Two Local Electric Utilities Slip in Customer Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Two of the region's three electric utilities slipped below the state average for overall customer satisfaction for 2009, a Public Utility Commission report released yesterday shows.

The PUC's annual Customer Service Report allows customers to see how well companies respond to their questions, and allows the utilities to see how their service compared to their peers, according to the commission.

Duquesne Light Co. maintained an 89 percent overall customer satisfaction rate, a percentage it has retained for three years. The company serves Allegheny and Beaver counties. The figure means that 89 percent of customers surveyed were satisfied with the company's service.

The average satisfaction rate for the state's seven electric utilities that serve at least 100,000 customers also was 89 percent.

"With everything we do with regard to customer service, it's a constant process to keep the numbers high," said Duquesne Light spokesman Joe Vallarian.

Allegheny Power's overall satisfaction rate slipped to 87 percent from 88 percent, while FirstEnergy Corp.'s Penn Power unit fell two percentage points, to 87 percent from 89 percent. Allegheny Power serves parts of Allegheny County and most of Southwestern Pennsylvania except Beaver County. Penn Power serves customers mainly north of Pittsburgh.

Among the three natural gas distribution companies serving the region, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania saw a three-percentage-point increase in its overall customer satisfaction rate to 86 percent from 83 percent in 2008, and 84 percent in 2007. …