Austin Energy grabs top customer approval rating

February 3, 2010

Austin Business Journal

Austin Energy tied for the best customer approval rating for mid-sized utility companies in the South today, according to a report from J.D. Power and Associates.

Researchers interviewed more than 16,000 U.S. businesses that spend between $500 and $50,000 a month on electricity, asking participants to score thier resident utility company. Employers graded companies against several indicators including power quality and reliability, billing and payment, corporate citizenship, price, communications and customer service.

Austin scored 682 on a scale of 1,000 and tied for the top spot in the Southern United States with CPS Energy. Nationally, businesses are more satisfied with electricity providers so far this year than last year, scoring companies an average 646, which is an increase of 29 points over last year’s total.

"Electric utilities are doing a particularly good job of raising awareness of their new conservation and efficiency programs, which resonates with cost-conscious business customers," said Alan Destribats, vice president of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

Austin Energy has operated a solar installation rebate program since 2002 and committed about $4 million for the fiscal 2010 budget, though it is temporarily suspended. So far it has funded more than 900 roof-top panels. Earlier last year, the company garnered necessary approvals to develop the largest solar power generating project in the United States in Webberville.

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