Business Customers Name Utilities as Their Most Trusted Provider

July 7, 2020

13 Utilities Named Most Trusted Business Partners

Local outreach and COVID-19 support have dramatically increased business customers’ trust in utilities. In fact, business customers now rank their utility as their most trusted provider overall, outranking their primary bank and all other vendors. The Cogent Brand Trust Index significantly increased this year (to 753 on a 1,000-point maximum scale) as more businesses use enhanced utility payment or rate options and recognize higher levels of utility support for their local economy. These and other findings are from the Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

Utilities increased customer engagement during the pandemic, with one in five businesses changing to a different rate plan, one in seven changing how they pay their bill, and one in seven making a payment arrangement with their utility. In addition, almost two in three (61%) businesses are aware of the recent business community support efforts their utilities have made. This has reinforced business customers’ loyalty to their utility, evidenced by the loyalty rating increasing to its highest level ever in the first half of 2020.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to temporarily shutter their operations, businesses have trusted their providers to work with them and the business community as a whole. Utilities rose to that challenge and established themselves as trusted partners,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “Utilities immediately began supporting their customers with the enhanced offerings and economic support that business customers were seeking from a quality provider. As a result, loyalty among business customers has strengthened greatly.”

Escalent congratulates the following 13 utilities for being named Cogent Syndicated’s 2020 Most Trusted Business Partners. These utilities have demonstrated the business leadership and customer focus that have made them premier companies.

Cogent Syndicated 2020 Trusted Business Partners
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest Indiana Michigan Power
CenterPoint Energy – South Louisville Gas & Electric
Chattanooga Gas Nicor Gas
Con Edison Salt River Project
Dayton Power & Light Virginia Natural Gas
Duke Energy Midwest Xcel Energy – West
El Paso Electric

The following tables reflect benchmarking of businesses’ trust levels in their electric and natural gas utilities compared with their peers. Brand Trust Index scores are based on a 1,000-point maximum scale.

2020 Business Customer Brand Trust Benchmark Scoring
East region   Midwest region  
Con Edison 817 Duke Energy Midwest 796
PSE&G 773 Nicor Gas 784
BGE 770 CenterPoint Energy – Midwest 784
Eversource Energy 748 Indiana Michigan Power 779
PECO Energy 747 Dayton Power & Light 777
PSEG Long Island 743 The Illuminating Company 772
Jersey Central Power & Light 742 Ameren Illinois 772
PPL Electric Utilities 733 Wisconsin Public Service 769
National Grid 728 Consumers Energy 768
NYSEG 708 AEP Ohio 767
Appalachian Power 691 DTE Energy 765
West Penn Power 685 MidAmerican Energy 758
Penelec 677 Xcel Energy – Midwest 753
Ameren Missouri 751
OPPD 750
Indianapolis Power & Light 745
ComEd 729
Ohio Edison 720
Alliant Energy 720
We Energies 714
Evergy 698
2020 Business Customer Brand Trust Benchmark Scoring
South region West region
Chattanooga Gas 797 Xcel Energy – West 807
Virginia Natural Gas 792 Salt River Project 785
Louisville Gas & Electric 787 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power 779
El Paso Electric 784 NV Energy 777
CenterPoint Energy – South 777 Southern California Edison 766
Public Service Company of Oklahoma 771 Idaho Power 761
Duke Energy Florida 770 Puget Sound Energy 759
TECO Tampa Electric 770 SDG&E 753
Florida Power & Light 768 SMUD 753
Alabama Power 767 NorthWestern Energy 752
Georgia Power 767 Pacific Power 741
Entergy 761 APS 740
Dominion Energy Virginia 756 Portland General Electric 732
Gulf Power 753 Rocky Mountain Power 720
Duke Energy Carolinas 735 PNM 705
Dominion Energy South Carolina 726 PG&E 699
OG&E 724
Duke Energy – Progress 722
Southwestern Electric Power Company 719
CPS Energy 717
Kentucky Utilities 717

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business

Escalent conducted surveys among 14,583 business electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 77 largest US utility companies (based on business 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.


For more information on the full report, click below.

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