Economic Optimism Fuels Business’ Trust in Utilities

20 Utilities Named Trusted Business Partners

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--As business owners articulate a positive outlook on their local economies, an opportunity is opening for utilities to step in as trusted business advisors. New research from Escalent finds that 69% of US businesses believe their local economy will grow in the next year, and 72% expect an increase in their revenue over the same period. Perhaps even more telling of their optimism, 65% of businesses are planning business expansions. This presents a significant opportunity for utilities to deliver energy management advice and programs. These and more findings are from the Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm.

Each year the study tracks a composite Brand Trust score, which shows an increase in utilities being trusted by their business customers. The industry’s Brand Trust index among business customers increases 20 points from 2018 to 744 (on a 1,000-point scale) this year. Among the study’s six components that make up the Brand Trust index, Business Community Support sees the greatest increase. As awareness of utilities having “programs that help the local economy” increases, so does Brand Trust. The study also shows that 80% of businesses scoring their utility 800 or more on Brand Trust expect to expand locally, leading to an increase in energy consumption and better utility financial performance.

“Becoming part of the fabric of the local economy helps build constructive relationships with local businesses. It shows the business community you are a trusted partner in their success,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “Utilities have benefitted from focusing on programmatic ways to help local economies expand. In fact, 76% of businesses that are aware of utility economic development programs also say their local economy is growing.”

Below is a list of Trusted Business Partner utilities. They are the utility industry’s local leaders on enabling economic expansion.

2019 Trusted Business Partners

Ameren Illinois

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

BGE

MidAmerican Energy

CenterPoint Energy – South

NIPSCO

Chattanooga Gas Company

Portland General Electric

Con Edison

PSE&G

Consumers Energy

Puget Sound Energy

DTE Energy

SMUD

Duke Energy Midwest

TECO Tampa Electric

Entergy Texas

Virginia Natural Gas

Florida Power & Light

Xcel Energy – West

The following charts reflect benchmarking of business’ trust levels in their electric and natural gas utilities compared with their peers. Brand Trust index scores are based on a 1,000-point maximum scale.

2019 Business Customer Brand Trust Benchmark Scoring

 

East Region

 

Midwest Region

 

Con Edison

797

Duke Energy Midwest

779

PSE&G

792

Ameren Illinois

777

BGE

786

MidAmerican Energy

775

NYSEG

761

DTE Energy

772

Eversource Energy

757

NIPSCO

771

Jersey Central Power & Light

756

Consumers Energy

762

PPL Electric Utilities

738

AEP Ohio

756

National Grid

735

ComEd

754

PECO Energy

718

Nicor Gas

746

West Penn Power

708

Ameren Missouri

745

Penelec

700

Xcel Energy - Midwest

744

PSEG Long Island

689

OPPD

742

Appalachian Power

685

Ohio Edison

739

 

 

Wisconsin Public Service

738

 

 

CenterPoint Energy - Midwest

736

 

 

Alliant Energy

711

 

 

We Energies

707

 

 

KCP&L

706

 

2019 Business Customer Brand Trust Benchmark Scoring

 

South Region

West Region

Chattanooga Gas Company

793

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

770

CenterPoint Energy - South

792

Puget Sound Energy

767

Florida Power & Light

789

SMUD

767

Virginia Natural Gas

783

Portland General Electric

755

Entergy Texas

780

Xcel Energy- West

752

TECO Tampa Electric

775

NV Energy

744

Duke Energy Florida

769

Pacific Power

739

Entergy Mississippi

761

Salt River Project

739

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

761

PG&E

734

Alabama Power

756

SDG&E

732

Georgia Power

755

Southern California Edison

732

Dominion Energy Virginia

745

NorthWestern Energy

727

Duke Energy Carolinas

744

Rocky Mountain Power

723

CPS Energy

743

APS

709

Kentucky Utilities

735

Idaho Power

703

Entergy New Orleans

734

PNM

638

OG&E

732

 

 

Duke Energy Progress

731

Gulf Power

722

Entergy Louisiana

721

Louisville Gas & Electric

720

Entergy Arkansas

709

Southwestern Electric Power Company

703

SCE&G

673

 

About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business

Escalent conducted surveys among 12,577 business electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 78 largest US utility companies (based on customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

About Escalent

Escalent is a top human behavior and analytics firm specializing in industries facing disruption and business transformation. As catalysts of progress for more than 40 years, we tell stories that transform data and insight into a profound understanding of what drives human beings. And we help businesses turn those drivers into actions that build brands, enhance customer experiences and inspire product innovation. Visit escalent.co to see how we are helping shape the brands that are reshaping the world.

Contacts

Sarah Keller, 734.779.6847
sarah.keller@escalent.co

Release Summary

As business owners articulate a positive outlook on local economies, an opportunity is opening for utilities to step in as trusted business advisors.

Contacts

Sarah Keller, 734.779.6847
sarah.keller@escalent.co