The results of the first survey of utility customers since Hurricane Sandy are in, and they indicate that the New York metropolitan area is a hotbed of dissatisfaction.
Ground zero for the griping was on Long Island, where business customers of the Long Island Power Authority registered the lowest level of satisfaction in the entire country, according to a study released late Wednesday by J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing research firm.
Connecticut Light and Power, which serves most of Connecticut and was widely criticized for its response after Hurricane Irene struck in 2011, ranked next-to-last nationally in the satisfaction survey.
The study is an annual survey of businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop restaurants to the headquarters of global corporations. It shows that, as a group, businesses in the Northeast lost a lot of faith in their power providers last year.
The scores for 2012 measured the attitudes of business customers throughout the year, reflecting their residual feelings about how utilities performed in late 2011 as well as their fresh sentiments in the two months after Hurricane Sandy, said Jeff Conklin, senior director of J.D. Power’s energy practice.
“Nearly every utility in this segment is showing a decline from last year,” Mr. Conklin said.
Indeed, the average score for large utilities in the East on the firm’s 1,000-point scale fell to 623 from 639. But some utilities, including Consolidated Edison, fared relatively well.
Con Edison, which provides electricity to almost all of New York City and much of Westchester County, moved up the rankings, despite a significant drop in its customers’ satisfaction. While its score on the customer satisfaction index dropped to 639 this year from 654 in 2012, Con Edison rose to second from third among large utilities in the East.
Con Edison’s score this year matched that of Jersey Central Power and Light, which serves much of central New Jersey, including most of the Jersey Shore. The New Jersey utility’s business customers had been the most satisfied in the region in last year’s survey, but lost a lot of confidence. In the new survey, the level of satisfaction with Jersey Central Power and Light fell about 5 percent.
The responses from businesses can differ from the opinions of residential utility customers. J.D. Power’s last survey of residential users, released in July, also ranked the Long Island Power Authority and Connecticut Power and Light as the two worst large utilities in the East. But that survey also ranked Con Edison only average for the group and Jersey Central Power and Light well below average.
In five months, each of those utilities will receive another verdict from their residential customers.