What are the best utility websites right now? How many utility websites are using responsive design? What’s the best way to design a Contact Us page that’s suited for mobile devices? Which features on utility websites have the most room for improvement? These are the questions E Source is uniquely suited to answer with our Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites.

Since 2002, E Source has been using this study to benchmark more than 100 utility websites, gauging how successful they are in serving residential customers. In the years since the study’s conception, web design and functionality has advanced exponentially, so in 2019, we’re modernizing the study to keep up with these advancements. The methodology for the 2019 website benchmark is shifting to be more quantitative.

We’ll rank more than 110 utility websites to identify the best offerings and design elements. Our feature-by-feature design guides will assess what makes each feature work best for customers.

The four usability components (findability, functionality, appearance, and relevance) will be split apart for our enhanced methodology, which includes more data-heavy feedback.

  • Findability assessments will be completed by at least 10 reviewers to determine the length of time to find, the typical path, and the number of clicks to find a feature.
  • Appearance will be assessed via an online survey with a large panel of North American consumers who will compare the appearance of utility website features.
  • Functionality will be assessed with a scored checklist of essential and enhanced components and offerings that make a utility website more user-friendly.
  • Relevance will be assessed using tenets of website content strategy.
We’ll measure four usability components to evaluate utility websites in the 2019 Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites.
Chart showing how E Source measures utility website design and performance in the Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites.

These methodology changes make it more important than ever to participate by giving us access to a residential customer account so we can view the secure side of your website. Secure features make up more than a third of the features we assess across utility websites, ensuring the user experience is optimized across your whole website.

If you’re the best person to contact regarding the website and obtaining account access, please complete the following form on the E Source website: https://www.esource.com/web-review. Don’t miss this step to ensure that we fully evaluate your site. In late November, we’ll reach out with details on how to securely submit account access. Account access is due by January 1, 2019, when we’ll start our review of utility websites.

Contact us if you have any questions or need more information.

Contributing Authors

Manager, Market Research

Heather Hilgenkamp designs, implements, and analyzes market research studies. Some of the areas she focuses on are customer experience, social media...