Published July 13, 2012
The S.C.-headquartered power companies were not the only electric utilities to drop in customer satisfaction. The consumer ratings service found most utilities suffered a decline because of widespread power outages caused by severe storms in the second half of 2011.
"Power quality and reliability is an area where electric utility companies do not always have control, as weather events and storms play a major factor in the quality and reliability of the services provided," said Chris Oberle, senior director of the energy and utility practice at J.D. Power, based in Westlake Village, Calif. "Many large storms have impacted satisfaction across the United States.”
This year’s survey found that residential customer satisfaction with electric utility companies averaged 625 on a 1,000-point scale, a slight decrease from 628 in 2011.
Among large power companies in the South, Cayce-based SCE&G – principal subsidiary of investor-owned SCANA Corp. – notched a score of 652 compared with 687 that it recorded in the 2011 survey.
Since the survey, Duke and Progress have merged.
State-operated Santee Cooper, based in Moncks Corner, received a score of 677 in the 2012 survey, down from 704 reported in 2011.
The study measured customer satisfaction with electric utility companies by examining six factors: power quality and reliability; price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; and customer service.
The study also ranked large and midsize utility companies in four geographic regions: East, Midwest, South and West. Companies in the midsize utility segment serve between 125,000 and 499,999 residential customers, while companies in the large utility segment serve 500,000 or more residential customers.