A survey released Thursday shows customers have less trust in Central Maine Power Co. than in 139 other utilities throughout the U.S.
With a score of 623 on a 1,000-point scale, CMP ranked lowest in a study measuring “the amount of trust customers have with each utility,” according to a Michigan human analytics firm, Escalent.
Escalent polled 76,656 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 140 largest U.S. utility companies, based on residential customer counts.
According to the firm, the resulting Brand Trust Index scores represent consumer ratings across six factors: customer focus, community support, communications effectiveness, reliable quality, environmental dedication and company reputation.
CMP, the state’s largest electricity provider with 646,000 customers, received the lowest score among the electric utilities, and among all the utilities, period.
Spokeswoman Catharine Hartnett commented in a statement to Mainebiz Friday, "CMP has been working diligently to rebuild trust with our customers and our own, more detailed polling, tells us we are on the right track. Over the past two years we have dedicated more people and resources to ensure high quality customer service and have been meeting or exceeding all quality measures used by both CMP and the Maine Public Utilities Commission to evaluate this performance."
Nationwide, Kentucky Utilities received the highest score among electric companies, 745. The highest-ranked natural gas company, with a score of 768, was Virginia-based Columbia Gas South. The utility providing electricity and natural gas services and receiving the highest score, 758, was Detroit-based DTE Energy.
Edging out CMP to rank No. 139 was another electric utility, PSEG Long Island, with a score of 625. A combination utility, PG&E, ranked just above, with a score of 626. Overall, natural gas service providers scored better than other utilities.
Escalent surveyed a demographically balanced sample of each utility’s customers based on age, gender, income, race and ethnicity, according to the survey report. Utilities within the same region and of the same type were given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results.
CMP’s rating comes after it received a similar evaluation in November by market research firm J.D. Power. In that survey, the Maine utility ranked worst among 88 U.S. electricity providers in business customer satisfaction. The 2020 study was the third consecutive one by J.D. Power in which CMP held that rank.