J.D. Power Reports: Customers of Texas Retail Electric Providers Are More Satisfied Than Customers of Regulated Utilities, Driven Primarily by Price Champion Energy Services Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Texas Residential Retail Electric Providers for a Fourth Consecutive Year

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Price is the primary reason that satisfaction is higher among customers who use a Texas retail electric provider than among those who use a regulated utility, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Texas Residential Retail Electric Provider Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today.

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The study, now in its sixth year, measures customer satisfaction with retail electric service providers in Texas by examining six key factors (listed in order of importance): price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; enrollment/renewal; and customer service.

Overall satisfaction among customers of retail residential electric providers (REPs) in Texas is 682 (on a 1,000-point scale), an increase of 4 points from 2012. This is the highest score since the study was first published in 2008.

Customer satisfaction with price, a primary driver of satisfaction in the study, increases 20 points to 684 from 2012. The average perceived price per kilowatt hour (kWh) has declined to 10.4 cents in 2013 from 10.7 cents in 2012. Texas electric retail providers outperform regulated utilities in Texas by 114 points in the price factor (684 vs. 570, respectively).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Customer satisfaction with price increases 20 points to 684 from 2012. 
  • Price satisfaction is highest among customers whose residential electric provider makes them aware of energy-savings measures available.
  • Corporate citizenship and enrollment/renewal, two new factors in the 2013 study, premiere as important influencers of customer satisfaction.

"Deregulation of the residential electric market in Texas opened the doors to healthy price competition and also focused residential customers on finding the cost savings and service programs that match their needs," said Chris Oberle, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power. "Satisfaction isn't just about price. Retail electric providers must stay connected to their customers with clear, frequent and effective communications and quality customer touch points, including billing and payment, customer service, corporate citizenship, enrollment and beyond, to achieve a premier provider position."

Satisfaction with the effectiveness of communications has risen to a high of 638 in 2013 from 2008. The frequency and recall of communications by electric retailers play an increasingly important role in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is 717 among customers who recall communications from their retail electric provider (33%), compared with 666 among those who do not recall a communication (67%)—a dramatic difference of 51 points. The most frequently recalled methods of communicating are email (36%); direct mail (30%); and bill insert (20%).

Corporate citizenship and enrollment/renewal, two new factors in the 2013 study, debut as important drivers of customer satisfaction. Overall awareness of Texas REP corporate citizenship is low; however, customer satisfaction increases significantly when customers are aware of corporate citizenship efforts. For example, corporate citizenship satisfaction is 762 when customers are aware of their REP's impact on the environment, compared with 658 when they are not aware. The same general trend is observed when customers are aware vs. unaware of their REP's local donations and sponsorship (738 vs. 672, respectively) and volunteering/working in the community (763 vs. 670, respectively).

Satisfaction is highest in the enrollment/renewal factor (777). When customers are satisfied with their REP, they are more loyal to the brand, more likely to renew and more likely to recommend the REP to family and friends. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of new customers who enrolled for service within the past 12 months had service with another retail electricity provider. The main reason customers cite for selecting their provider is a lower price (61%).

Texas Residential Retail Electric Provider Customer Satisfaction Study Results

Champion Energy Services ranks highest among retail electric utility providers in Texas for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 764. Champion Energy Services performs particularly well in price; billing and payment; enrollment/renewal; customer service; and communications. Following in the rankings are Green Mountain Energy (737) and Bounce Energy (736).

The 2013 Texas Residential Retail Electric Provider Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 7,708 residential customers of electric retailers in Texas. The study was fielded between September 2012 and June 2013.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores        

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)                        

For Consumers




Champion Energy Services

764

5

Green Mountain Energy    

737

4

Bounce Energy    

736

4

StarTex Power      

730

4

Brilliant Energy    

720

4

Ambit Energy 

714

4

Cirro Energy       

714

4

Stream Energy      

711

4

Spark Energy       

704

4

Amigo Energy         

703

4

Tara Energy      

689

3

Reliant Energy Retail   

686

3

Gexa Energy     

684

3

Texas Power       

683

3

Industry Average      

682

3

Direct Energy       

679

3

YEP Energy   

671

3

Southwest Power & Light    

667

3

First Choice Power 

661

3

TXU Energy       

656

3

Dynowatt       

652

3

CPL Retail Energy   

650

2

Energy Plus       

633

2

Just Energy Texas      

629

2

WTU Retail Energy    

612

2

Power Circle Ratings Legend

5 – Among the best

4 – Better than most

3 – About average

2 – The rest

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing 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. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com 

Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com 
Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; 805-418-8103; media.relations@jdpa.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. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power




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