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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Business Customer Satisfaction with Electric Utility Companies Declines, Despite Improved Communications to Businesses during Power Outages

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Business customer satisfaction with electric utility communications increases, while overall satisfaction declines, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM released today.

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The study is based on interviews with representatives of more than 25,700 U.S. businesses that spend at least $250 monthly on electricity. More than 90 utility brands serving a total of more than 11.7 million business customers are included in the study. Overall customer satisfaction is measured by examining six factors: power quality and reliability; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; and customer service.

Overall satisfaction among electric utility business customers averages 647 (on a 1,000-point scale), decreasing by 10 points from 2012. Satisfaction decreases in all factors except communications, which increases by four points year over year. The largest decreases in satisfaction are in customer service (down18 points); corporate citizenship (down18); and billing and payment (down15).

"Even with the multiple weather events and an increase in the average outage time, satisfaction with power quality and reliability has decreased only three points," said John Hazen, senior director of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "In addition to customer service, the area in which utilities are facing significant criticism is in corporate citizenship, where business customers are critical of utility efforts to develop energy supply plans for the future as well as utilities showing business leadership in local communities." 

However, positively impacting satisfaction with power quality and reliability, electric utility companies are demonstrating new ways to ensure open lines of communication with their customers by offering service outage updates via text messaging, social media and email, which yield significantly higher satisfaction levels than any other outage communication type.

In addition to providing information through multiple channels, electric utility companies are also proactively communicating with their business customers during outages, which positively impacts satisfaction as well. Power quality and reliability satisfaction among the 11 percent of business customers who received proactive communications from their utility during an outage is 754, compared with 654 among those who received no communications from their utility.

Study Rankings
Within each of the four geographic regions included in the study, utility providers are classified into one of two segments: large (serving 85,000 or more business customers) and midsize (serving between 25,000 and 84,999 business customers). Rankings within each region and segment are as follows:

East Region
PPL Electric Utilities ranks highest among large electric utility providers in the East Region with a score of 664. Among midsize electric utilities in the East Region, Central Maine Power (654) ranks highest for the second consecutive year.

Midwest Region
In the Midwest Region, We Energies (669) ranks highest among large electric utilities, while Indianapolis Power & Light Company ranks highest among midsize brands with a score of 676.

South Region
Georgia Power (695) ranks highest among large utilities in the South Region. Among midsize electric utilities, Entergy Texas ranks highest with a score of 687.

West Region
Portland General Electric (694) ranks highest among large electric utilities in the West Region. Among midsize electric utility providers, Seattle City Light ranks highest (689).

The 2013 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 25,700 online interviews with business customers of the 95 largest utility brands throughout the United States. The study was fielded from April through June 2012 and September through December 2012.

Customer Satisfaction Index Scores

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)


East Region: Large Segment 


PPL Electric Utilities            

664









Con Edison               

639









Jersey Central Power & Light 

639









NYSEG                               

638









PSE&G                                

638









BGE                           

626









National Grid                        

623









East Large Segment Average

623









NSTAR              

619









PECO                 

614









Appalachian Power   

600









Connecticut Light & Power  

578









Long Island Power Authority 

540










East Region: Midsize Segment











Central Maine Power 

654









Penelec

643









Central Hudson Gas & Electric

638









Duquesne Light  

636









Rochester Gas & Electric

636









West Penn Power 

636









Delmarva Power  

629









Atlantic City Electric

623









East Midsize Segment Average 

621









Public Service of New Hampshire 

615









Met-Ed

614









Potomac Edison

609









Orange & Rockland 

600









United Illuminating

582









Pepco 

563










NOTE: Included in the study but not ranked due to insufficient sample size is Mon Power


Midwest Region: Large Segment  



















We Energies 

669









Ohio Edison

662









Alliant Energy

661









Xcel Energy-Midwest 

660









DTE Energy 

652









Ameren Missouri 

644









KCP&L 

644









Midwest Large Segment Average 

642









Duke Energy-Midwest

638









Ameren Illinois

637









Consumers Energy

631









AEP Ohio

627









ComEd 

623










Midwest Region: Midsize Segment 











Indianapolis Power & Light Company

676









Omaha Public Power District 

675









MidAmerican Energy

674









Kentucky Utilities

657









Midwest Midsize Segment Average

647









Louisville Gas & Electric

646









Wisconsin Public Service

646









Westar Energy 

639









Dayton Power & Light

638









Indiana Michigan Power

636









The Illuminating Company

636









NIPSCO

616









Toledo Edison

612










South Region: Large Segment 











Georgia Power

695









Alabama Power 

689









Dominion Virginia Power

675









South Carolina Electric & Gas

672









Entergy Louisiana 

669









South Large Segment Average 

669









OG&E

668









Florida Power & Light 

664









Duke Energy-Carolinas

662









Progress Energy Carolinas

661









Entergy Arkansas

647









Progress Energy Florida

645










South Region: Midsize Segment 











Entergy Texas

687









CPS Energy

681









OUC

663









Xcel Energy-South

659









Southwestern Electric Power

658









Gulf Power

656









South Midsize Segment Average

653









NES

649









Tampa Electric

647









Entergy Mississippi

645









Public Service Co. of Oklahoma

645









Austin Energy

639









JEA

619









MLGW 

580










NOTE: Included in the study but not ranked due to insufficient sample size are: Cleco power, Mississippi Power and Santee Cooper


West Region: Large Segment











Portland General Electric

694









SRP

684









APS

680









Southern California Edison

670









San Diego Gas & Electric

659









West Large Segment Average

657









Rocky Mountain Power

655









Pacific Gas and Electric

654









Pacific Power

642









NV Energy 

637









Puget Sound Energy

637









Xcel Energy-West

636









L.A. Dept. of Water & Power

630










West Region: Midsize Segment











Seattle City Light

689









SMUD

678









Avista

672









Idaho Power

665









Snohomish County PUD  

661









Tucson Electric Power

658









West Midsize Segment Average 

657









NorthWestern Energy

647









PNM

625









El Paso Electric 

622









About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, 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. 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
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

J.D. Power and Associates Media Contacts:
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations: Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818) 598-1115; jperlman@brandwarepr.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 and Associates.

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

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