Satisfaction with Price Is Higher among Retail Electric Customers Than among Local Electric Utility Customers

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Customers in Maryland and Pennsylvania are Most Satisfied with Their Retail Electric Providers, while Customers in Ohio are Least Satisfied

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 26 June 2013 Among retail electric provider residential customers, 41 percent have taken action in the past year to either switch providers, renew with their current retail provider, or sign up for retail service for the first time, with a majority citing price competition as a primary reason for taking action, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Retail Electric Provider Satisfaction StudySM released today.
The inaugural study measures satisfaction among residential customers of 71 retail electric providers in eight1 states by examining five key factors: price; communications; corporate citizenship; enrollment/renewal; and customer service.  
According to the study, 6 percent of customers have switched from another retail electric provider; 11 percent have enrolled for the first time with a retail provider; and 24 percent have renewed with their existing retail electric provider in 2013.  
Among customers who decided to switch retail electric providers, 64 percent cite price competition offered a better deal as the primary reason they selected their new provider. Price satisfaction is highest among customers in Maryland and Pennsylvania than among those in the other six states included in the study. Retail customers surveyed for this study are more satisfied with price than are customers of local electric utilitiessurveyed for the J.D. Power 2013 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study.SM
"As more consumers enter the electric retail market, retail providers will need to continue to find ways to enhance long-term relationships with their current customers, making the option to switch less attractive," said Jeff Conklin, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power. "Satisfying retail electric customers is an ever-changing process in terms of improving pricing and presenting more attractive offerings and promotions."
When looking at overall satisfaction by state, Pennsylvania performs highest among the seven rank-eligible states in the study, with an average overall satisfaction score of 631 on a 1,000-point scale. Following Pennsylvania are Maryland (630); Connecticut and Illinois in a tie (610 each); Massachusetts (603); New York (595); and Ohio (575). Overall customer satisfaction for the industry averages 606.  
Retail electric provider study rankings by state are:
 
Connecticut: ConEdison Solutions ranks highest in Connecticut with a score of 651, and performs particularly well in the price factor. Ambit (624) follows ConEdison Solutions in the rankings, performing above the Connecticut state average (610).
Illinois: Energy Plus ranks highest in Illinois with a score of 633, performing particularly well in the price and corporate citizenship factors. Following Energy Plus in the rankings are First Energy (611) and IGS Energy (610).
Maryland: Dominion Energy Solutions ranks highest in Maryland with a score of 648, and performs particularly well in the price factor. Washington Gas Energy Services (640) follows Dominion Energy Solutions in the rankings, performing above the Maryland state average (630).
Massachusetts: Energy Plus ranks highest in Massachusetts with a score of 642, and performs particularly well in the customer service and enrollment/renewal factors. AEP Energy (630) and Direct Energy (629) follow in the rankings.
New York: Ambit Energy ranks highest in New York with a score of 642, and performs particularly well in the price, communications, enrollment/renewal and customer service factors. Energetix (630) follows Ambit Energy in the rankings, performing above the New York state average (595).
Ohio: DPL Energy Resources ranks highest in Ohio with a score of 602, and performs particularly well in the price, communications, corporate citizenship and customer service factors. Dominion Energy (584) and Duke Energy (583) follow in the rankings.
Pennsylvania: PPL EnergyPlus ranks highest in Pennsylvania with a score of 635, and performs particularly well in the communications and corporate citizenship factors. Energy Plus (634) follows PPL EnergyPlus in the rankings, performing above the Pennsylvania state average (631).
1New Jersey is included in the study, but retail electric providers are not ranked due to an insufficient number of eligible brands. 

2Local electric utilities refers to regulated utilities.

J.D. Power offers the following tips for consumers when shopping for or when considering switching retail electric providers:
  • When comparing providers, look at not only their prices, but also their monthly fees, contract term length and cancellation fees.
  • Most states, as well as some third-party services, offer shopping websites that compare current market offerings. Search online for electric choice in your state.
  • Many providers offer additional incentives to switch or renew, so ask about the opportunity to receive airline miles, gift cards or other discounts.
  • Ask your friends and neighbors about their experiences with retail electric providers in terms of customer service responsiveness when dealing with questions or problems.
 
The 2013 Retail Electric Provider Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 14,800 retail electric residential customers of 71 retail electric providers in eight states regarding their experiences with their retail electric provider. The study was fielded in April and May 2013.
 

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw-Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com. 

Media Relations Contacts:

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