E Source is pleased to announce that utilities are making progress when it comes to designing websites that meet customers’ needs. They’re also using responsive design more in 2017 than they did in 2015, according to the recently completed E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites: 2017.

Conducted biennially since 2002, this study measures how well utility websites engage residential customers and assesses website improvements as they relate to customer needs. The top utility websites in North America belong to:

  1. Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
  2. Baltimore Gas & Electric
  3. PPL Electric Utilities (tie)
  4. Salt River Project (tie)

These top websites will be recognized in September during an awards luncheon at the 30th annual E Source Forum in Denver, CO. Based on industry trends in user experience and utility feedback, this year’s study separated the user experience (also referred to as usability) into four key components: navigation, functionality, appearance, and relevance.

The utilities with top-rated websites are responding to customer needs by providing a web experience that’s simple and mobile-optimized, and offers options that are easy to read and select. “Customer expectations change over time, and top-performing utilities are adapting to meet and exceed these expectations,” says Heather Hilgenkamp, senior market research analyst at E Source. “Responsive design, presenting information in easy-to-understand formats like tables and charts, and offering personalized alerts for a wide range of topics makes the customer experience better.”

“The clear message from this year’s study is that customers want to accomplish their tasks as quickly and easily as possible,” Keenan Samuelson, E Source customer experience analyst, explains. “Clearly, websites that performed well in the study were intentionally designed with a focus on providing customers a fast, low-effort issue-resolution experience.”

Regional rankings are as follows:

  • Canada: Hydro-Québec, Énergie NB Power, BC Hydro
  • US, Midwest: Wisconsin Public Service, ComEd, Consumers Energy
  • US, Northeast: PPL Electric Utilities, PSEG Long Island, PECO
  • US, South: Baltimore Gas & Electric, Georgia Power Co., Florida Power & Light Co.
  • US, West: Pacific Gas and Electric Co, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison

The E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Residential Websites: 2017 assessed the websites of 114 US and Canadian utilities. Between January and May 2017, a group of residential customers accessed and used the top 10 features from both a mobile device and a laptop computer. E Source selected these informational or transactional features based on market research data and internal expertise as well as input from industry thought leaders.

For more information on this comprehensive study, please visit www.esource.com/web-review. The complete industry report will be published in August and feature-specific Design Guides are available now for member utilities.

Performance ranking of US and Canadian residential websites, 2017

Average usability scores across the four components (navigation, functionality, appearance, and relevance) for each of the 114 companies included in this study and the percentage of features that were found at each company’s website were combined with equal weighting to determine the overall performance index, which has a maximum possible value of 1,000. The websites were then ranked in descending order.
Ranking (top quartile) Company name Performance score
Note: E Source labels the quartile with the highest-ranking utilities “top quartile,” followed in descending rank order by the second, third, and fourth quartiles. Only 113 utilities are listed in the rankings because Southern Company was assessed for its corporate website and Nicor Gas (a subsidiary). Southern Company is ranked based on Nicor Gas’s website. * indicates that the utility did not provide account access to the secure portion of its website. As part of the study methodology, the utility could not earn a rating higher than a 3 out of 5 for any of the four usability components if the feature was found, but account verification was required to fully assess the feature. © E Source; data from the 2017 E Source Website Review
1 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. 883
2 Baltimore Gas & Electric 863
3 PPL Electric Utilities 843
3 Salt River Project (SRP) 843
5 Georgia Power Co. 840
6 Wisconsin Public Service 838
7 PSEG Long Island 828
8 Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) 823
9 Consumers Energy 797
10 Florida Power & Light Co. 795
11 TXU Energy 790
12 OUC–The Reliable One 785
13 Appalachian Power Co.* 784
14 Alabama Power 783
15 Duke Energy 780
15 Southern California Edison 780
17 KCP&L 778
18 PNM 775
18 Portland General Electric Co.* 775
20 American Electric Power 773
21 Hydro-Québec 768
22 Ameren Missouri 765
23 Énergie NB Power 753
23 PECO 753
25 Rocky Mountain Power 752
26 National Grid 750
27 BC Hydro* 748
28 Pacific Power 743
Ranking (second quartile) Company name Performance score
29 Madison Gas and Electric 733
30 Ameren Illinois 730
31 Puget Sound Energy* 728
32 NV Energy 723
32 Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)* 723
34 PEPCO 720
34 We Energies* 720
36 LG&E and KU* 716
37 Atlantic City Electric 713
38 Duquesne Light Co. 710
38 Xcel Energy 710
40 Dominion (Virginia Power)* 709
41 Nashville Electric Service 708
41 Toronto Hydro 708
41 Vectren 708
44 Rochester Gas & Electric* 705
45 CPS Energy* 698
45 Central Maine Power* 698
45 Hydro One 698
48 Union Gas 693
49 Cleco 686
50 Avista 680
50 ENMAX 680
50 Public Service Electric & Gas (New Jersey) 680
53 South Carolina Electric & Gas* 674
54 Eversource Energy* 671
55 Westar Energy* 668
56 Delmarva Power 665
Ranking (third quartile) Company name Performance score
57 Tampa Electric (TECO)* 653
58 Nova Scotia Power* 652
59 West Penn Power Co.* 650
60 Southern California Gas Co.* 648
61 APS* 647
62 Columbia Gas of Ohio 645
62 SaskPower 645
62 Jersey Central Power & Light* 645
65 NorthWestern Energy 638
66 Black Hills Energy* 635
66 Southern Company Gas 635
68 Reliant* 633
68 NYSEG* 633
70 Idaho Power Co.* 631
71 Questar Gas* 627
72 MidAmerican Energy Co.* 613
73 Peoples Gas Light* 612
74 Manitoba Hydro 608
74 Tacoma Public Utilities 608
76 Consolidated Edison* 604
77 Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc.* 599
78 San Diego Gas & Electric 598
79 Southwest Gas* 593
80 DTE Energy* 592
80 Northwest Natural Gas Co.* 592
82 EPB of Chattanooga 588
83 Atmos Energy Corp.* 583
84 Otter Tail Power Co. 580
Ranking (fourth quartile) Company name Performance score
85 Entergy (Louisiana)* 578
86 Oklahoma Natural Gas* 573
87 Dayton Power & Light 568
88 LADWP 565
89 Alliant Energy 563
90 Ambit Energy* 560
90 Seattle City Light 560
92 PSNC Energy* 557
93 Washington Gas Light 534
94 NIPSCO 527
95 Kansas Gas Service* 523
96 Oklahoma Gas & Electric* 519
97 Snohomish Public Utility 518
98 Silicon Valley Power 515
99 Laclede Gas Co.* 514
100 New Mexico Gas Co. Inc.* 513
101 EPCOR* 511
102 Enbridge Gas Distribution 493
102 Pennyrile Electric 493
104 CenterPoint Energy* 482
105 FortisBC 480
106 UGI Utilities* 474
107 National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp.* 473
108 City of Palo Alto 470
109 Philadelphia Gas Works 468
110 Peoples Natural Gas* 459
111 Missouri Gas Energy* 455
112 Texas Gas Service* 444
113 Liberty 423

About E Source

For 30 years, E Source has been providing market research, data, and consulting services to more than 300 utilities and their partners. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.

Public Relations Contact

Kym Wootton, Vice President of Marketing, E Source
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Contributing Authors

Vice President, Marketing

Kym Wootton is responsible for the company’s marketing, event management, corporate communications, member engagement, and brand management....