Market Strategies International


Utilities Designated 2017 Environmental Champions by Their Customers

With Earth Day upon us, 40 US utilities are being celebrated as 2017 Environmental Champions. This designation is based on a nationwide study of nearly 58,000 customers among 130 of the largest residential gas and electric utility providers. The study scores an Environmental Dedication Index that averages 675 for the industry (on a 1,000-point scale). These findings are from Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential, a Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International.

“Earth Day is a great time to recognize companies that have shown dedication to the environment,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International. “This is particularly important for utilities wanting to be part of the future energy landscape, as their customers are saying that environmental stewardship is one of the most desirable utility brand traits.”

The Environmental Dedication Index is based on consumer ratings of five critical environmental attributes. These environmental scores provide a key performance benchmark for utilities. When utilities score high, 700 or higher, on the Environmental Dedication Index, consumer demand doubles for the over 20 utility programs that help consumers save energy and support the environment. The industry average of 675 reflects a 5-point decrease from last year, and electric-only utilities tend to score lower (665) than natural gas utilities (684). These findings show that the industry still has work to do in showcasing the benefits of their environmental initiatives.

“Clearly, consumers value utility environmental efforts. Utility Environmental Champions are being rewarded through higher trust, reputation, advocacy and overall satisfaction,” added Oberle. “For example, utilities that enjoy high awareness of efforts such as low-emission fleets, supporting natural landscapes, energy-efficiency programs and activities to limit environmental impact of their services score a significant 60 points higher on satisfaction and 80 points higher on brand trust. And environmental stewardship is the number one cause customers want their utility to support.”

Market Strategies would like to congratulate the utilities listed below for being designated by their customers as having exceptional dedication to the environment.

2017 Utility Environmental Champions: Residential


Cascade Natural Gas

CenterPoint Energy–South

Citizens Energy

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Consumers Energy

CPS Energy

DTE Energy

Florida Power & Light

Georgia Power

Idaho Power

Indianapolis Power & Light

Kentucky Utilities

Louisville Gas & Electric


MidAmerican Energy

Nashville Electric Service

National Fuel Gas

New Jersey Natural Gas

NW Natural


Oklahoma Natural Gas

Pacific Power

Piedmont Natural Gas

Portland General Electric

PPL Electric Utilities

Puget Sound Energy

Questar Gas



Salt River Project


Seattle City Light



South Jersey Gas Company

Southern California Edison

Southwest Gas

TECO Peoples Gas


Virginia Natural Gas

Xcel Energy–West

These companies score within the top quartile on the industry Environmental Dedication index, or within 20 points of the top benchmark segment index and above the industry average.
Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential: March 2017.

About the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential study

Cogent Reports conducted surveys among 57,707 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 130 largest US utility companies (based on residential customer counts) between Q2 2016 and Q1 2017. 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 supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

For more information on the full report, download the fact sheet.

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