JD Powers

Westlake, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- March 26, 2007 -  Business customer satisfaction with electric utilities in the U.S. has reached an all time high, after having improved for a third consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study.

For the 55 largest electric utilities nationwide the customer satisfaction index stands at 690 points, up from 667 points in 2006, on a 1,000 point scale.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (762 points) and Pacific Gas and Electric (750) are the two highest ranked utilities across the U.S., with the latter also the most improved utility in 2007 (up from 638 points in 2006). These also lead the rankings in the West Region, in which Arizona Public Service and Salt River Power also performed well.

South Carolina Electric & Gas (729) in the South Region is the next highest ranked utility, with other utilities performing strongly in this region including Duke Energy, Progress Energy and Southern Company.

In the East Region PPL Electric Utilities (728) is the highest ranked electric utility – a position it has maintained in six of the past eight years. Other strong performers are Allegheny Power, Energy East and First Energy.

E.ON U.S. and MidAmerican Energy (each 727) ranked highest in the Midwest Region – E.ON U.S. (formerly LG&E Energy) for a fourth year, having previously ranked highest in the region in the 2000-2003 studies, and MidAmerican Energy for a third year, following regional awards in 2004 and 2005. Other utilities in the Midwest Region with strong performances include Kansas City Power & Light and FirstEnergy

The study is based on interviews with representatives of more than 12,900 U.S. businesses that spend between $500 and $50,000 monthly on electricity. Overall customer satisfaction is measured through six factors: power quality and reliability, customer service, company image, billing and payment, price, and communications.

“Utilities are doing a great job in offering price and customer service options, both of which improve customer satisfaction,” said Alan Destribats, vice president of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “In addition, utilities are now focused on talking directly to their business customers via proactive telephone contacts and on-site visits. Business customers have responded positively to this attention.”