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Utility Customer Satisfaction Reaches New All-time High

Customers want easy interactions with their utility

Utility customer satisfaction reaches a record high according to new research published today. The research shows that electric and natural gas utilities post an all-time high score of 767 (on a 1,000-point maximum scale). However, there is a huge 138-point difference between the highest- and lowest-scoring utilities because the best utilities have created experiences with customer ease and convenience in mind.

More than 80% of Service Satisfaction scoring is derived from how easy it is for customers to do business with their utility, which is why industry leaders on the Service Satisfaction index also post the best scores on the Customer Effort index measurement. This means that utilities focusing solely on traditional service and satisfaction metrics will likely fall behind those that have also made it easy for customers to do business with them. 

These findings are from the latest release of the Cogent Reports™ 2017 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study offered by Market Strategies International. The Service Satisfaction index comprises utility customer ratings on safety, reliability, billing, payment, and customer and field service among 130 electric and natural gas utilities. The Customer Effort index is a modeled measure of how easy it is to interact with utilities across a number of utility-customer touchpoints.

“Utilities deserve accolades for the great work they have done improving operations. But customer expectations continue to grow each time utilities improve service,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies. “The next challenge for utility managers is to create convenient and easy experiences for customers. The best utilities are conducting customer journey and touchpoint enhancements that reduce customers’ efforts.”

Other significant utility service insights include:
  • Satisfaction with outage handling has increased significantly for electric utilities.
  • Satisfaction with safety events has increased significantly for natural gas utilities.
  • Only 10% of customers think their utility can keep its system safe from cyber or terrorist attacks.
  • 40% of customers think their utility can keep their personal information safe.
  • 85% of low-income customers do or want to select their own payment due date.
  • Paper bills remain the most-used billing channel while digital payment offerings cannibalize each other, with mobile payments gaining share over online and electronic billing. 
  • Email and phone are the most preferred customer service channels at most utilities.

Following are benchmark Service Satisfaction index scores for all 130 utilities covered in the study. 
Scoring is based upon a 1,000-point maximum scale.
Index score of 500 or greater reflects positive levels of Service Satisfaction.

East Region SERVICE SATISFACTION Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Service Satisfaction index

Benchmark segment

NYSEG

795

Combination

BGE

779

Combination

RG&E

777

Combination

PSE&G

763

Combination

National Grid

752

Combination

Delmarva Power

748

Combination

PECO Energy

746

Combination

Con Edison

742

Combination

Eversource

739

Combination

PPL Electric Utilities

790

Electric

Penn Power

771

Electric

Central Maine Power

758

Electric

Duquesne Light

756

Electric

West Penn Power

753

Electric

Met-Ed

737

Electric

Penelec

736

Electric

Potomac Edison

734

Electric

Atlantic City Electric

726

Electric

PSEG Long Island

726

Electric

Monongahela Power

722

Electric

Appalachian Power

703

Electric

Jersey Central Power & Light

683

Electric

Pepco

680

Electric

National Fuel Gas

800

Natural Gas

UGI Utilities

798

Natural Gas

Philadelphia Gas Works

797

Natural Gas

Peoples

795

Natural Gas

New Jersey Natural Gas

793

Natural Gas

Columbia Gas – East

790

Natural Gas

Washington Gas

783

Natural Gas

Elizabethtown Gas

762

Natural Gas

South Jersey Gas Company

754

Natural Gas

 

Midwest Region SERVICE SATISFACTION Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Service Satisfaction index

Benchmark segment

Wisconsin Public Service

790

Combination

MidAmerican Energy

789

Combination

NIPSCO

785

Combination

Black Hills Energy – Midwest

778

Combination

Consumers Energy

777

Combination

Ameren Illinois

775

Combination

DTE Energy

768

Combination

Xcel Energy – Midwest

768

Combination

Vectren

767

Combination

We Energies

764

Combination

Alliant Energy

762

Combination

Duke Energy Midwest

745

Combination

ComEd

778

Electric

Ohio Edison

770

Electric

Indiana Michigan Power

768

Electric

Indianapolis Power & Light

757

Electric

OPPD

756

Electric

Ameren Missouri

753

Electric

The Illuminating Company

747

Electric

Dayton Power & Light

746

Electric

AEP Ohio

745

Electric

KCP&L

741

Electric

Westar Energy

730

Electric

Toledo Edison

730

Electric

SEMCO Energy Gas Company

802

Natural Gas

CenterPoint Energy – Midwest

790

Natural Gas

Columbia Gas of Ohio

787

Natural Gas

Atmos Energy

785

Natural Gas

Nicor Gas

779

Natural Gas

Kansas Gas Service

776

Natural Gas

Missouri Gas Energy

769

Natural Gas

Laclede Gas

766

Natural Gas

Peoples Gas

756

Natural Gas

Dominion Energy Ohio

755

Natural Gas

Citizens Energy

747

Natural Gas

 
 

