Atmos Energy Leads Energy Utilities in Customer Satisfaction as Overall Industry Remains Stable

Source: 3/21/2023, Location: North America

Residential customer satisfaction with the energy utilities industry is steady at 72 (on a scale of 0 to 100), according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Energy Utilities Study 2022-2023. Satisfaction with natural gas service is unchanged at 75 and remains ahead of electricity, which increases 1.4% to 72.

As energy utilities face the challenges of extreme weather events, they’re also seeing a spike in attacks on the U.S. power grid — 101 physical and cyberattacks last year on equipment that delivers electricity nationwide just through August 2022, per Politico, which is the highest number of attacks since 2012.

“When customers go without power for extended periods of time, maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction becomes a challenge,” said Forrest Morgeson, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Michigan State University and Director of Research Emeritus at the ACSI. “All things considered, the 2023 results suggest energy utilities are continuing to provide relatively high levels of customer service.”

Atmos Energy replaces CenterPoint Energy in first place, while CPS Energy makes significant progress
Atmos Energy leads all energy utilities providers after improving 1% to an ACSI score of 77. Last year’s frontrunner, CenterPoint Energy, falls to second following a 3% slide to 76.

NiSource surges 3% to meet NextEra Energy and Southern Company (both unchanged) at 75, just ahead of Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Exelon, up 1% and 3%, respectively, to 74.

The group of smaller utilities comes in at 73, tying five other providers: Dominion Energy (down 1%), Duke Energy (up 1%), Public Service Enterprise Group (up 3%), Salt River Project (down 4%), and Xcel Energy (up 1%).

Eight providers score 72: Ameren (unchanged), American Electric Power (up 4%), CMS Energy (unchanged), Consolidated Edison (down 1%), DTE Energy (up 4%), PPL (unchanged), Sempra (down 1%), and WEC Energy Group (down 4%). Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (up 4% to 71) and FirstEnergy (unchanged at 70) are not far off.

Entergy and National Grid are stable at 69 apiece, outperforming Edison International (down 1%) and CPS Energy, which soars 8% year over year, both at 68. At the bottom of the industry, Eversource slips 2% to 65, while PG&E finishes last despite increasing 3% to 63.

“Residential customer satisfaction relies heavily on a utility’s ability to provide reliable service and restore power following an outage,” added Morgeson. “A case in point is municipal utility CPS Energy, which lost massive traction with its customers last year following widespread outages that resulted from severe winter storms in 2021. CPS Energy responded by investing further in weatherization efforts, and satisfaction now recovers 8%. Likewise, customers rate the utility’s reliability and power restoration significantly higher, although these metrics stay shy of the better levels experienced before the 2021 outages.”

Energy utility providers receive their strongest customer experience benchmarks for their ability to provide reliable electric service (80) and mobile app quality (80). Customers give high marks for mobile app reliability (79) as well. On the flip side, customers are less impressed by providers’ efforts to support the local community (71) and green programs that impact the environment (69).

The ACSI Energy Utilities Study 2022-2023 is based on interviews with 20,873 residential customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between January 2022 and December 2022. Download the full study and follow the ACSI on LinkedIn and Twitter at @theACSI.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the data and information in this release without the express prior written consent of ACSI LLC.

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