J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Business Customer Satisfaction with Gas Utilities Declines from 2012 Driven by

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Business Customer Satisfaction with
Gas Utilities Declines from 2012 Driven by Decreases in Corporate Citizenship
                      and Customer Service Satisfaction

CenterPoint Energy-Midwest; New Jersey Natural Gas; MidAmerican Energy;
Southern California Gas Company; and South Carolina Electric & Gas Each Rank
Highest in Their Respective Regions in Satisfying Gas Utility Business
Customers

PR Newswire

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 13, 2013

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Amid a reduction in
local and customer-focused activities, overall customer satisfaction declines
among business gas utility customers, according to the J.D. Power and
Associates 2013 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study^SM released
today.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)

Now in its eighth year, the study measures business customer satisfaction with
their gas utility company in four regions: East, Midwest, South and West.
Satisfaction is measured by examining six factors: billing and payment;
corporate citizenship; price; communications; customer service; and field
service.

In 2013, overall satisfaction among business customers of gas utilities
averages 657 (on a 1,000-point scale), a decrease of 17 points from 2012.
Satisfaction declines in all six factors examined in the study, with the
greatest declines occurring in corporate citizenship (down 22 points) and
customer service (down 19 points). Communications declines the least in the
2013 study (down 13 points), primarily due to a decrease in customer recall of
utility communications.

"Overall, there are fewer touches being made in corporate citizenship and in
communications, which has negatively impacted customer satisfaction," said
Chris Oberle, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power and
Associates. "The customer-focused approach used to increase satisfaction in
the 2012 study has somewhat waned, as utility companies receive lower
awareness of their local support and economic development efforts this year."

The study finds that local and community efforts are also declining, directly
impacting customer perception of corporate citizenship. Business customer
awareness of utility efforts regarding environmental efforts declines to 31
percent in 2013, down from 38 percent in 2012. Additionally, customer
awareness of a utility's local support and donations declines five percentage
points year over year to 24 percent in 2013.

Online customer service, specifically ease of use, is contributing to a steep
decline in overall customer service satisfaction.

"Customers are not satisfied with gas utility websites and find them difficult
to use, increasing their time spent on the site to complete the desired
action," said Oberle. "This dissatisfaction has led some business customers to
drop electronic billing and online payments, deferring to the more traditional
paper bill."

East Region
New Jersey Natural Gas ranks highest in satisfaction in the East region for a
third consecutive year, with a score of 670. Following in the regional
rankings are National Fuel Gas (668) and UGI (660).

Midwest Region
CenterPoint Energy-Midwest and MidAmerican Energy rank highest in satisfaction
in the Midwest region, each achieving a score of 690. Following in the
regional rankings is Xcel Energy - Midwest (669).

South Region
In the South region, South Carolina Electric & Gas ranks highest in
satisfaction with a score of 725. PSNC Energy (702) and Oklahoma Natural Gas
(693) follow in the regional rankings.

West Region
Southern California Gas Company ranks highest in satisfaction in the West
region with a score of 691. Following in the regional rankings are Cascade
Natural Gas (687) and NW Natural (685).

The 2013 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study is based on online
interviews with representatives of more than 10,100 U.S. businesses that spend
$200 or more monthly on natural gas. More than 50 utility brands—each serving
more than 25,000 business customers—are included in the study. The study was
fielded from May to July 2012 and October to December 2012.

Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)
East Region
New Jersey Natural Gas          670
National Fuel Gas               668
UGI                             660
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania    659
Washington Gas                  655
Con Edison                      647
BGE                             646
East Region Average             644
PSE&G                           641
National Grid                   634
PECO                            626
Philadelphia Gas Works          622
Midwest Region
CenterPoint Energy - Midwest    690
MidAmerican Energy              690
Xcel Energy - Midwest           669
Duke Energy                     667
We Energies                     665
Black Hills Energy              660
Columbia Gas of Ohio            654
Ameren Illinois Utilities       653
Alliant Energy                  651
Atmos Energy - Midwest          650
Vectren                         648
Midwest Region Average          647
Kansas Gas Service              643
Missouri Gas Energy             636
NIPSCO                          634
Consumers Energy                633
DTE Energy                      633
Laclede Gas                     633
Louisville Gas & Electric       628
Peoples Gas                     617
Nicor Gas                       616
Wisconsin Public Service        611
South Region
South Carolina Electric & Gas   725
PSNC Energy                     702
Oklahoma Natural Gas            693
CenterPoint Energy - South      680
Alagasco                        678
South Region Average            677
Piedmont Natural Gas            673
Atmos Energy - South            664
Texas Gas Service               663
West Region
Southern California Gas Company 691
Cascade Natural Gas             687
NW Natural                      685
Southwest Gas                   668
West Region Average             663
San Diego Gas & Electric        662
Avista Utilities                658
Questar Gas                     657
Pacific Gas and Electric        652
Xcel Energy - West              644
Puget Sound Energy              638
New Mexico Gas Company          612

      Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are
NOTE: Intermountain Gas Company, Montana-Dakota Utilities, and NorthWestern
      Energy

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.

Media Relations Contacts:
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818)
598-1115; jperlman@brandwarepr.com
John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;
john.tews@jdpa.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
Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

Website: http://www.jdpower.com
 
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