Market Strategies International


Utility Customers Show Strong Support for Renewables and Natural Gas Fuels

Utility Environmental Champions Named to Honor Earth Day

The utility industry is experiencing a significant shift in what consumers want and are willing to pay for from their energy providers. More than half (57%) prefer renewable energy and natural gas sources, and customers now show more support for utility investments in expanding environmentally friendly energy resources than for reliability or customer service improvements. These findings are from the 2018 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential, a Cogent Reports study by Market Strategies International.


Generation Fuel Preference

First Choice



Natural Gas




Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential, March 2018.

The study shows that demand for programs to help consumers manage their energy use and reduce their own environmental footprint has seen a steady increase over the past four years. Many utilities across the nation have recognized this trend and are benefiting from the consumption and carbon footprint management offerings they have implemented.

In honor of Earth Day (April 22), Market Strategies is awarding the 2018 Environmental Champion designation to 43 utilities. As a group, these 43 utilities have improved their Environmental Dedication performance score by an average of eight points this year while the score for all other utilities declined by an average of ten points

“In a celebration of Earth Day, we are pleased to recognize the great improvements our Environmental Champion utilities have made to improve their environmental programs,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Market Strategies International. “It is important to pay attention to your environmental reputation, as it is now a permanent part of the utility business model.”

To become an Environmental Champion, a utility needs to show customers its dedication to supporting the environment by promoting clean energy, enabling consumption management, facilitating environmental causes, encouraging environmentally friendly fleets and buildings, and consistently seeking ways to protect the environment. The utility industry’s Environmental Dedication score now stands at 672 (on a 1,000-point scale).

Market Strategies would like to congratulate these utilities for being this year’s Environmental Champions!

2018 Environmental Champions*

Atmos Energy – South

Indiana Michigan Power

Portland General Electric


Indianapolis Power & Light

PPL Electric Utilities

CenterPoint Energy – Midwest


PSNC Energy

CenterPoint Energy – South

Kentucky Utilities

Puget Sound Energy

Citizens Energy

MidAmerican Energy

Salt River Project

Columbia Gas – South

National Grid

Seattle City Light


New Jersey Natural Gas

SEMCO Energy Gas Company

Con Edison

Nicor Gas


Consumers Energy

NW Natural


CPS Energy

Ohio Edison

TECO Peoples Gas

Dominion Energy - West

Oklahoma Natural Gas

UGI Utilities

DTE Energy


Washington Gas

Florida Power & Light

PECO Energy

Xcel Energy – West

Georgia Power

Philadelphia Gas Works

Idaho Power

Piedmont Natural Gas

* Environmental Champions were selected based on achieving a top-quartile industry or top-two benchmark segment score, or being within 20 points of the top benchmark score and above industry average for Environmental Dedication.

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential study

Market Strategies conducted surveys among 62,565 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 131 largest US utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample design uses a combination of quotas and weighting based on US census data 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 questions upon request.

Review the details on the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential Study

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