Santa Clara Municipal Electric Utility Cited for Price/Value,
Trust, Customer Communications
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – April 10, 2013 - A survey of residential utility customers has ranked Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the City of Santa Clara’s electric utility, among the top municipal utilities in California for customer satisfaction. The survey of 13 municipal utilities, conducted by RKS Research of New York for the California Municipal Utilities Association and Northern California Power Association, found that SVP strongly bucked a national trend by improving satisfaction rankings over the past two years.
Only the City of Alameda’s municipal electric utility ranked higher than SVP, which tied with Sacramento Municipal Utility District and City of Palo Alto Utilities for second. SVP scored a “very satisfied” average of 8.7 on a scale of 1 to 10, up from 8.3 in April 2011, with 83 percent of customers surveyed saying they are very satisfied with SVP. Statewide, an average of 64-66 percent of customers are satisfied with their electric utility provider.
"These are really high scores for SVP,” said David Reichman, RKS Research CEO. “The important thing is that SVP's high scores are balanced, and across all dimensions - from price and value to overall trust and various performance dimensions. Most utilities do not see this balance reflected in high scores across all of their dimensions."
“These results reflect very favorably on the entire SVP team, from the employees in the field taking care of customers face-to-face to our managers and elected officials who make reliability and price of electricity a priority in Santa Clara,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Service. “Customers trust that SVP will always consider what’s best for the public interest when crafting policy or making decisions concerning our electricity infrastructure, energy resources, and pricing.”
Residential and business customer satisfaction nationwide has declined for electric utilities the past two years, according to the global marketing services company J.D. Power and Associates (jdpower.com).
Customer ratings of SVP also improved in categories such as value/trust, environmental advocacy, and communications with residents, but the survey indicated that consumers would like enhanced digital contact with SVP as well as more information on energy efficiency and cost-saving measures.
“We are looking into the optimum ways to communicate with customers, whether it’s via their mobile devices, our website or traditional mail and telephone,” said Owens, who added that SVP is interactive with customers through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. “A released Mylar balloon tangled in the wires and knocked out power to a neighborhood for an hour last month. Location and restoration information were available in a matter of minutes via Twitter and our website. Now customers aren’t completely in the dark when the power is out.”
About Silicon Valley Power
Silicon Valley Power (siliconvalleypower.com) is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, Owens Corning and Yahoo!, at rates 15 to 45 percent below neighboring communities.
Mary Medeiros McEnroe, Silicon Valley Power
Dan Beerman, City of Santa Clara