Green Mountain Energy Wins 2014 J.D. Power & Associates Award!

Green Mountain Energy has nabbed the top score in the J.D. Power & Associates annual customer satisfaction survey for Texas electricity! Congratulations Green Mountain! This is the first time in 4 years a company has beat out Champion Energy Services for the top spot in the survey.

Additionally, the survey also shows that customer satisfaction for Texas electricity has increased dramatically over last year as well. From the article:

Despite an extremely severe winter and correspondingly high electricity bills, satisfaction with retail electric providers has improved dramatically from 2013, driven in part by improved communications, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Retail Electric Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study released today.

Overall satisfaction increased 24 points from a score of 682 to 706 from 2013 to 2014. The survey also highlights the increase in the quality of communication between customers and their electricity companies based upon the customer recall of communication. This is great news, as it illustrates that electricity customers are doing a better job of reaching out to their customers in this digital age.

Green Mountain Energy scored a 762, followed by Champion Energy at 759, Cirro Energy at 736, and StarTex Power at 735. Bounce Energy rounded out the top 5 with a score of 730.

I’ll be back later with an article examining some more of the key findings in the survey and what it represents to Texas electricity customers.

Champion Energy Wins Staggering 4th Straight J.D. Power Award

In what is increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion, Champion Energy has ranked in the top spot of the 2013 J.D. Power & Associates survey for Texas electricity customer satisfaction. This marks the fourth straight year that Champion Energy has won the coveted award. Last summer marked them as the first three-time winner of the award.

From the press release:

Champion Energy Services ranks highest among retail electric utility providers in Texas for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 764. Champion Energy Services performs particularly well in price; billing and payment; enrollment/renewal; customer service; and communications.

 

Champion posted a cumulative score of 764. Congratulations to Champion Energy!

Also of note was Green Mountain Energy, which managed to come away with the 2nd spot in the survey with a cumulative score of 737. That is a huge improvement over their 2012 score of 691, and was enough to vault them 9 spots into 2nd place, edging out Bounce Energy who had a cumulative score of 736.

Rounding out the top 5 were StarTex Power and Brilliant Energy, with scores of 730 and 720 respectively. The entire chart is listed below:

2013 J.D Power Survey Results

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post examining the findings in a bit more detail, as well as an update to the Texas Electricity Ratings rankings.

Direct Energy Purchases Bounce Energy

This morning Direct Energy has announced their purchase of Texas retail electricity provider Bounce Energy. Bounce Energy, who has consistently been at the top of the Texas Electricity Ratings rankings (currently #1), has easily been the most innovative electricity provider in the country in terms of their online technology/capabilities and their success in reaching out to potential and existing customers through social media outlets.

Additionally, just recently, Bounce made groundbreaking contributions to the electricity space with the launch of their new MyAccount functionality, as well as their Build Your Own Plan functionality. The Build Your Own Plan is the only one of it’s kind in the electricity space, and allows customers to select their own plan term length, the amount of renewable energy in the plan, whether they want automated and paperless billing, and more.

In contrast, Direct Energy has long been lacking in the realm of online functionality, digital customer outreach, and a customer friendly web-portal. So on the surface, this seems like a very smart purchase by Direct Energy, but only if it’s viewed as a strategic purchase of specialists and experienced personnel to bolster some trouble areas of their business. If it is just viewed as a purchase of a customer book, then I’d purport that Direct Energy is wasting a great opportunity.

Fortunately, from some of the quotes in the press release, it looks like Direct Energy is very much viewing this as a strategic purchase:

“We are always looking for new ways to enhance our customers’ experience and satisfaction,” said Steven Murray, President of Direct Energy Residential. “Bounce Energy’s digital marketing insights and e-commerce platform will bolster our capabilities as we expand our product offerings to current and potential customers.”

 

“Direct Energy is the ideal organization with which to expand our e-commerce platform and digital marketing capabilities,” said Robbie Wright, CEO of Bounce Energy.

If that is the case, and by all appearances it seems to be a strategic purchase, this is great news for both Direct Energy and Texas electricity customers alike. Bounce’s technology and marketing savvy along with Direct Energy’s resources (which allow them to go toe to toe with incumbents like TXU and Reliant), could create the kind of Texas electricity company that will push innovation in new ways that will only benefit Texans, as well as customers in all other states Direct Energy sells electricity.

All in all, it’s a very interesting day for Texas electricity customers. The #7 company on Texas Electricity Ratings is purchasing the current #1 company, but there’s a lot of hope that the union will mean great things for customers. Congratulations to both Direct Energy and Bounce Energy!

Bounce Energy Launches New My Account Functionality

Texas electricity company Bounce Energy continues to innovate in the realm of online customer experience with the launch of their new MyAccount technology. You can read about the details here, but suffice to Continue reading “Bounce Energy Launches New My Account Functionality” »

Texas Electricity Ratings: Rankings Update: 6/17/2013

Now that Summer is in full swing, with higher electricity rates hitting the market and several months of new customer reviews in the system, it is once again time to update the Texas Electricity Ratings company rankings and see how providers stack up.

