J.D. Power and Associates Reports: State Governments and Electric Utilities
Provided More Effective Emergency Responsiveness During Hurricane Sandy than
Did Local and Federal Governments
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2013
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Overall, state
governments and electric utilities provided more effective responsiveness and
handling of the 2012 Hurricane Sandy emergency than did local and federal
governments, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Hurricane Sandy
Responsiveness Study ^SM released today.
The study is based on interviews of more than 5,900 U.S. residential customers
in 31 utility territories impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The online survey was
conducted from January 4 to January 11, 2013. Overall responsiveness is
measured by examining three areas across electric utilities and local, state,
and federal governments: preparedness for the hurricane; efforts to support
hurricane recovery; and effectiveness of communications.
The emergency responsiveness of state governments and electric utilities (611
and 610, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale) surpass local governments (598)
and the federal government (539) in overall responsiveness to the emergency.
Hurricane Sandy's damage is estimated at $50 billion and is considered the
second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.^1 During the October 2012
hurricane event, approximately 8.5 million customers lost power,^2 and 65,000
utility workers responded from 80 utilities from nearly every state and
Canada, dispatching crews and equipment to impacted areas.^3 During the
hurricane, 43 percent of all customers surveyed experienced a power outage
lasting 24 hours or longer. The average outage duration among all customers
surveyed was 48 hours.
"Overall, the federal government does not receive high ratings from customers
impacted by Hurricane Sandy. For utilities and local and state governments,
the results are more mixed, with some receiving high ratings for their
effectiveness of handling of the emergency and a few receiving low ratings,"
said John Hazen, senior director of the energy utility practice at J.D. Power
and Associates. The Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey state governments
perform highest in the study in overall responsiveness to the hurricane
emergency. Among the 15 states included in the study, Ohio, Pennsylvania and
West Virginia perform lowest in responsiveness to the emergency. Customers in
New Jersey, New York and West Virginia rate the federal government lowest in
responsiveness to the emergency, while Maine and Maryland rate the federal
government highest in responsiveness.
Among customers with extensive outages (average length of 24 hours or longer),
three electric utilities perform particularly well in the study: Atlantic City
Electric, Central Hudson Gas & Electric and PPL Electric Utilities. Local
governments that perform well overall include cities within the counties of
Bronx New York, Burlington New Jersey and New Haven Connecticut.
Obtaining timely outage information is critical to utility customers.
Customers received most of their information regarding the outage by calling
their utility directly (37%); listening to radio or watching TV (29%); and
going directly to their utility's website (17%). Nearly three-fourths (71%) of
customers who made contact with their utility during the outage used their
mobile cellphone or smartphone. Satisfaction is highest among customers who
say they received proactive outbound communications, in which their utility
sent emails, text messages or outbound phone calls.
The study finds that customers' perceptions of work crews deployed during the
storm recovery varied. One-half (50%) of all customers observed their
utility's crews working at their home or elsewhere in their area. Also, 18
percent of all customers observed work crews from other utilities assisting in
restoration efforts. Satisfaction with efforts to support recovery increases
when customers observe their local utility's crew working. However,
satisfaction declines when customers observe only crews from utilities other
than their own out working. Fifty-four percent of customers agree other
utilities' work crews were more knowledgeable and courteous (52%) than local
utilities' work crews on knowledge (50%) and courtesy (44%).
"The study indicates the No. 1 lesson learned from experience during and after
Hurricane Sandy among customers hardest hit (power outage lasting longer than
24 hours) is to purchase survival gear, including flashlights and
non-perishable food, ahead of a major storm," said Hazen.
Thirty-seven percent of customers indicate that they were very prepared for
Hurricane Sandy; however, only 20 percent perceived that their local community
was very prepared. Only 14 percent of customers used a portable generator, and
three percent used a built-in back-up home generator during the hurricane.
Among customers who did not use a generator, 49 percent say that they would
now consider purchasing a generator.
As a preventive measure against storm-related power outages, 66 percent of all
customers agree that "power lines should be buried underground in your area"
(with 20% not having an opinion). However, only 37 percent of customers say
they are "willing to accept a rate increase in order for power lines to be
buried." Among customers willing to accept a rate increase, $12 per month is
the average bill increase they are willing to accept in order for power lines
to be buried.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company providing forecasting,
performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and
solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on
responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car
reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and
more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit
of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education
company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to
investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November
2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be
renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a
powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and
commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard &
Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and
Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have
approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional
information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.
J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818)
598-1115; firstname.lastname@example.org Syvetril Perryman; Westlake Village,
Calif.; (805) 418-8103; email@example.com
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this
release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
^1 Source: The National Hurricane Center,
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182012_Sandy.pdf (accessed 2/12/2013)
^2 Source: U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Electricity and Reliability
^3 Source: ^ Edison Electric Institute,
SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates
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