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Robert Trigaux

Business survey: Gulf Power tops, FP&L low



ProgressenergywillvragovicsptMirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the best electric utility around here when it comes to satisfying business customers? Don't laugh. Somebody's got to win.

A JD Power survey says Progress Energy Carolinas is the South's top-ranked electric utility when it comes to business customer satisfaction. Let's be clear here. That's Carolinas, not Florida. And we're talking about business, not residential customers.

Progress Energy Florida, which handles the bulk of electricity needs for central Florida, ranked No. 8 in the South and second in Florida among the ranked utilities. Gulf Power, whose territory encompasses mostly the Florida Panhandle, was tops in the state and second in the southern region. Progress Energy Florida, though further down the list, was still above the regional average, according to the JD Power survey.

Lurking below average? Tampa Electric, part of TECO Energy. (Here's what TECO earnings, out today, look like.) And both Florida Power & Light and JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority) ranked lower than Tampa Electric.

The JD Power study is based on interviews with representatives of more than 15,400 U.S. businesses that spend between $500 and $50,000 monthly on electricity.  Ninety utility brands—serving a total of more than 33,000 business customers—are included in the study. Overall customer satisfaction is measured by examining six factors: power quality and reliability; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; price; communications; and customer service.

(Progress Energy power lines photo by Will Vragovic of the St. Petersburg Times.)

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:23am]


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