With energy prices falling, PSEG Long Island bolstered its position with business customers over the past year, adding 36 points to its score on the J.D. Power annual business customer satisfaction survey, though the company remains last among the nation’s top utilities.
PSEG scored 631 of a total 1,000 points, up from last year’s 595.
PSEG’s score has increased as the power supply portion of electric bills has stabilized and even declined in recent months, generally lowering electric bills for all customers.
This month, the power supply charge hit a low of 5.27 cents a kilowatt hour, a 63 percent drop from December’s 8.6 cents, and a 99 percent drop from a year ago, when it stood at 10.5 cents.
The power supply charge, which makes up roughly half of electric bills, covers PSEG’s cost for power from plants and for fuel, including natural gas, which has seen sharp declines due to generally warmer weather this winter. The delivery charge portion of bills increased around 1 percent this month as part of a three-year rate hike.
J.D. Power, in a release, said satisfaction among business customers was up among all utilities over the past year, to an average 704 from 677 in the prior year. It cited pricing, corporate citizenship and communications as the factors driving the increase.
Among large Eastern utilities, Con Edison led the pack with a business satisfaction score of 728, PSE&G of New Jersey was third with 702, and upstate National Grid was ninth with 670.
The survey, which polls hundreds of business customers in each utility region who spend at least $200 monthly on electricity, was conducted from March through June 2015 and July through November 2015.
“We still have work to do and we’re focused on continuous improvement, but results like those released today are a testament to the hard work and effort of our employees,” said Dan Eichhorn, PSEG’s vice president of customer service. “They are working hard to provide our customers with the level of service that they expect and deserve.”
PSEG noted that its contract with LIPA required that it score 576 on the survey, considerably below its 631.