E Source Ranks Electric and Gas Company Web Sites

    BOULDER, Colo., Aug. 15 /CNW/ -- E Source reported its latest benchmark
results for the performance of North American electric and gas company web
    Based on the latest E Source findings, many more utilities now offer
self-service functions designed to support the needs of customers who prefer
to interact with their utility online. For example, over 70 percent of utility
web sites now allow customers to check their account balance, compared to less
than 50 percent in 2005.
    The "E Source 2007 Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Web
Sites" assesses 111 U.S. and Canadian utility web sites. This comprehensive
report includes detailed benchmarking information that illuminates the state
of utility web sites. To gauge how successful electric and gas company web
sites are in serving residential customers, E Source researchers assessed the
companies' web sites from the customer's point of view. Many of the utilities
included in the study gave the E Source research team temporary account access
to enable a full assessment of their secure online services.
    Between December 2006 and March 2007, several reviewers-typical
residential energy customers-visited the selected utility web sites. Each site
was visited by multiple reviewers, a different methodology than in earlier
surveys E Source has undertaken. While there, they looked for and rated 27
tasks and functions that had been identified by E Source research as the
options residential customers most expect to find and use when they interact
with a utility's web site.
    This year, the top-rated electric and gas web sites belong to Pacific Gas
and Electric, Florida Power & Light, Wisconsin Public Service, NW Natural, and
Progress Energy (Carolinas). This new study -- the fourth such web site review
E Source has compiled -- is the largest, most detailed benchmark of electric
and gas web sites available. The first study was completed in 2002; E Source
found that between that study and this one, most of the utility web sites
reviewed have changed significantly in their attempt to keep up with
increasing customer expectations.
    Ethan Brown, a research analyst at E Source, said, "As online customer
care becomes more mainstream and competitive, utilities have to work harder
than ever to meet their online customers' needs. Customers' expectations are
increasing alongside their familiarity with the rising standards of bank,
e-commerce, and transportation web sites, so offering them the ability to
perform more transactions on a responsive, highly usable web site has become
more important." E Source Senior Research Associate Florence Connally added,
"During this review, we clearly saw that companies with web sites that were
substantially unchanged from our last review received noticeably lower ratings
from our reviewers."
    "Some utilities have made multimillion-dollar investments in their web
sites and associated online self service options," added Andrew Heath,
director of the E Source E-Business Service. "These companies are getting
benefits in terms of increased customer satisfaction from customers wanting to
interact online. Getting more traditional customers to use the web site
instead of the telephone is still a challenge, but as more and more people
become comfortable using online services, the utility web site is fast
becoming just one more channel customers choose when they need to contact
their utility."
    Eastern Region (U.S.). Long Island Power Authority, Pepco, and KeySpan
Energy have the best three web sites in the Eastern region.
    Midwestern Region (U.S.). Wisconsin Public Service, Vectren, and Alliant
Energy have the three best web sites in the Midwest. In addition, the web
sites provided by Duke Energy (Midwest), Kansas City Power & Light, Ohio
Edison, MidAmerican Energy, and We Energies all performed well.
    Southern Region (U.S.). Florida Power & Light, Progress Energy
(Carolinas), and Alabama Power offer the three best web sites in the Southern
region. Austin Energy, Dominion Power, Duke Energy (South), Progress Energy
(Florida), CPS Energy, Georgia Power, and Oklahoma Gas & Electric also offer
good web sites.
    Western Region (U.S.). In the Western region, Pacific Gas and Electric,
NW Natural, and Arizona Public Service provide the three best web sites. San
Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas, Sacramento Municipal Utilities
District, Idaho Power, and Portland General Electric also provide good web
    Canada. The three best Canadian web sites are provided by BC Hydro,
Terasen Gas, and Hydro-Quebec.

