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Stronger Community and Communication Skills are Building Utility Trust

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

32 Utilities Named Most Trusted Brands

Community Support and Communications Effectiveness increase Americans’ trust in their utility. According to customers, utilities are earning trust by encouraging employee volunteering, listening to community feedback and making consumers more aware of local support and charitable giving. Customers were also happier with the information utilities communicated and the mediums used to deliver those communications. These and other findings are from the 2019 Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential report from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

The study’s composite Brand Trust index score increased 1 point to 688 (on a 1,000-point scale) this year. Among the six components included in the Brand Trust index, Community Support and Communications Effectiveness increased the most. Building Brand Trust provides a positive return on investment for the industry as customers increasingly rely on utilities to provide energy innovation and are more likely to support higher rates for that innovation. Moreover, the study shows that as public trust grows, utilities become much more credible than state governments and regulators to lead industry innovation and progress.

“The nation’s best utilities are trusted energy advisers whose consumers value their opinions and recommendations,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “Industry regulators who are looking to shape the future of energy need to encourage the utilities they regulate to focus on building brand trust. Otherwise, our research finds that innovations in clean energy, EV expansion, consumption management, and digital services are going to languish on low consumer demand for utility-developed offerings.”

Of the 140 utilities included in the Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential study, 14 significantly improved on Brand Trust and 14 significantly declined, creating a 214-point gap between the highest and lowest utility score.

Below is Escalent’s list of 2019 Most Trusted Utility Brands. Congratulations to the 32 utilities that have shown industry leadership and scored highest on the study’s overall Brand Trust index among their peers.

2019 Most Trusted Brands

Combination Utilities

Electric Utilities

Natural Gas Utilities

DTE Energy

OUC

TECO Peoples Gas

Black Hills Energy - Midwest

Georgia Power

Piedmont Natural Gas

Con Edison

SMUD

NW Natural

PECO

Southwestern Electric Power Company

CenterPoint Energy - South

CPS Energy

Florida Power & Light

Texas Gas Service

Puget Sound Energy

Salt River Project

PSNC Energy

Avista

PPL Electric Utilities

UGI Utilities

AEP Ohio

Peoples Gas

Dayton Power & Light

New Jersey Natural Gas

OPPD

SEMCO Energy Gas Company

Washington Gas

National Fuel Gas

Citizens Energy

Peoples

CenterPoint Energy - Midwest

Following charts reflect regional peer benchmark Brand Trust scores among the 140 utilities surveyed. These scores reflect the amount of trust customers have with each utility.

East Region Utilities Brand Trust Performance

Combination Service
(Electric and Natural Gas)

Electric Service

Natural Gas Service

Con Edison

720

PPL Electric Utilities

708

UGI Utilities

727

PECO

705

West Penn Power

683

New Jersey Natural Gas

723

PSE&G

698

Atlantic City Electric

680

Washington Gas

717

Delmarva Power

695

Duquesne Light Company

677

National Fuel Gas

716

BGE

675

Pepco

673

Peoples

709

National Grid

675

Penelec

669

Philadelphia Gas Works

706

RG&E

663

Penn Power

664

South Jersey Gas Company

700

Eversource

652

Jersey Central Power & Light

656

Elizabethtown Gas

692

NYSEG

629

Appalachian Power

651

Columbia Gas–East

670

 

Monongahela Power

647

 

 

PSEG Long Island

647

 

 

Met-Ed

641

 

 

Potomac Edison

627

 

 

Central Maine Power

548

 

Scoring based upon 1,000-point maximum scale

Midwest Region Utilities Brand Trust Performance

Combination Service
(Electric and Natural Gas)

