SOURCE: E Source

E Source

September 20, 2011 10:00 ET

E Source Announces Utility Brand Value Ratings

Customers Rated Utilities Highest for Reliability of Service

BOULDER, CO--(Marketwire - Sep 20, 2011) - E Source, in partnership with The Nielsen Company, has established its first national Utility Brand Value Ratings based on a broad survey of U.S. residential customers. The 10 utilities that received the highest scores, in the order of their blended brand scores, are:

  • Omaha Public Power District
  • Salt River Project
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Snohomish Public Utilities District
  • Seattle City Light
  • MidAmerican Energy
  • Idaho Power
  • Portland General Electric
  • Indianapolis Power & Light
  • Avista Utilities

E Source ranked 87 investor- and publicly owned utilities from across the U.S.; cooperatives were not included in the rankings. E Source looked at nine different attributes of brand strength and value, developing ratings for each as well as a blended overall brand rating. Brand attributes included price/value ratio, effective communications, program offerings, environmental efforts, customer service levels, and reliability.

Overall, utilities received the highest brand rating from their customers for reliability, with customer service taking second place. Utilities received the lowest scores for price/value ratio and effective communications. Loyalty to the utility also received low scores.

"The ratings show that municipal and other publicly owned utilities appear prominently in the top echelon of brand value," says E Source Senior Advisor Bill LeBlanc. "Utilities with high brand ratings tend to have an easier time introducing new services, getting approval for upgrades such as smart meters, and even siting new power plants."

E Source analysis identified certain factors that drive brand value to a high extent. Some of those factors are controllable by the utility and others are simply part of the demographic makeup of a given utility's customers. For example, adults over the age of 55 gave much higher brand scores than did their younger counterparts. "We believe that younger consumers are demanding more from all types of providers, having grown up in an age of extremely high expectations for brand value from companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Honda," says LeBlanc.

E Source also found that customers who participate in energy-efficiency programs, warranty options, or premium renewable energy programs, score their utilities higher on brand value. People who opt into customer services such as auto-pay, budget billing, or web payment also rate their utilities higher. LeBlanc adds, "The analysis shows that a utility's brand strength can be enhanced by engaging more customers in service options that give them control, choice, and simplicity, allowing even monopolies to provide the same value that top competitive companies provide."

About E Source
E Source has been providing unbiased, objective energy business intelligence to over 300 utilities and large energy users for more than 20 years. Our benchmarking services are supported by the latest market research looking at what customers want from their utilities. Our research analysts and consultants are among the best minds in the business, delivering significant and timely research that equips our customers with the right information at the right time to make better, faster decisions. We predict and address trends, technologies, and problems related to energy efficiency, utility customer satisfaction, program design, marketing, customer management, and sustainability. For more information, please visit www.esource.com.

Contact Information

  • Public Relations Contact
    Wendy Bloechle
    Vice President of Marketing, E Source
    Email Contact
    303-345-9158