Residential study cites response to the COVID-19 pandemic
SAN ANTONIO — (July 9, 2020) CPS Energy continues to earn the trust of its residential customers, as shown through the latest Cogent Syndicated Brand Trust Index from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm. For the fifth year in a row, Cogent named CPS Energy as one of the Most Trusted Brand among combined (electric and natural gas) utilities in the U.S. Southern Region in the annual survey of customers from the country’s largest utilities. The survey found customers have more trust in utilities due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Brand Trust Index scores utility performance on customer focus, community support, effective communications, reliability, environmental dedication, and reputation. This year’s survey also considered the industry’s response to COVID-19 and found the effective handling of the pandemic response contributed to more customer trust.
“CPS Energy has acted swiftly and thoughtfully throughout the pandemic to protect our entire community’s health and safety while ensuring we continue to deliver safe and reliable power to our customers,” said Rudy Garza, Chief Customer Engagement Officer. “This recognition is evidence of our company’s Guiding Principle of putting People First. It shows our commitment to our customers and the community during this challenging time.”
Well before COVID-19 began to spread to the United States, CPS Energy immediately responded by implementing social distancing measures and reviewing emergency and operations plans to keep the utility operating smoothly and prevent transmission of the virus. CPS Energy leadership implemented additional safety training for employees in late March. It also moved to provide protection and assistance to its customers.
The CPS Energy Board of Trustees approved the suspension of service disconnections and a waiver of late fees for customers on a CPS Energy approved payment plan to help customers experiencing financial hardship. This action was also supported by the San Antonio City Council. While leadership continues to assess the economic situation through this pandemic, Energy Advisors are proactively contacting customers to create payment plans or connect eligible customers to additional resources. CPS Energy also continues to raise money and find other funding sources for the Residential Energy Assistance Program, or REAP, to provide energy bill credits to customers.
As CPS Energy has seen, customer trust in utilities across the country was increasing before the pandemic. However, the industry’s response to COVID-19 accelerated the trend, according to Escalent.
“It is clear from our research the utility industry has done a fantastic job supporting customers through the pandemic. This has won the trust and goodwill of their customers,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “Awareness of utility COVID-19 efforts was supported by higher communications recall, the high quality of customer service interactions, and providing more value-added recommendations during service.”
CPS Energy is committed to supporting its residential and business customers through the pandemic response, recovery, and beyond. For more information about programs available to customers, visit https://cpsenergy.com/assistance or call 210-353-2222 to speak to an Energy Advisor.
About CPS Energy
Established in 1860, CPS Energy is the nation’s largest public power, natural gas, and electric company, providing safe, reliable, and competitively-priced service to 860,934 electric and 358,495 natural gas customers in San Antonio and portions of seven adjoining counties. Our customers’ combined energy bills rank among the lowest of the nation’s 20 largest cities – while generating $8 billion in revenue for the City of San Antonio for more than seven decades. As a trusted and strong community partner, we continuously focus on job creation, economic development, and educational investment. True to our People First philosophy, we are powered by our skilled workforce, whose commitment to the community is demonstrated through our employees’ volunteerism in giving back to our city and programs aimed at bringing value to our customers. CPS Energy is among the top public power wind energy buyers in the nation and number one in Texas for solar generation.
About Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential
Escalent conducted surveys among 70,438 residential electric, natural gas and combination utility customers of the 140 largest U.S. utility companies (based on residential customer counts). The sample design uses a combination of quotas and weighting based on U.S. Census data to ensure a demographically balanced sample of each evaluated utility’s customers based on age, gender, income, race and ethnicity. Utilities within the same region and of the same type (e.g., electric-only providers) are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.