Americans Rate Utilities Higher on Environmental Dedication

April 21, 2020

Customers Certify 31 Utilities as Environmental Champions

Utilities have some good news to share on this 50th anniversary of Earth Day: customers are scoring them significantly higher on environmental stewardship. Escalent’s Environmental Dedication Index represents customer ratings on utility efforts to protect the environment. The overall industry index score improved this year, with customers scoring their utilities higher on encouraging “green” initiatives for buildings and vehicles and on supporting environmental causes. The Environmental Dedication Index and other findings are from the Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

“With the ever-growing discussion of environmental issues, customers say utilities are responding well through initiatives and programs that help create a cleaner planet,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “Measuring environmental dedication is now essential to doing business, as Wall Street investment houses are tying utility environmental stewardship to utilities’ financial performance.”

The industry’s overall Environmental Dedication Index score increases to 676 (on a 1,000-point scale) for Q1, 2020. However, performance varies greatly among the 140 utilities covered in the study, with 24 significantly increasing their scores this year and 20 significantly decreasing. Other findings from the study include:

  • Over 52% of utility customers are strong believers in climate change and as a group, they score utilities higher (708) on environmental dedication.
  • Gen Z is the most critical of utility environmental performance; scoring utilities lower than other generations on environmental dedication.
  • Millennials rate utilities highest on providing “products that help the environment.”
  • Only about one in five consumers is aware of his or her utility’s efforts to lessen the environmental impacts of its services.
  • About 13% of utility customers say green or net metering rates is their most preferred rate plan.
  • Over half of all utility customers nationally are interested in rooftop solar or community solar offerings.

Escalent congratulates the following utilities for being named the 2020 Environmental Champions among 140 of their utility peers in the Cogent Syndicated study. Their customers have scored their performance among the top in the industry on the Environmental Dedication Index.

2020 Utility Environmental Champions

AEP Ohio Florida City Gas Company Pepco
Avista Florida Power & Light PPL Electric Utilities
BGE Green Mountain Power Puget Sound Energy
ComEd Idaho Power RG&E
Con Edison MidAmerican Energy Seattle City Light
CPS Energy NW Natural SMUD
Dayton Power & Light OPPD SoCalGas
Delmarva Power OUC TECO Peoples Gas
DTE Energy PECO Washington Gas
Elizabethtown Gas Peoples Gas Xcel Energy – Midwest
Xcel Energy – West

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential

Escalent conducted surveys among 69,620 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 140 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. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.


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