Tacoma Power ranked in the top half of midsize residential electricity providers in the West region, according to a study by global market research company J.D. Power.
Tacoma Power scored a 670 in the study, based on responses from 104,460 online interviews conducted from July 2013 through May 2014 among residential customers of the 138 largest electric utility brands across the United States, which collectively represent more than 96 million households. Clark Public Utilities, serving Vancouver and surrounding communities, topped the midsize segment for a seventh consecutive year, with a score of 720. Tacoma Power came in sixth, behind Clark; Colorado Springs Utilities; Seattle City Light; Intermountain Rural Electric Association, which serves 10 Colorado counties; and Snohomish County PUD.
Midsize providers in the West region averaged a score of 663; lowest-ranked PNM scored a 621.
The study also found that overall customer satisfaction with residential electric utilities has increased year over year, driven by improvements in corporate citizenship and outage communications.
However, the study said, improvements in the electric utility industry aren't keeping pace with those in other service industries.
“(W)hen comparing satisfaction levels with many other service industries—such as television and telecommunication in which there is a physical connection to a home with a monthly bill payment arrangement—electric utilities are not improving at the same pace in overall satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power. “Consumers are becoming more familiar with a higher level of service in their daily activities with other service providers and, as a result, their expectations are rising.”