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LIPA customers unhappiest in nation, survey finds

A file photo of power lines on Long

A file photo of power lines on Long Island. (March 1, 2011) Photo Credit: James Carbone

The Long Island Power Authority got the lowest customer satisfaction rating in the nation among the municipal utilities in the newly released American Customer Satisfaction Index, a survey designed by the University of Michigan. 

This is the first year the survey, which is affiliated with Michigan's Ross School of Business, has broken out separate categories for municipal and investor-owned utilities.

In the municipal utilities category, LIPA got a 65 rating out of a possible 100. The average for all municipal utilities nationwide was 73. LIPA scored slightly worse than the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, which got a 66 rating. 

And LIPA got the second-lowest customer satisfaction rating of all utilities – including investor-owned companies – in the nation. Only Pepco Holdings, of Delaware, got a lower rating. 

LIPA’s low score came amid a contrary trend, the survey said. In general, customer satisfaction with energy utilities increased 0.8 percent to 74.7 on a scale of 1 to 100, the survey said. 

ACSI's policy is to make public only the customer satisfaction score for each company it measures; and releases lists of survey questions or other information only to subscribers.

Mark Gross, a LIPA spokesman, asked for comment on the survey, said Wednesday that he had not heard of the survey because LIPA had not paid for it.

Gross said a separate study, paid for by LIPA's partner National Grid, showed an increase of 21 percent in satisfaction among LIPA's business customers. LIPA's paid survey was conducted by J.D. Power, Gross said.

“We certainly care what our customers think about LIPA. We continue to focus on customer satisfaction and have already seen vast improvement as reported by other nationally recognized surveys in areas such as our customer call centers, power outage communications and awareness of LIPA’s energy efficiency programs," Gross said.

"However, we all know that we still have a lot of work to do."

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