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Utility Business Customers Looking for Leadership in the Energy Transition

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 22, 2022 GMT

LIVONIA, Mich., Dec. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new Cogent Syndicated study from Escalent underscores how important it is for utilities to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. After reaching a peak in 2021, the industry Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) Index among business customers dropped a significant eight points to 778 (on a 1,000-point maximum scale), with the decline largely attributed to customers feeling less certain that utilities are committed to using environmentally friendly energy. Escalent’s ECR Index is a comprehensive customer relationship measurement used by utility management to assess customer engagement.

Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business tracks the performance of 82 gas, electric and combination utilities to identify brand and customer experience opportunities and trends in the industry. The study is published semiannually by Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm with extensive energy and utility experience.

The majority (81%) of businesses have energy-related plans (e.g., sustainability plans, climate plans, and/or emergency response/business continuity plans) in place, and these same businesses have the greatest decline in ECR. The decline in ECR, led by environmental perceptions, indicate that these energy-conscious businesses are increasingly concerned about whether their utility is in lock-step with them on improving environmental performance.

“Leadership during the energy transition is becoming table stakes for business customers, as they are making it clear that environmental performance is increasingly important to them,” said K.C. Boyce, vice president at Escalent. “And while they aren’t necessarily naming ‘leadership through the energy transition’ as an important brand trait for utilities, their perceptions and behaviors such as increased preference for non-utility providers of energy products and services indicate they certainly expect leadership to occur.”

While overall the industry ECR is declining, the 15 Business Customer Champion utilities recognized today have seen increases in engagement from last year. These utilities are effectively talking to their customers about a number of things, including renewable and green energy. The customers of these top-performing utilities view them as significantly more committed to using environmentally friendly energy (+0.41 on a 0-to-10-point scale vs. the industry average) and being committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels (+0.50 vs. the average).

Today, Escalent is pleased to name 15 utilities as 2022 Business Customer Champions.

Escalent 2022 Business Customer Champions
Ameren IllinoisGeorgia Power
BGEMidAmerican Energy
CenterPoint Energy – MidwestPuget Sound Energy
CenterPoint Energy – SouthSalt River Project
Con EdisonSeattle City Light
Consumers EnergyWe Energies
Duke Energy MidwestXcel Energy Colorado
Florida Power & Light 

* Utilities named as Business Customer Champions are selected based on having Engaged Customer Relationship Index scores in the top decile of the industry, the top score within their respective benchmark segment, or an Engaged Customer Relationship Index score within 20 points of the top benchmark segment score and above the industry average.


EAST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance


Utility brand name
ECR score
Con Edison828
BGE818
PECO Energy799
PSE&G798
National Grid783
Jersey Central Power & Light781
PSEG Long Island772
Eversource Energy770
Penelec769
PPL Electric Utilities766
Duquesne Light755
West Penn Power743
Appalachian Power711
NYSEG711


MIDWEST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance


Utility brand name
ECR score
We Energies814
Consumers Energy808
MidAmerican Energy804
Duke Energy Midwest803
Ameren Illinois796
AES Indiana785
Ameren Missouri785
Evergy783
DTE Energy782
The Illuminating Company779
Ohio Edison773
ComEd770
Xcel Energy – Midwest765
Indiana Michigan Power763
Wisconsin Public Service758
NIPSCO756
Alliant Energy755
AEP Ohio755
AES Ohio745
OPPD732


SOUTH REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance


Utility brand name
ECR score
Florida Power & Light813
Georgia Power799
TECO Tampa Electric789
Mississippi Power789
Dominion Energy South Carolina787
Duke Energy Carolinas787
Duke Energy Florida783
Kentucky Utilities778
CPS Energy776
Public Service Company of Oklahoma775
OG&E775
Duke Energy Progress773
Dominion Energy Virginia768
Alabama Power767
El Paso Electric763
JEA751
Entergy751
Southwestern Electric Power Company749
Louisville Gas & Electric730
FPL Northwest FL726


WEST REGION: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance

Utility brand nameECR score
Seattle City Light847
Puget Sound Energy829
Salt River Project829
Xcel Energy Colorado823
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power813
Pacific Power797
SMUD793
APS793
NorthWestern Energy783
Rocky Mountain Power782
NV Energy777
Southern California Edison770
PG&E769
SDG&E755
Portland General Electric755
PNM751
Idaho Power730
Colorado Springs Utilities716


NATURAL GAS UTILITIES: Customer Engagement Benchmark Performance


Utility brand name
ECR score
CenterPoint Energy – South816
CenterPoint Energy – Midwest802
Dominion Energy North Carolina791
Dominion Energy Ohio788
Dominion Energy West782
Virginia Natural Gas779
Nicor Gas773
Chattanooga Gas Company765


About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business
Escalent conducted surveys among 18,035 business electric and natural gas utility customers of 82 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.

About Escalent
Escalent is an award-winning data analytics and advisory firm that helps clients understand human and market behaviors to navigate disruption and business transformation. As catalysts of progress for more than 40 years, our strategies guide the world’s leading brands. We accelerate growth by creating a seamless flow between primary, secondary, syndicated, and internal business data, providing consulting and advisory services from insights through implementation. Based on a profound understanding of what drives human beings and markets, we identify actions that build brands, enhance customer experiences, inspire product innovation and boost business productivity. Visit escalent.co to see how we are helping shape the brands that are reshaping the world.


Contact Sarah Keller, 734.779.6847 sarah.keller@escalent.co