Utilities Rank Among Top Business Service Providers on Customer Engagement

December 15, 2021

Escalent Names 29 Utilities as 2021 Business Customer Champions

Fifty-four percent of business customers are highly engaged with their electric and natural gas utilities, driving the industry’s Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) Index to an all-time high of 786 (on a 1,000-point maximum scale) for 2021. Escalent’s ECR Index is a comprehensive customer relationship measurement used by utility management to assess customer engagement. Among business customers, utilities now tie with other premier business service providers, such as primary banks, Google and Amazon, for having the most engaged relationships. This information is from the Cogent Syndicated 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study by top human behavior and analytics advisory firm Escalent.

Businesses elevated their engagement during the pandemic as they relied on utilities to support their local economies and customers. Utility outreach to local communities is leading to a spike in brand strength, as 58% of business customers say they are highly loyal to their utility. This growth in loyalty is providing a positive impact on utility profits, as half of businesses prefer to use their utility for consumption management and expanded energy-related offerings. In fact, 67% of businesses use a utility offering beyond basic service enhancements.

Despite this strong performance, the study finds that utilities still have to sharpen their focus on customer engagement, as most businesses say they are open to offers from other energy providers. One threat is that 30% of business customers are open to using a third party for alternative energy, such as community or rooftop solar.

“Since 91% of businesses are satisfied with utility service, management teams are now building value by expanding their goals to engaging customers across all touchpoints,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president, Escalent. “Greater outreach, innovative offerings and brand trust have led businesses to engage with their utility and they want to engage even more deeply. But businesses have also made it clear that if utilities don’t provide the value they seek beyond basic service, they will move to other providers who do.

Escalent congratulates the 2021 Business Customer Champion utilities listed below, whose customer engagement positions them as best-in-class providers. Their customers value the relationship they have forged with them and are looking to further engage with them as trusted energy advisers.

Escalent 2021 Business Customer Champions

Alabama Power Duke Energy Progress Public Service Company of Oklahoma
APS El Paso Electric Puget Sound Energy
BGE Florida Power & Light Salt River Project
CenterPoint Energy – South Georgia Power Seattle City Light
Chattanooga Gas Company Idaho Power TECO Peoples Gas
Con Edison Los Angeles Department of Water & Power TECO Tampa Electric
Dominion Energy Ohio NV Energy Virginia Natural Gas
Dominion Energy West OG&E We Energies
DTE Energy PNM Xcel Energy – West
Duke Energy Florida PSE&G


EAST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand name ECR score
Con Edison 828
BGE 817
PSE&G 800
PPL Electric Utilities 786
National Grid 778
PECO Energy 777
Appalachian Power 763
Jersey Central Power & Light 761
Penelec 757
PSEG Long Island 756
West Penn Power 747
Eversource Energy 715


 MIDWEST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand name ECR score
We Energies 849
DTE Energy 824
Ameren Missouri 798
Consumers Energy 796
AEP Ohio 790
MidAmerican Energy 787
Ameren Illinois 784
AES Ohio 778
Xcel Energy – Midwest 777
Duke Energy Midwest 776
Wisconsin Public Service 773
Indiana Michigan Power 769
OPPD 763
AES Indiana 760
Alliant Energy 759
Ohio Edison 751
ComEd 743
Evergy 729
The Illuminating Company 725


SOUTH REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand name ECR score
Duke Energy Florida 811
OG&E 810
Florida Power & Light 808
Georgia Power 803
Duke Energy Progress 798
TECO Tampa Electric 792
Alabama Power 791
El Paso Electric 791
Public Service Company of Oklahoma 791
Louisville Gas & Electric 788
Dominion Energy Virginia 783
Mississippi Power 772
Entergy 769
Duke Energy Carolinas 764
CPS Energy 760
Kentucky Utilities 758
JEA 751
Southwestern Electric Power Company 750
Dominion Energy South Carolina 749
Gulf Power 743


WEST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand name ECR score
Xcel Energy – West 841
Seattle City Light 828
Puget Sound Energy 806
APS 804
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power 804
PNM 804
Idaho Power 803
Salt River Project 802
NV Energy 800
SMUD 797
Southern California Edison 795
Colorado Springs Utilities 785
SDG&E 784
Pacific Power 780
PG&E 777
Portland General Electric 760
Rocky Mountain Power 757
NorthWestern Energy 740


NATURAL GAS UTILITIES: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand name ECR score
TECO Peoples Gas 837
CenterPoint Energy – South 819
Dominion Energy West 808
Chattanooga Gas Company 803
Virginia Natural Gas 802
Dominion Energy Ohio 801
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest 798
Nicor Gas 796
Dominion Energy North Carolina 789

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business

Escalent conducted surveys among 16,604 business electric and natural gas utility customers of 81 US utility companies. Utilities within the same region are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. The Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) index is a composite score based upon a 360-degree customer review of how engaged businesses are with their energy utility provider. Scores are composed of ratings across service satisfaction, brand and product experiences. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.


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