South Region SERVICE SATISFACTION Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Service Satisfaction index

Benchmark segment

CPS Energy

768

Combination

SCE&G

765

Combination

Louisville Gas & Electric

764

Combination

MLGW

740

Combination

Florida Power & Light

807

Electric

Georgia Power

795

Electric

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

794

Electric

Kentucky Utilities

793

Electric

OG&E

787

Electric

JEA

783

Electric

Duke Energy Carolinas

782

Electric

Entergy

779

Electric

Gulf Power

778

Electric

Nashville Electric Service

771

Electric

OUC

771

Electric

Xcel Energy – South

766

Electric

Duke Energy Florida

764

Electric

Alabama Power

760

Electric

Duke Energy Progress

757

Electric

Dominion Energy Virginia

754

Electric

Southwestern Electric Power Company

749

Electric

Mississippi Power

749

Electric

TECO Tampa Electric

743

Electric

Austin Energy

731

Electric

El Paso Electric

719

Electric

Kentucky Power

691

Electric

PSNC Energy

818

Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas

817

Natural Gas

Alagasco

809

Natural Gas

TECO Peoples Gas

809

Natural Gas

Columbia Gas

807

Natural Gas

Atmos Energy

806

Natural Gas

CenterPoint Energy

801

Natural Gas

Oklahoma Natural Gas

796

Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas

781

Natural Gas

Texas Gas Service

779

Natural Gas

 

West Region SERVICE SATISFACTION Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Service Satisfaction index

Benchmark segment

Xcel Energy – West

793

Combination

SDG&E

770

Combination

Puget Sound Energy

755

Combination

NorthWestern Energy

749

Combination

Avista

746

Combination

Black Hills Energy – West

741

Combination

PG&E

728

Combination

Salt River Project

810

Electric

SMUD

808

Electric

Idaho Power

784

Electric

Seattle City Light

779

Electric

Pacific Power

777

Electric

APS

772

Electric

Portland General Electric

771

Electric

Southern California Edison

771

Electric

Tucson Electric Power

768

Electric

Rocky Mountain Power

767

Electric

NV Energy

755

Electric

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

727

Electric

PNM

705

Electric

Dominion Energy – West

818

Natural Gas

SoCalGas

807

Natural Gas

Intermountain Gas Company

800

Natural Gas

NW Natural

790

Natural Gas

Southwest Gas

790

Natural Gas

Cascade Natural Gas

789

Natural Gas

New Mexico Gas Company

788

Natural Gas


Following are benchmark Customer Effort index scores for all 130 utilities covered in the study.
Scoring is based upon a 1,000-point maximum scale. 
 

East Region CUSTOMER EFFORT Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Customer Effort index

Benchmark segment

 NYSEG

788

Combination

 BGE

777

Combination

 PECO Energy

766

Combination

 PSE&G

764

Combination

 RG&E

750

Combination

 National Grid

745

Combination

 Delmarva Power

741

Combination

 Eversource

734

Combination

 Con Edison

733

Combination

 PPL Electric Utilities

788

Electric

 Duquesne Light

760

Electric

 Penn Power

747

Electric

 West Penn Power

745

Electric

 Potomac Edison

737

Electric

 Met-Ed

736

Electric

 Penelec

736

Electric

 PSEG Long Island

730

Electric

 Monongahela Power

728

Electric

 Atlantic City Electric

725

Electric

 Central Maine Power

724

Electric

 Pepco

704

Electric

 Appalachian Power

699

Electric

 Jersey Central Power & Light

687

Electric

 UGI Utilities

802

Natural Gas

 Philadelphia Gas Works

792

Natural Gas

 National Fuel Gas

791

Natural Gas

 Peoples

788

Natural Gas

 New Jersey Natural Gas

787

Natural Gas

 Columbia Gas – East

783

Natural Gas

 Elizabethtown Gas

773

Natural Gas

 Washington Gas

769

Natural Gas

 South Jersey Gas Company

736

Natural Gas

 

Midwest Region CUSTOMER EFFORT Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Customer Effort index

