Drowning in Facts? Try Managing Perceptions!

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Energy News, Messaging, Non-Verbal, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

“Facts are simple and facts are straight,” the Talking Heads once sang. For those reasons, facts are often a utility communicator’s best friend. Inside a utility, facts are never in short supply, and communicators often face the challenge of getting factual or going home. But that same fact-based approach can fall flat when communicating with customers and other external stakeholders. … Read More

“Medium Rare or Well Done?”

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Cost-Effective, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Low-Cost, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Creativity Cuts Cost of Connecting with Utility Customers Utility communicators are under increased pressure to do more with less. That puts a premium on creativity. We’re all searching for the same Holy Grail: low-cost, high-impact ways to connect with customers. Two public-power utilities recently shared some very creative ideas to connect with customers. Perhaps their ideas can help you connect … Read More

Creating Customer-Friendly Utility Messages

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Messaging, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

Here’s an example of clear, customer-friendly messaging: it costs you $1.36 per year to charge your iPad. Note the simplicity and the customer-centeredness of the message. It doesn’t offer a range, and it doesn’t include a lot of qualifications about utility rates, iPad usage, or number of users in a household. It may—or may not—be accurate to the fourth decimal … Read More

Utility Customers Satisfied, BPU Says

Egan EnergyCustomers, Energy News, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in Wyandotte County Kansas recently presented the results of a residential, commercial and industrial customer service survey they conducted in April of 2012. Results showed customers were satisfied with the utility’s basic electric and water services. Customer service scores were a bit lower; however, customers expressed appreciation for BPU’s responsiveness and their interface with … Read More

J.D. Power Names Top Utility for Customer Satisfaction

Egan EnergyCommunities, Customer, Energy News, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

PPL Electric Utilities Corp. is back on top, after last achieving the top utility honor in 2007. It has received past honors for both business and residential customer satisfaction. Over 100,000 customers were interviewed online, and PPL was ranked the highest in the eastern United States. PPL also operates Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric in the Midwest Region, … Read More

Who’s On Top—Shareholders or Stakeholders?

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customers, Employees, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

A recent Washington Post article on the presidential race rekindled a long-simmering “shareholder vs. stakeholder” debate. How should profit-seeking businesses parcel out their time, energy, and money among competing constituencies like investors, employees, customers (including regulators), communities, suppliers and the like? Utility communicators, no less than presidential candidates, have decidedly different views about which group is the proverbial “first among … Read More

Talking About Energy (but Not About Prices)

Egan EnergyCustomer, Customers, Efficiency & Conservation, Energy News, Messaging, Non-Verbal, Programs & Services, Utility Advertising, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Stakeholders, ValueLeave a Comment

It’s not easy to talk about electric or gas service. Unlike consumer goods such as cars, homes or food, consumers can’t interact directly with electric or gas service: They can’t store it, they can’t give some of it to their friends, and it doesn’t really come in different colors. That’s why many utilities end up discussing their service in terms … Read More

Energy PR — Forget Facts, Show Value!

Egan EnergyBlog, Creative, Customer, Customers, Effective, Efficiency & Conservation, Messaging, Programs & Services, Utility Communications, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Whatever utility communicators are selling these days, it doesn’t look like customers are buying. And we expect the problem will get worse before it gets better. A lot of utility communication plans are tied to rate cases, and utilities are filing a lot of rate cases these days. It looks like 100 or more rate cases will be filed across … Read More

Communications Breakdown: Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customer, Customers, Messaging, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Customer Satisfaction, Utility Leadership, Utility Marketing, Utility Media Relations, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

Will Poor Communications Destroy Xcel Energy’s Smart Grid Program? Some utilities are having trouble implementing Smart Grid or Smart Meter projects that rely on customers changing the way they use energy. Reaching customers and getting them to consider changing their behavior requires a long-term, integrated, campaign that includes customer communications, media relations, and public relations, among other tools. There are … Read More

Broader Stakeholder Engagement Needed to Site Transmission Projects

Egan EnergyBlog, Communities, Customer, Customers, Effective, Utility Communications, Utility Community Relations, Utility Leadership, Utility StakeholdersLeave a Comment

DENVER, COLORADO–March 8, 2010–Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)–State and federal renewable electric standards (RES) cannot be met without the construction of new transmission lines to connect often remote renewable generation sources to far-off load centers, speakers told a wind and transmission workshop sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) (Washington, D.C.). Getting these … Read More