For the second year in a row, PPL Electric Utilities has ranked highest among large electric utilities in the eastern United States for residential customer satisfaction in a study by J.D. Power.
The award is the company's 20th overall since J.D. Power began studying customer satisfaction among electric utilities. The company now has received 10 top awards for residential customer satisfaction and 10 for business customer satisfaction. The latest business customer satisfaction honor came in February.
"This award is earned each day by the dedicated, hard-working people who serve our customers each and every day. It's also a reflection of their commitment to continuous improvement," said Robert Geneczko, vice president of Customer Service for the utility. "We're dedicated to award-winning customer service in all areas, from those who answer the phones at our contact centers to those who work in the field."
Geneczko said the utility continues to look for ways to make it easier and more convenient for customers to do business, whether it's to report an outage, pay a bill, or get information on E-power® energy efficiency programs.
"We launched a new website in October and we're continuing to make improvements there," he said. "We've also increased the mobile capability of our website and we've ramped up our use of social media to keep customers informed."
The honor comes eight months after Superstorm Sandy, the worst storm in the utility's history, with more than 500,000 customers affected. "We made storm communications improvements before that storm and we continue to look at what we can do better," Geneczko said.
J.D. Power said residential customer satisfaction with their electric utility increased substantially nationwide over 2012 levels, in part due to industry improvements in outage communications. PPL Electric Utilities improved its overall score by 23 points over 2012 levels. The east large utility group is composed of 17 utilities.
Communications and dialogue with customers helped PPL Electric Utilities achieve energy reduction goals under the state's energy efficiency and conservation law. The first phase of programs under that law, Act 129, ended in May and a second phase is under way. Program participants racked up 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year of electric savings in the first phase, enough to power more than 121,000 average homes for a year and reduce customers' energy costs by about $150 million per year.
Two other PPL companies, Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric, were part of the J.D. Power report on midsize utilities in the Midwest region. Kentucky Utilities placed second in the segment among 11 utilities and LG&E scored above the segment average.
Commitment to customer service also is paramount at Western Power Distribution, PPL's electric delivery company in the United Kingdom. All four distribution areas East and West Midlands, South West and South Wales were recently accredited to the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard, which assesses more than 200 aspects of service quality.
PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com .