    NOTE: One chart follows

    E Source Ranking of 111 North American Electric and Gas Company Web Sites

                                                           Overall score
    Ranking   Organization name                          (maximum = 1,000)
    Top Quartile
       1      Pacific Gas and Electric                         757
       2      Florida Power & Light                            754
       3      Wisconsin Public Service                         743
       4      NW Natural                                       718
       5      Progress Energy (Carolinas)                      709
       6      Arizona Public Service                           698
       7      BC Hydro                                         697
       8      Alabama Power                                    694
       8      Austin Energy                                    694
      10      San Diego Gas & Electric                         689
      11      Dominion Power                                   688
      12      Southern California Gas                          687
      13      Vectren                                          686
      14      Sacramento Municipal Utility District            681
      15      Duke Energy (South)                              677
      16      Idaho Power                                      675
      16      Progress Energy (Florida)                        675
      18      Alliant Energy                                   670
      18      CPS Energy                                       670
      18      Long Island Power Authority                      670
      21      Duke Energy (Midwest)                            669
      21      Kansas City Power & Light                        669
      23      Georgia Power                                    665
      24      Terasen Gas                                      664
      25      Ohio Edison                                      663
      26      Pepco                                            661
      27      Portland General Electric                        658
      28      Hydro-Quebec                                     657
      28      KeySpan Energy                                   657
      28      MidAmerican Energy                               657
      28      Oklahoma Gas & Electric                          657
      28      We Energies                                      657

    Second Quartile
      33      AmerenUE                                         654
      34      DTE Energy                                       652
      35      Nicor Gas                                        643
      36      Jersey Central Power & Light                     642
      37      Centerpoint Energy (Minnesota)                   639
      37      Salt River Project                               639
      39      Entergy Arkansas                                 638
      40      Atmos Energy                                     633
      40      Puget Sound Energy                               633
      42      Southern California Edison                       632
      43      Connecticut Light & Power                        627
      43      Omaha Public Power District                      627
      43      Reliant Energy                                   627
      46      AmerenIP                                         622
      46      Los Angeles Department of Water & Power          622
      48      Gaz Metro                                        621
      48      Rocky Mountain Power                             621
      48      Westar Energy                                    621
      51      Southwest Gas                                    618
      52      PNM                                              615
      53      Consumers Energy                                 614
      53      South Carolina Electric & Gas                    614
      55      Washington Gas                                   612

    Third Quartile
      56      Orlando Utilities Commission                     611
      57      Xcel Energy                                      609
      58      Union Gas                                        608
      59      Direct Energy (Texas)                            602
      59      Tampa Electric                                   602
      61      Centerpoint Energy (Southern)                    595
      61      Hydro One Networks                               595
      61      Nevada Power                                     595
      61      SaskEnergy                                       595
      65      Nova Scotia Power                                589
      66      PECO Energy                                      584
      67      Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division            583
      67      NB Power                                         583
      69      TXU Energy                                       582
      70      Avista Utilities                                 578
      71      Peoples Gas (Illinois)                           570
      72      Rochester Gas & Electric                         569
      73      Aquila                                           567
      73      Baltimore Gas & Electric                         567
      75      NSTAR                                            564
      75      Questar Gas                                      564
      77      Manitoba Hydro                                   563
      78      Toronto Hydro                                    562
      79      Kentucky Utilities                               558
      80      National Grid New York                           552
      81      ComEd                                            550
      82      Entergy Louisiana                                549
      82      Hydro Ottawa                                     549
      82      Louisville Gas & Electric                        549

    Fourth Quartile
      85      EPCOR                                            545
      86      AEP Ohio                                         542
      86      Otter Tail Power                                 542
      88      SaskPower                                        539
      89      Enbridge Gas Distribution.                       535
      89      New York State Electric & Gas                    535
      89      Northern Indiana Public Service Co               535
      89      Silicon Valley Power                             535
      93      PPL Electric Utilities                           523
      94      Electric Power Board                             519
      95      Con Edison                                       516
      96      Allegheny Power                                  515
      97      Central Maine Power                              514
      98      Delmarva Power                                   499
      98      National Grid Massachusetts                      499
     100      Laclede Gas                                      484
     101      Public Service Electric & Gas                    483
     102      Atlantic City Electric                           482
     103      Columbia Gas of Ohio                             464
     103      Piedmont Natural Gas                             464
     105      Oklahoma Natural Gas                             455
     106      Kansas Gas Service                               451
     107      ENMAX                                            437
     107      Texas Gas Service                                437
     109      Roseville Electric                               399
     110      Philadelphia Gas Works                           368
     111      Dayton Power & Light                             317
    About E Source
    Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, E Source is a leading research and
information services organization, providing member organizations with
unbiased, independent analysis of retail energy markets, services, and
technologies.  Additional information is available at http://www.esource.com.

For further information:

For further information: Becky Hamilton of E Source, +1-303-345-9158, 
becky_hamilton@esource.com Web Site: http://www.esource.com

Organization Profile


More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890