Press Release

Electric Utility Sustainability Initiatives Not Connecting with Consumers, J.D. Power Finds

Fewer than One-Fourth of Customers Aware of Local Utility Plans to Curb Greenhouse Emissions

Few local electric customers have any idea what their utility is planning to do to improve the environment despite a historic bipartisan infrastructure proposal that calls for the single largest federal investment in clean energy, countless clean-air initiatives launched by local utilities and growing consumer interest in clean energy. According to the J.D. Power 2021 Sustainability Index, released today, just 23% of customers are aware their electric utility has declared a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Consumer awareness and support for climate sustainability initiatives of local electric utilities remains low despite growing national attention on sustainability and the environment,” said Andrew Heath, senior director of utilities intelligence at J.D. Power. “This is a big issue because utilities are developing a number of sophisticated sustainability strategies and, eventually, customers are going to be asked to fund these investments and modify their electric consumption. If they want customer support, utilities really need to act quickly to increase awareness for their sustainability initiatives.”

Following are some key findings of the 2021 index:

  • Persistently low consumer awareness for utility climate initiatives: The overall sustainability scores for electric utilities evaluated in the study—which are based on consumer awareness, support, engagement and advocacy for their local utility’s climate initiatives—is 27 (on a 100-point scale), up just one point from 2020. Only 23% of electric utility customers say they are aware of their utility’s goals to reduce greenhouse emissions.
  • Lack of faith: Only 46% of customers believe their utility is likely to achieve a goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • Some utilities show significant improvement: While overall sustainability scores have not moved much, a handful of utilities achieved significant improvement from last year’s study. On a 100-point index scale, they are Alliant Energy (+4.6 points), Avangrid (+4.3), Salt River Project (+3.9), Evergy (+3.1), CMS Energy (+3.0) and Duquesne Light (+3.0).
  • Highest-scoring utilities: NextEra Energy and Sacramento Municipal Utility District have the highest scores in 2021, each with a score of 33.

The J.D. Power Sustainability Index evaluates electric utility customer awareness, support, engagement and advocacy for their local utility’s climate sustainability programs and goals. The index applies to the 35 largest U.S. electric utility companies and cities, each serving 500,000 or more residential customers and is based on responses from 66,494 business and residential electric utility customers and was fielded from June 2020 through May 2021. Additional information is based on the J. D. Power 2021 Sustainability Pulse Study fielded in April 2021.

Following is the full list of electric utility companies and cities that are evaluated, along with their index scores:

Utility                                                              2021 Sustainability Index Score

NextEra Energy                                              33
Sacramento Municipal Utility District        33
Con Edison                                                     32
CPS Energy                                                     31
L.A. Department of Water & Power            31
Salt River Project                                           31
CMS Energy                                                    30       
DTE Energy                                                     30
Edison International                                      30
Emera                                                              30
Portland General Electric                             30
Southern Company                                       30
Duke Energy                                                   29
Puget Energy                                                  29
Sempra Energy                                               29
Berkshire Hathaway Energy                         28
Dominion                                                         28
Entergy                                                            28
Pacific Gas and Electric                                28
Xcel Energy                                                     28
Ameren                                                            27
Exelon                                                              27
Pinnacle West                                                 27
Alliant Energy                                                  26
OGE Energy Corp.                                           26
PPL Corporation                                             26
PSEG                                                                26
Evergy                                                              25
National Grid                                                   25
AEP                                                                  23
Avangrid                                                          23
Duquesne Light                                              23
Eversource                                                      23
WEC Energy Group                                        23
FirstEnergy                                                     21

For more information about the J.D. Power Sustainability Index, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/utilities/jd-power-climate-leadership-program.

About J.D. Power
J.D. Power 
is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business. The J.D. Power auto shopping tool can be found at JDPower.com.

Media Relations Contacts
Geno Effler, J.D. Power; West Coast; 714-621-6224; [email protected]
John Roderick; East Coast; 631-584-2200; [email protected]

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules: www.jdpower.com/business/about-us/press-release-info

 

Media Contacts