Benchmark segment

Black Hills Energy – Midwest

788

Combination

NIPSCO

788

Combination

MidAmerican Energy

782

Combination

Wisconsin Public Service

781

Combination

We Energies

772

Combination

Consumers Energy

766

Combination

DTE Energy

758

Combination

Ameren Illinois

755

Combination

Duke Energy Midwest

750

Combination

Vectren

749

Combination

Xcel Energy – Midwest

748

Combination

Alliant Energy

735

Combination

ComEd

768

Electric

Indianapolis Power & Light

767

Electric

Ohio Edison

765

Electric

Indiana Michigan Power

757

Electric

OPPD

755

Electric

Ameren Missouri

750

Electric

KCP&L

742

Electric

AEP Ohio

740

Electric

Toledo Edison

739

Electric

Dayton Power & Light

737

Electric

The Illuminating Company

734

Electric

Westar Energy

726

Electric

SEMCO Energy Gas Company

806

Natural Gas

Atmos Energy – Midwest

790

Natural Gas

CenterPoint Energy – Midwest

786

Natural Gas

Nicor Gas

778

Natural Gas

Columbia Gas of Ohio

774

Natural Gas

Kansas Gas Service

771

Natural Gas

Peoples Gas

761

Natural Gas

Dominion Energy Ohio

758

Natural Gas

Citizens Energy

757

Natural Gas

Missouri Gas Energy

755

Natural Gas

Laclede Gas

751

Natural Gas

 

South Region CUSTOMER EFFORT Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Customer Effort index

Benchmark segment

 CPS Energy

768

Combination

 SCE&G

765

Combination

 Louisville Gas & Electric

761

Combination

 MLGW

754

Combination

 Georgia Power

796

Electric

 Florida Power & Light

793

Electric

 Kentucky Utilities

790

Electric

 Public Service Company of Oklahoma

786

Electric

 OG&E

784

Electric

 JEA

781

Electric

 Duke Energy Carolinas

777

Electric

 Xcel Energy – South

776

Electric

 Alabama Power

769

Electric

 Gulf Power

768

Electric

 Duke Energy Progress

766

Electric

 Duke Energy Florida

766

Electric

 OUC

765

Electric

 Entergy

755

Electric

 Dominion Energy Virginia

753

Electric

 Mississippi Power

751

Electric

 Nashville Electric Service

747

Electric

 Austin Energy

738

Electric

 TECO Tampa Electric

732

Electric

 Southwestern Electric Power Company

729

Electric

 El Paso Electric

711

Electric

 Kentucky Power

687

Electric

 PSNC Energy

814

Natural Gas

 Atmos Energy – South

811

Natural Gas

 Piedmont Natural Gas

810

Natural Gas

 Columbia Gas – South

809

Natural Gas

 TECO Peoples Gas

800

Natural Gas

 Alagasco

798

Natural Gas

 CenterPoint Energy – South

791

Natural Gas

 Oklahoma Natural Gas

790

Natural Gas

 Texas Gas Service

772

Natural Gas

 Virginia Natural Gas

767

Natural Gas

 

West Region CUSTOMER EFFORT Benchmark Scoring

 

Utility brand

Customer Effort index

Benchmark segment

Xcel Energy – West

789

Combination

SDG&E

762

Combination

Puget Sound Energy

754

Combination

NorthWestern Energy

738

Combination

PG&E

729

Combination

Avista

729

Combination

Black Hills Energy – West

725

Combination

Salt River Project

807

Electric

SMUD

805

Electric

APS

774

Electric

Idaho Power

772

Electric

Southern California Edison

766

Electric

Tucson Electric Power

765

Electric

Seattle City Light

764

Electric

Portland General Electric

761

Electric

Pacific Power

760

Electric

NV Energy

759

Electric

Rocky Mountain Power

757

Electric

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

720

Electric

PNM

690

Electric

Dominion Energy – West

820

Natural Gas

SoCalGas

811

Natural Gas

Intermountain Gas Company

787

Natural Gas

NW Natural

784

Natural Gas

New Mexico Gas Company

784

Natural Gas

Cascade Natural Gas

764

Natural Gas

Southwest Gas

759

Natural Gas

About the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential report

Cogent Reports conducted surveys among 58,556 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 130 largest US utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample design uses US census data and strict quotas to ensure a demographically balanced sample of each evaluated utility’s customers based on age, gender, income, race and ethnicity. Utilities within the same region and of the same type (e.g., electric-only providers) are given equal weight in order to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Market Strategies will provide the exact wording of any survey questions upon request. 
 
Review an Overview of the Report
 

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