Electric Service

Natural Gas Service

DTE Energy

746

AEP Ohio

706

Peoples Gas

725

Black Hills Energy–Midwest

739

Dayton Power & Light

704

SEMCO Energy Gas Company

717

Xcel Energy–Midwest

718

OPPD

695

Citizens Energy

711

MidAmerican Energy

718

ComEd

687

CenterPoint Energy–Midwest

705

Ameren Illinois

714

Toledo Edison

679

Columbia Gas of Ohio

700

Duke Energy Midwest

714

Ohio Edison

676

Nicor Gas

699

We Energies

697

Indiana Michigan Power

671

Atmos Energy - Midwest

690

Consumers Energy

690

The Illuminating Company

665

Kansas Gas Service

687

NIPSCO

690

Indianapolis Power & Light

659

Dominion Energy Ohio

685

Wisconsin Public Service

685

Westar Energy

654

Spire Missouri–East

671

Vectren

680

KCP&L

649

Spire Missouri–West

642

Alliant Energy

661

Ameren Missouri

629

 

Scoring based upon 1,000-point maximum scale

South Region Utilities Brand Trust Performance

Combination Service
(Electric and Natural Gas)

Electric Service

Natural Gas Service

CPS Energy

703

OUC

745

TECO Peoples Gas

762

Louisville Gas & Electric

667

Georgia Power

729

Piedmont Natural Gas

745

SCE&G

624

Florida Power & Light

727

CenterPoint Energy–South

739

MLGW

614

Southwestern Electric Power Company

727

Texas Gas Service

735

 

 

Alabama Power

720

PSNC Energy

728

 

 

Gulf Power

716

Columbia Gas–South

723

 

 

Nashville Electric Service

715

Spire Mississippi

721

 

 

Entergy Texas

711

Oklahoma Natural Gas

715

 

 

JEA

705

Atmos Energy–South

712

 

 

Entergy Mississippi

703

Virginia Natural Gas

711

 

 

Xcel Energy–South

703

Florida City Gas Company

704

 

 

Kentucky Utilities

702

Spire South

700

 

OG&E

699

Chattanooga Gas Company

688

 

 

Mississippi Power

695

Spire Gulf Coast

610

 

 

TECO Tampa Electric

690

 

 

 

 

Entergy Louisiana

689

 

 

 

 

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

687

 

 

 

 

Dominion Energy Virginia

677

 

 

 

 

Entergy Arkansas

676

 

 

 

 

Duke Energy Progress

674

 

 

 

 

Duke Energy Carolinas

673

 

 

 

 

El Paso Electric

657

 

 

 

 

Austin Energy

650

 

 

 

 

Duke Energy Florida

648

 

 

 

 

Entergy New Orleans

642

 

 

 

 

Kentucky Power

609

 

 

Scoring based upon 1,000-point maximum scale

West Region Utilities Brand Trust Performance

Combination Service
(Electric and Natural Gas)

Electric Service

Natural Gas Service

Puget Sound Energy

700

SMUD

728

NW Natural

744

Avista

694

Salt River Project

716

Cascade Natural Gas

714

Xcel Energy–West

685

Tucson Electric Power

708

Southwest Gas

713

NorthWestern Energy

641

Idaho Power

707

Dominion Energy–West

700

PG&E

641

Portland General Electric

704

Intermountain Gas Company

693

SDG&E

640

Southern California Edison

688

SoCalGas

691

Black Hills Energy–West

613

Rocky Mountain Power

678

New Mexico Gas Company

671

 

 

Pacific Power

673

 

 

 

 

NV Energy

671

 

 

 

 

Seattle City Light

668

 

 

 

 

PNM

647

 

 

 

 

APS

639

 

 

 

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

635

 

 

Scoring based upon 1,000-point maximum scale

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential

Escalent conducted surveys among 62,122 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.

About Escalent

Escalent is a top human behavior and analytics firm specializing in industries facing disruption and business transformation. As catalysts of progress for more than 40 years, we tell stories that transform data and insight into a profound understanding of what drives human beings. And we help businesses turn those drivers into actions that build brands, enhance customer experiences and inspire product innovation. Visit escalent.co to see how we are helping shape the brands that are reshaping the world.

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