According to the latest E Source benchmark study, the top-rated US electric and gas utility websites belong to Wisconsin Public Service, Pacific Gas and Electric, and Avista Utilities. Énergie NB Power, BC Hydro, and Union Gas Limited host the top-rated Canadian utility websites. For Wisconsin Public Service and Énergie NB Power, this is the second time these organizations have come out on top in their respective regions. They held the number one spots in the 2011 benchmarking study.
Utilities are succeeding in enhancing the customer experience via the website, and usability scores, which measure how easy it is to use a feature on a website, continue to improve. In particular, the usability score for the Make a Payment feature has dramatically increased. “The improvement in the usability score for the Make a Payment feature is encouraging,” says Rich Goodwin, manager of Customer Experience & Marketing at E Source. “Think about it: Customers want to pay their bill online. But by and large, utilities were not making it easy to do so. This should be one of the highest-rated features for usability.”
The look and feel of the websites also showed improvement. “Top utilities are providing aesthetically pleasing websites by using big, bold text and bright colors. And we found that more utilities are offering mobile-optimized features on their websites than ever before,” says Haley Kaiser, a Market Research Services analyst at E Source.
Regional rankings are as follows:
- Canada: Énergie NB Power, BC Hydro, Union Gas Limited
- US, Midwest: Wisconsin Public Service, Vectren Corp., Ameren Illinois
- US, Northeast: PPL Electric Utilities, PECO, NSTAR
- US, South: Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light Co., Duke Energy
- US, West: Pacific Gas and Electric, Avista, Portland General Electric
Rankings per utility type:
- Electric: Énergie NB Power, PPL Electric Utilities, Duke Energy
- Gas: Southern California Gas Co., Nicor Gas Co., NW Natural
- Combined gas and electric: Wisconsin Public Service, Pacific Gas and Electric, Avista
The E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites: 2013 assessed the websites of 101 US and Canadian utilities. Between April and July 2013, a group of 16 residential customers accessed and used the top 30 web and mobile features (both informational and transactional) that were identified by E Source market research, input from industry thought leaders, and E Source expertise as the features residential customers most wanted to see on their utility’s website. As in the past utility website benchmarks, E Source tested these features using mobile devices and laptop computers.
For more information about this comprehensive study, please visit www.esource.com/web-review.
About E Source
For 25 years, E Source has been providing unbiased, objective research and advisory services to over 300 utilities and large energy users. Our energy experts have answered more than 8,000 questions over the past 3 years. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.
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