Business Customers Engage with Their Utility as Satisfaction and Brand Trust Soar

December 19, 2019

Escalent names 18 Utility Business Customer Champions

Business customers are engaging more with their utility as their satisfaction with service and perception of their utility as a trusted energy adviser increase. Greater business community outreach, more communication spending and being easier to do business with are largely responsible for these improvements in utility-business customer relationships. These findings are from the 2019 Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study from Escalent.

The Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) score among utility business customers has significantly increased this year to 762 on a 1,000-point scale. The ECR score is a benchmark composite index of Service Satisfaction, Brand Trust and Product Experience performance to measure how engaged customers are with their utility. This year’s ECR increase is driven by an 8-point increase in Service Satisfaction (to 780) and a 13-point increase in Brand Trust (to 745).

Greater customer engagement leads to businesses increasingly looking to utilities to provide enhanced offerings around rate plans, consumption management, alternative fuels, digital service and EV incentives.

Selected Enhanced Offerings Usage 2018 2019 Increase
Digital service (8 offerings) 88% 90% 2%
EV incentives (2 offerings) 34% 40% 6%
Energy efficiency (18 offerings) 79% 82% 3%
Alternative fuels (10 offerings) 58% 66% 8%
Alternative rate plans (6 offerings) 62% 65% 3%

“Utilities are doing a great job managing their business customer touchpoints on service, communication and outreach,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “This performance is providing utilities the ability to influence product demand and adoption of key offerings that will have a positive impact on their bottom lines.”

The study designates 18 utilities this year as 2019 Business Customer Champions.

2019 Cogent Syndicated Business Utility Customer Champions
AEP Ohio MidAmerican Energy
BGE Nicor Gas
CenterPoint Energy – South NV Energy
Chattanooga Gas Company Puget Sound Energy
DTE Energy Salt River Project
Duke Energy Midwest SDG&E
Florida Power & Light SMUD
Idaho Power Virginia Natural Gas
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Xcel Energy – West

The following charts reflect the ECR scores for the 76 utilities covered in the study.


East Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
BGE 813
Con Edison 791
Jersey Central Power & Light 782
Eversource Energy 768
PSE&G 765
PPL Electric Utilities 759
PSEG Long Island 745
PECO Energy 726
Appalachian Power 719
National Grid 713
West Penn Power 710
Penelec 707



Midwest Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Duke Energy Midwest 808
MidAmerican Energy 806
DTE Energy 798
AEP Ohio 792
Nicor Gas 790
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest 785
Consumers Energy 784
The Illuminating Company 782
Dayton Power & Light 782
Ameren Illinois 782
Indiana Michigan Power 781
Ameren Missouri 770
OPPD 765
Wisconsin Public Service 761
Indianapolis Power & Light 747
Evergy 744
Xcel Energy – Midwest 736
ComEd 735
Alliant Energy 734
We Energies 728
Ohio Edison 722


South Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Chattanooga Gas Company 826
Virginia Natural Gas 808
Florida Power & Light 808
CenterPoint Energy – South 799
TECO Tampa Electric 792
Alabama Power 790
Georgia Power 775
Entergy New Orleans 774
Entergy Mississippi 772
Entergy Louisiana 770
Entergy Texas 766
El Paso Electric 764
Duke Energy Florida 762
Dominion Energy Virginia 756
Public Service Company of Oklahoma 753
Louisville Gas & Electric 751
Duke Energy Carolinas 750
CPS Energy 749
Duke Energy Progress 748
Entergy Arkansas 743
Gulf Power 739
Kentucky Utilities 733
OG&E 731
Dominion Energy South Carolina 728
Southwestern Electric Power Company 717


West Region Utility Brands Engaged Customer Relationship index
Xcel Energy – West 776
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power 776
Puget Sound Energy 774
SMUD 772
Idaho Power 769
SDG&E 767
Salt River Project 762
NV Energy 762
Pacific Power 752
NorthWestern Energy 750
Southern California Edison 750
Portland General Electric 747
APS 746
Rocky Mountain Power 739
PG&E 726
PNM 717

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business

Escalent conducted surveys among 14,072 business electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 76 largest US utility companies (based on customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight 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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