Texas Customers Are Shopping for New Retail Electric Providers as Overall Brand Trust Declines

September 28, 2022

Escalent names the 2022 Most Trusted Brands among Texas REPs

A striking 41% of Texas retail electric provider (REP) customers have indicated they plan to shop for a new REP in the next year. Declining level of trust, less communication from REPs, concerns about getting lower rates and wanting to decrease overall electric use are all contributing to customers’ desire to find a new provider. These and other findings are from the Cogent Syndicated Texas REP Trusted Brand study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm.

The study finds overall Texas REP Brand Trust has dropped a moderate three points from 2021 to 725 this year following a significant decrease in agreement that customers’ REP supports programs, causes or charities that they care about. With this drop, REPs are now near the bottom of various service providers, posting Brand Trust levels comparable to waste management and cable TV companies. By contrast, companies like banks and wireless carriers post significantly higher Brand Trust scores.

“Customers’ needs and wants from REPs are shifting,” said K.C. Boyce, vice president at Escalent. “While the decline in the industry’s Brand Trust score is primarily driven by not supporting programs or charities customers care about, that same trait is decreasing in importance. With market volatility and inflation directly impacting customers’ wallets, brand traits like offering the lowest rates, providing great service, and helping customers lower their electric usage are most compelling to customers. This creates an opportunity for REPs to truly differentiate themselves by offering programs that connect with these desired benefits.”

And data from the report supports this new opportunity:

  • “Savings” continues to be the program benefit customers most desire from REP offerings. Nearly one-third (29%) say they’d expect to save 20% on their bill by using one of these offerings, but more than one-quarter (26%) say the specific amount doesn’t matter.
  • Resilience, or keeping the power on during a grid outage, climbs significantly in importance from last year, with nearly one-third (32%) of customers saying it’s an important program benefit.

However, while overall the industry sees a decline in Brand Trust, six REPs see large increases in their Brand Trust scores. These REPs have an average increase of more than 60 points on their Brand Trust Index this year. Today, we name them the 2022 Most Trusted Brands among Texas REPs.

Cogent Syndicated 2022 Most Trusted Brands Among Texas REPs

4Change Energy

Acacia Energy

Amigo Energy

Cirro Energy

First Choice Power

New Power Texas

“These REPs are in a great position to retain their current customers and attract new ones as four in ten customers shop for a new provider in the coming year,” added Boyce. “Customers with high Brand Trust are significantly more likely to prefer their retailer for offerings that can provide them with savings or resilience, things like demand response programs, smart thermostat programs, home battery backup, and community solar.”

About Texas REP Trusted Brand

Cogent Syndicated measures Customer Engagement and Brand Trust among customers of Texas retail electric providers by surveying 3,161 customers across providers based upon data-driven models. The study measures key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide management perspectives on how to improve REP brand positioning, sales and promotion, customer trust, effective messaging, product sales, customer experiences, service quality, customer acquisition and loyalty. Escalent’s Brand Trust Index comprises nine factors: community support, customer focus, communications effectiveness, environmental dedication, local reputation, reliable quality, competitive rates, enhanced offerings, and billing and customer service. The study collects a demographically representative sample across all Texas service territories open for retail electric competition. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

Click below for more information about the study.

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