Progress Energy Florida, Tampa Electric deliver sub-par satisfaction ratings: JD Power
Just thought you'd like to see the actual JD Power ranking of major electric utilities in our region of the country and the extraordinary difference in satisfaction between Progress Energy and its Carolina customers (No. 3, way above the regional average) and Progress Energy Florida and its Florida customers (way below the regional average). Also note that Tampa Electric, part of Tampa's TECO Energy, ranked even lower in customer satisfaction than Progress Energy Florida.
So what to make of this? Some scenarios:
* Floridians are just crabby from the heat and naturally are more dissatisfied with their power companies.
* Folks in the Carolinas, being officially in the culture of the South, are simply too polite to tell their electric utilities what they really think.
* Floridians are long used to less than stellar service and are willing to put up with less than satisfactory service. And the utilities are pleased to comply.
In Progress Energy's case, one of the big differences is that Floridans pay between 20 and 25 percent more for the same 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity as customers of the same company in the Carolinas. Don't know about you, but that makes me cranky.
This would not be so annoying except for the larger trend. In 2008, Progress Energy Florida was still below average (though not as much) while Progress Energy Carolinas was still ranked high. And Tampa Electric? Still near the bottom, as the 2008 rankings below show.
In 2007, JD Power did not break out Progress Energy Florida from its Carolina operation so we do not know how vast was the difference in customer satisfaction among the states. But both Progress Energy and Tampa Electric in 2007 ranked above the regional average in satisfaction. See for yourself here and below:
The irony in all of this is JD Power found in its 2009 survey of customer satisfaction that, overall, electric utilities are doing a better job of keeping their customers happy. That's not what I see in these rankings in Florida.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist