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Electric Utility Sustainability Initiatives Not Connecting with Consumers, J.D. Power Finds

July 22, 2021 GMT

TROY, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 22, 2021--

Few local electric customers have any idea what their utility is planning to do to improve the environment despite a historic bipartisan infrastructure proposal that calls for the single largest federal investment in clean energy, countless clean-air initiatives launched by local utilities and growing consumer interest in clean energy. According to the J.D. Power 2021 Sustainability Index, released today, just 23% of customers are aware their electric utility has declared a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Consumer awareness and support for climate sustainability initiatives of local electric utilities remains low despite growing national attention on sustainability and the environment,” said Andrew Heath, senior director of utilities intelligence at J.D. Power. “This is a big issue because utilities are developing a number of sophisticated sustainability strategies and, eventually, customers are going to be asked to fund these investments and modify their electric consumption. If they want customer support, utilities really need to act quickly to increase awareness for their sustainability initiatives.”

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Following are some key findings of the 2021 index:

  • Persistently low consumer awareness for utility climate initiatives: The overall sustainability scores for electric utilities evaluated in the study—which are based on consumer awareness, support, engagement and advocacy for their local utility’s climate initiatives—is 27 (on a 100-point scale), up just one point from 2020. Only 23% of electric utility customers say they are aware of their utility’s goals to reduce greenhouse emissions.

  • Lack of faith: Only 46% of customers believe their utility is likely to achieve a goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.

  • Some utilities show significant improvement: While overall sustainability scores have not moved much, a handful of utilities achieved significant improvement from last year’s study. On a 100-point index scale, they are Alliant Energy (+4.6 points), Avangrid (+4.3), Salt River Project (+3.9), Evergy (+3.1), CMS Energy (+3.0) and Duquesne Light (+3.0).

  • Highest-scoring utilities: NextEra Energy and Sacramento Municipal Utility District have the highest scores in 2021, each with a score of 33.

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The J.D. Power Sustainability Index evaluates electric utility customer awareness, support, engagement and advocacy for their local utility’s climate sustainability programs and goals. The index applies to the 35 largest U.S. electric utility companies and cities, each serving 500,000 or more residential customers and is based on responses from 66,494 business and residential electric utility customers and was fielded from June 2020 through May 2021. Additional information is based on the J. D. Power 2021 Sustainability Pulse Study fielded in April 2021.

Following is the full list of electric utility companies and cities that are evaluated, along with their index scores:

Utility

 

2021 Sustainability Index Score

NextEra Energy

 

33

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

 

33

Con Edison

 

32

CPS Energy

 

31

L.A. Department of Water & Power

 

31

Salt River Project

 

31

CMS Energy

 

30

DTE Energy

 

30

Edison International

 

30

Emera

 

30

Portland General Electric

 

30

Southern Company

 

30

Duke Energy

 

29

Puget Energy

 

29

Sempra Energy

 

29

Berkshire Hathaway Energy

 

28

Dominion

 

28

Entergy

 

28

Pacific Gas and Electric

 

28

Xcel Energy

 

28

Ameren

 

27

Exelon

 

27

Pinnacle West

 

27

Alliant Energy

 

26

OGE Energy Corp.

 

26

PPL Corporation

 

26

PSEG

 

26

Evergy

 

25

National Grid

 

25

AEP

 

23

Avangrid

 

23

Duquesne Light

 

23

Eversource

 

23

WEC Energy Group

 

23

FirstEnergy

 

21

For more information about the J.D. Power Sustainability Index, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/utilities/jd-power-climate-leadership-program.

To view the online press release, please visit http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2021081.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world’s leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit JDPower.com/business. The J.D. Power auto shopping tool can be found at JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules: www.jdpower.com/business/about-us/press-release-info

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210722005069/en/

CONTACT: Geno Effler, J.D. Power; West Coast; 714-621-6224;media.relations@jdpa.com

John Roderick; East Coast; 631-584-2200;john@jroderick.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MICHIGAN

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ENERGY UTILITIES OIL/GAS

SOURCE: J.D. Power

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 07/22/2021 07:00 AM/DISC: 07/22/2021 07:02 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210722005069/en