively low, awareness has increased slightly during the past year, from 12 percent in July and August 2009 to 16 percent in April and May 2010.

However, when residential customers are aware of smart electricity technology and their utility's actions around it, overall satisfaction with the utility company increases notably. This presents an important opportunity for utility companies seeking to increase customer satisfaction, which often has significant bearing on rate case decisions.

The study ranks large and midsize utility companies in four geographic regions: East, Midwest, South and West. Companies in the midsize utility segments serve between 125,000 and 499,999 residential customers, while companies in the large utility segment serve 500,000 or more residential customers.

East Region

Among large utilities in the East region, Central Maine Power ranks highest for a third consecutive year. Following in the segment rankings are PPL Electric Utilities and Public Service Electric and Gas, respectively.

In the East region midsize utility segment, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative ranks highest for a third consecutive year, followed by Rochester Gas & Electric and Central Vermont Public Service, respectively.

Midwest Region

MidAmerican Energy ranks highest among large utility companies in the Midwest region for a third consecutive year. Xcel Energy—Midwest follows MidAmerican Energy, while KCP&L ranks third in the segment.

Omaha Public Power District ranks highest among midsize utility companies in the Midwest region and receives an award in the study for a 10th consecutive year. Following Omaha Public Power District in the segment are Indianapolis Power and Light and Kentucky Utilities, in a tie.

South Region

Duke Energy—Carolinas ranks highest among large utility companies in the South region. Following Duke Energy—Carolinas in the rankings are Oklahoma Gas and Electric and CPS Energy, respectively.

Jackson EMC ranks highest among midsize utility companies in the South region, followed by NOVEC and Santee Cooper, respectively.

West Region

Salt River Project ranks highest in the West region large utility segment and receives an award in the study for a ninth consecutive year. Following Salt River Project in the segment rankings are Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Portland General Electric, respectively.

Clark Public Utilities ranks highest among midsize utility companies in the West region for a third consecutive year, followed by Tacoma Power and Intermountain Rural Electric Association, respectively.

The 2010 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 85,000 online interviews conducted from July 2009 through May 2010 among residential customers of the 121 largest electric utility brands across the United States, which collectively represent more than 93 million households.

Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking


East Region: Large Segment


(Based on a 1,000-point scale)


Central Maine Power

646

PPL Electric Utilities

630

Public Service Electric and Gas

620

PECO Energy

619

Allegheny Power

617

Penelec

612

NSTAR

609

Jersey Central Power & Light

607

East Large Segment Average

605

Duquesne Light

602

New York State Electric & Gas

602

Baltimore Gas and Electric

600

Pepco

600

National Grid

599

Con Edison Company of New York

595

Appalachian Power

584

Long Island Power Authority

581

Connecticut Light & Power

579



East Region: Midsize Segment


Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative

662

Rochester Gas & Electric

635

Central Vermont Public Service

624

Met-Ed

612

Penn Power

611

Atlantic City Electric

608

East Midsize Segment Average

607

Public Service of New Hampshire

604

Western Massachusetts Electric

603

Delmarva Power

597

Orange & Rockland

591

United Illuminating

584

Central Hudson Gas & Electric

579



Midwest Region: Large Segment


MidAmerican Energy

687

Xcel Energy—Midwest

656

KCP&L

655

We Energies

653

Alliant Energy

646

Duke Energy—Midwest

632

Indiana Michigan Power

630

Westar Energy

625

Midwest Large Segment Average

624

AmerenUE

621

Detroit Edison

621

Ohio Edison

617

Consumers Energy

611

AEP Ohio

608

ComEd

605

Ameren Illinois Utilities

599

The Illuminating Company

599



Midwest Region: Midsize Segment


Omaha Public Power District

693

Indianapolis Power & Light

656

Kentucky Utilities

656

Wisconsin Public Service

646

Louisville Gas & Electric

638

Midwest Midsize Segment Average

629

Dayton Power & Light

608

Toledo Edison

601

Empire District Electric

587

NIPSCO

587

Vectren

586

Kentucky Power

584



South Region: Large Segment


Duke Energy—Carolinas  

656

Oklahoma Gas and Electric

655

CPS Energy

654

Progress Energy Carolinas

651

Georgia Power

650

Alabama Power

647

Florida Power & Light

645

South Large Segment Average

640

Dominion Virginia Power

636

Entergy Louisiana

634

South Carolina Electric & Gas

632

Entergy Arkansas

611

Tampa Electric

610

Progress Energy Florida

598



South Region: Midsize Segment


Jackson EMC

707

NOVEC

690

Santee Cooper

688

SECO Energy

684

Sawnee EMC

682

Clay Electric Cooperative

676

Southwestern Electric Power

665

Mississippi Power

659

Xcel Energy—South

658

EPB

656

Austin Energy

650

Pedernales Electric

650

Middle Tennessee EMC

649

Entergy Mississippi

648

Gulf Power

647

Huntsville Utilities

645

Orlando Utilities Commission

645

South Midsize Segment Average

643

Entergy Texas

635

Cobb EMC

632

Nashville Electric Service

632

Cleco Power

630

Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative

630

Knoxville Utilities Board

627

Public Service Co. of Oklahoma

615

JEA

602

Lee County Electric Cooperative

602

Memphis Light, Gas & Water

599



West Region: Large Segment


Salt River Project

708

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

691

Portland General Electric

677

APS

661

Southern California Edison

658

Rocky Mountain Power

651

West Large Segment Average

648

Pacific Power

645

Puget Sound Energy

645

San Diego Gas & Electric

644

Pacific Gas and Electric

643

Xcel Energy—West

627

L. A. Dept. of Water & Power

609

NV Energy

607



West Region: Midsize Segment


Clark Public Utilities

720

Tacoma Power

665

Intermountain Rural Electric Assoc.

664

Colorado Springs Utilities

663

Seattle City Light

662

Snohomish County PUD

657

Idaho Power

656

Tucson Electric Power

654

West Midsize Segment Average

652

Avista

648

El Paso Electric

646

PNM

634

NorthWestern Energy

615



About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  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

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.  

Media Relations Contacts:

Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Malibu, Calif.; (818) 317-3070; jperlman@brandwaregroup.com

Syvetril Perryman; J.D. Power and Associates; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.com



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. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates



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