J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Satisfaction With Electric Utility Companies Increases...
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.
J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Satisfaction With Electric Utility Companies Increases Despite Volatile Energy Prices and Sluggish Economy Alternative Payment Options and Customer Care Help Drive Industry Improvement for Electric Utility Companies WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Overall satisfaction with electric utility companies has increased in 2008, marking the first time since 2005 that the industry has improved, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a) 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. The study finds that customer satisfaction with utility companies in 2008 is 614 points on a 1,000-point scale -- up 8 points from 2007. The increase is primarily driven by improvements in the customer service, and billing and payment factors. Customers are increasingly using alternative payment methods -- such as automatic deductions from bank accounts and online payments -- which yield higher satisfaction scores, on average, compared with traditional mailing methods. Additionally, the study finds that the average monthly bill amount for residential utility customers has remained somewhat flat since 2007, increasing by only 2 percent in 2008 to an average of $138. "Stability in pricing may also play a role in increased satisfaction across the industry, in addition to customer service and billing and payment improvements," said Alan Destribats, vice president of the energy and utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "With consumers already dealing with high gasoline prices and other concerns about the economy, utility customers may simply be relieved that their utility costs have not yet been impacted as dramatically." 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. 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, followed by Public Service of New Hampshire and Atlantic City Electric, respectively. Midwest Region MidAmerican Energy leads among large utility companies in the Midwest region. We Energies follows MidAmerican Energy, while Xcel Energy-Midwest ranks third in the segment. Omaha Public Power District ranks highest among midsize utility companies in the Midwest. Louisville Gas & Electric follows Omaha Public Power District in the segment, while Kentucky Utilities closely follows Louisville Gas & Electric to rank third. South Region Among large utility companies in the South region, Alabama Power ranks highest. CPS Energy and Progress Energy Carolinas, respectively, closely follow Alabama Power. Jackson EMC ranks highest among midsize utility companies in the South region, followed by Santee Cooper and Clay Electric Cooperative, respectively. West Region Salt River Project ranks highest in the West region large utility segment, followed by Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Portland General Electric ranks third in the segment. Clark Public Utilities leads among midsize utility companies in the West region, followed by Colorado Springs Utilities and Tacoma Power, respectively. The 2008 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 35,588 online interviews conducted from March through May 2008 among residential customers of the 120 largest electric utility brands across the United States. For more information on electric utility ratings, please visit http://www.jdpower.com/homes/ratings/electric-utility-residential. Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking (Based on a 1,000-point scale) East Region: Large Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Central Maine Power 646 5 PPL Electric Utilities 630 4 Public Service Electric and Gas 628 4 PECO Energy 620 4 Appalachian Power 610 4 Penelec 604 4 Jersey Central Power & Light 602 4 Duquesne Light 599 3 Allegheny Power 598 3 New York State Electric & Gas 597 3 Pepco 595 3 East Large Segment Average 593 3 NSTAR 590 3 Con Edison Company of New York 578 3 National Grid 567 2 Long Island Power Authority 565 2 Connecticut Light & Power 562 2 Baltimore Gas and Electric 560 2 East Region: Midsize Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative 641 5 Public Service of New Hampshire 605 4 Atlantic City Electric 603 4 Met-Ed 591 3 Central Vermont Public Service 587 3 Rochester Gas & Electric 587 3 East Midsize Segment Average 584 3 Central Hudson Gas & Electric 579 3 Western Massachusetts Electric 575 3 Orange & Rockland 572 3 Penn Power 571 3 Delmarva Power 555 2 United Illuminating 555 2 Midwest Region: Large Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating MidAmerican Energy 659 5 We Energies 642 4 Xcel Energy 636 4 Alliant Energy 630 4 Indiana Michigan Power 621 4 Detroit Edison 620 4 Westar Energy 618 4 Duke Energy 616 4 AEP Ohio 607 3 Midwest Large Segment Average 601 3 Consumers Energy 600 3 Ohio Edison 597 3 The Illuminating Company 592 3 AmerenUE 591 3 ComEd 556 2 Ameren Illinois Utilities 550 2 Midwest Region: Midsize Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Omaha Public Power District 686 5 Louisville Gas & Electric 674 5 Kentucky Utilities 673 5 Kansas City Power & Light 667 4 Indianapolis Power & Light 640 4 Kentucky Power 625 3 Midwest Midsize Segment Average 623 3 Wisconsin Public Service 617 3 Dayton Power & Light 597 3 Aquila 589 2 Vectren 589 2 Toledo Edison 572 2 NIPSCO 527 2 South Region: Large Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Alabama Power 656 5 CPS Energy 655 5 Progress Energy Carolinas 653 5 Duke Energy 652 5 Georgia Power 644 4 Oklahoma Gas and Electric 639 4 South Large Segment Average 630 3 Progress Energy Florida 627 3 Florida Power & Light 624 3 South Carolina Electric & Gas 620 3 Dominion Virginia Power 611 2 Tampa Electric 597 2 Entergy Arkansas 595 2 Entergy Louisiana 582 2 South Region: Midsize Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Jackson EMC 725 5 Santee Cooper 699 4 Clay Electric Cooperative 692 4 SECO Energy 679 4 Gulf Power 670 4 NOVEC 666 4 Pedernales Electric 659 4 Austin Energy 658 4 Orlando Utilities Commission 656 4 Withlacoochee River Electric Coop 651 4 JEA 642 3 Lee County Electric Cooperative 642 3 Public Service Co. of Oklahoma 639 3 Cobb EMC 635 3 Huntsville Utilities 635 3 Knoxville Utilities Board 632 3 South Midsize Segment Average 632 3 Southwestern Electric Power 630 3 Xcel Energy 630 3 EPB 624 3 Mississippi Power 624 3 Nashville Electric Service 624 3 Middle Tennessee EMC 614 3 Cleco Power 608 3 Entergy Mississippi 602 3 El Paso Electric 598 3 Entergy Texas 570 2 Memphis Light, Gas & Water 548 2 West Region: Large Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Salt River Project 714 5 Sacramento Municipal Utility District 685 4 Portland General Electric 670 4 APS 652 4 Pacific Gas and Electric 633 3 Pacific Power 631 3 Southern California Edison 631 3 West Large Segment Average 631 3 Rocky Mountain Power 626 3 San Diego Gas & Electric 622 3 Xcel Energy 606 3 Nevada Power 595 2 L. A. Department of Water & Power 589 2 Puget Sound Energy 589 2 West Region: Midsize Segment Provider Overall Satisfaction Power Circle Score Rating Clark Public Utilities 691 5 Colorado Springs Utilities 671 4 Tacoma Power 657 4 Idaho Power 647 4 Seattle City Light 641 4 Tucson Electric Power 637 4 West Midsize Segment Average 626 3 Public Service Company of New Mexico 618 3 Avista 614 3 Snohomish County PUD 604 2 Sierra Pacific Power 584 2 NorthWestern Energy 582 2 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, training and customer satisfaction. The firm'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 leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com. Media Relations Contacts: Jeff Perlman Syvetril Perryman Brandware Public Relations J.D. Power and Associates Agoura Hills, Calif. Westlake Village, Calif. (818) 706-1915 (805) 418-8103 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.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. http://www.jdpower.com/corporate SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates Jeff Perlman of Brandware Public Relations, Agoura Hills, Calif., +1-818-706-1915, firstname.lastname@example.org, for J.D. Power and Associates; or Syvetril Perryman of J.D. Power and Associates, Westlake Village, Calif., +1-805-418-8103, email@example.com