SOURCE: E Source

E Source

June 06, 2013 11:00 ET

E Source Announces Top Utilities Using Social Media

North American Utilities Identify Leaders Among Their Peers

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwired - Jun 6, 2013) - E Source surveyed more than 50 electric and gas utilities in the US and Canada to discover the latest trends and best practices in utility social media use. Utilities that participated in the 2013 E Source Utility Social Media Survey were also asked to identify which utilities they consider to be industry leaders in the evolving communication tools. According to participating utilities, Dominion is the top utility in social media because of its willingness to push the social media envelope and its focus on relevant content. The top-ranked utilities, in descending order, are:

1. Dominion
2. Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
3. Alabama Power/Southern Company
4. Avista Utilities
5. Southern California Edison
6. Duke Energy
7. BC Hydro
8. American Electric Power
9. SRP
10. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

This annual survey continues to evolve, reflecting improvements in industry sophistication and integration. The 2013 survey included new strategic questions designed to reveal what the utility industry is doing well when it comes to social media as well as where it can improve. From the data, E Source concluded:

  • Additional time is being spent on social media activities. More than 25 percent of participating utilities employ 1.6 or more full-time employees for social media activities. This represents an increase of 7 percent over 2012 and 10 percent over 2010.
  • Utility regulatory commissions are starting to take notice. In 2013, 16 percent of participating utilities were required to report social media interactions to their commissions, indicating steady growth from 2012. With more than 22 percent of utility commissions recommending social media reporting, E Source expects the upward trend to continue. According to the company, the fact that a significant portion of regulatory bodies are monitoring social media further validates the growing importance of the channel for utilities.
  • Funding for social media initiatives is improving, but there's still a long way to go. Over the past two years, utilities have made significant progress toward proactively funding social media channels, but compared to more-traditional outreach channels, investment is anemic. In 2013, much of the social media budget is spent on monitoring and management software and services, not on channel growth.

"It appears that utilities are stuck in the chicken-egg conundrum: Social is underfunded because of the perception that it only 'reaches' a small portion of customers, yet the only way to meaningfully expand online influence is through proactive investment," says Matthew Burks, director of Strategic Customer Relations at E Source.

The complete rankings from the 2013 E Source Utility Social Media Survey can be found at www.esource.com/Blog/ESource/6-6-13-SocialMedia.

About E Source
For 25 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

Contact Information

  • Public Relations Contact
    Nathan Craze
    Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Customer Service
    E Source
    nathan_craze@esource.com
    303-345-9186