Ambit Energy received the highest overall rating for Connecticut in the J.D. Power 2015 Retail Electric Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. The survey scored retail electric providers in the areas of price, communications, enrollment/renewal experience, customer service, corporate citizenship, and billing and payment.
Top Electricity Companies
Ambit received a score of 659 down from their top-ranked score of 705 in 2014. Connecticut Gas & Electric (657), ConEdison Solutions (645) and Direct Energy (645) rounded out the top four spots in the customer satisfaction study. Connecticut Gas & Electric was the only electricity company of these four to post an improvement over 2014. Overall, Connecticut electricity providers scored an average of 622 out of a possible 1000 points in overall satisfaction. This reflects a 10-point decrease from 2014.
Connecticut Electricity Challenges
While not cited in the J.D. Power press release, the past 12 months have been challenging for Connecticut electricity providers. Two consecutive harsh winters left many Connecticut residential customers reeling from the impact of volatile wholesale energy prices.
As a result, Connecticut passed legislation in 2015 prohibiting electricity providers from offering variable rates. Connecticut is the first state to ban variable rate electricity plans rather than focusing on improving electricity provider marketing materials. This negative experience with variable rates may have contributed lower customer satisfaction scores in 2015.
In addition to the ban on variable rates, electricity provider changes could also influence the next round of customer satisfaction rankings. ConEdison confirmed its plans to sell electricity provider ConEdison Solutions within the next 12 months. In early 2015, North American Power significantly modified its business structure by shutting down its network-marketing arm. North American Power had increased its customer satisfaction score from 596 in 2014 to 621 in 2015. It remains to be seen how these electricity supplier changes will affect the 2016 customer satisfaction scores and rankings.
This survey underscores the importance of balancing price and service when shopping for a Connecticut electricity provider. Connecticut residential electricity customers have the power to choose from a solid field of providers that excel in providing competitive rates and an outstanding customer experience.