Unsurprisingly many established providers lost points this time around with the higher market electricity rates, although that was somewhat offset by other ranking factors. That being said, there’s no arguing how higher electricity prices are altering the Texas electricity landscape. Without further ado, here are the rankings:

Bounce Energy                 4.01
Champion Energy             3.89
TriEagle Energy                3.75
StarTex Power                  3.71
Gexa Energy                     3.68
Amigo Energy                   3.15
Direct Energy                    2.98
TXU Energy                       2.84
Green Mountain Energy     2.75
Reliant Energy                   2.47

Congratulations to Bounce Energy, who once again held onto the top spot. Bounce is followed up by Champion Energy, another mainstay at the top of the ratings. Newcomers TriEagle Energy, StarTex Power, and Gexa Energy round out the top five.

When comparing these latest ratings to the ones from last summer, it is really apparent when just how much the market cap has really altered the way electricity companies are assessing risk in their portfolios as well as how the generators are bidding out electricity. In short, it’s really amazing just how much higher rates are across the board for customers, regardless of which provider they choose.

 

Bounce Energy’s New Build Your Own Electricity Plan

Last week Bounce Energy ask me if I’d like to take their newest product for a test drive and give my thoughts. My first reaction, was “Why does a new plan need a test drive?” That confusion was cleared up in short order. Bounce’s newest addition to the Texas electricity market is a “Build Your Own Electricity Plan.” Are you intrigued? Well, in my opinion, you should be, because I thought this was the coolest thing I’ve seen in the Texas electricity market in years. Lets break down how it works below. Continue reading “Bounce Energy’s New Build Your Own Electricity Plan” »

Texas Electricity Ratings: Rankings Update 2/19/13

We’re well into the new year, and it is time for a new update of our rankings here at Texas Electricity Ratings. We’ve had rate changes now that companies are preparing to move back into summer rates, and there’s also been another round of customer reviews that I’ve entered into my system. So with that in mind, here’s our latest round of rankings:

Bounce Energy                        4.04
Champion Energy Services     3.91
StarTex Power                         3.81
TriEagle Energy                       3.69
Gexa Energy                            3.58
Direct Energy                           3.17
Amigo Energy                          3.09
Tara Energy                             3.02
Green Mountain Energy           2.79
TXU Energy                              2.53
Texas Power                            2.46
Reliant Energy                          2.13

Congratulations to Bounce Energy, who is back in the top spot! Bounce is followed by Champion Energy, who slipped a little but during this rankings system. StarTex Power has slipped back into the 3rd spot, even after their purchase by Constellation Energy. That speaks well to how they’ve been transitioned into Constellation.

During my rankings update, I’ve also noticed some more things about the Power To Choose website rankings, but that will be another post I’ll put up later today or tomorrow.

Texas Electricity Ratings: Rankings Update: 10/16/2012

Summer has passed and we’ve had several events that have influenced some of the ways we rank providers at Texas Electricity Ratings, including rate changes as well as the releasing of the latest JD Power & Associates survey of Texas electricity providers, among others. And surprisingly enough, Continue reading “Texas Electricity Ratings: Rankings Update: 10/16/2012” »

Champion Energy Wins 3rd Straight JD Power & Associates Award

Late last week it was announced that Champion Energy won the 2012 JD Power & Associates survey for customer satisfaction. This marks the third consecutive ear that Champion Energy has won the award, which is an outstanding achievement and really demonstrates their commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Champion Energy is the first electricity provider to win the award for three consecutive years.

Champion Energy got perfect scores on 3 of the 4 grading criteria that JD Power measured, which are Billing & Payment, Price, Communications, and Customer Service. Their total score was 756 out of a possible 800, improving on their 2011 score of 745. The Texas electricity industry average score was 678, which Champion exceeded by 78 points. Again, congratulations to Champion Energy.

Also performing well was relative market newcomer, Bounce Energy, which was founded in 2008. Bounce Energy was the only other Texas electricity provider to score the top 5 point ranking with a total score was 745. Bounce’s performance is particularly impressive when you consider that they are the youngest company on the survey to be included. Additionally, this was just their second year to be included in the survey at all, finishing last year with 681 points. So Bounce Energy also deserves a well-deserved congratulations for moving into a very strong 2nd place finish in just their second year in the JD Power survey.

StarTex Power had another great showing, finishing third with a total of 729 points. Also of interest to me was that both market incumbents and big name providers Reliant Energy and TXU Energy finished with marks below the industry average with scores 669 and 663, respectively.

The survey results weren’t the only things I found interesting in the press release, which also spoke about the general satisfaction with Texas electricity customers when compared to consumer satisfaction in regulated markets without choice. I’ll take a closer look at that this afternoon in a separate article. Full results below.

Texas Electricity and Social Media

Capital One and the American City Business Journals are working together to sponsor a contest to see which businesses are the best at social media, called the Social Madness contest. The contest is designed to measure how successful local businesses are with using social media to interact with their customers. Now obviously Continue reading “Texas Electricity and Social Media” »