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November 15, 2019

CMP scores at the bottom of national business satisfaction survey

electricity meters File Photo Central Maine Power Co. scored lowest among 87 electric utilities whose business customers were surveyed about their satisfaction.

Many of the state’s businesses apparently aren’t happy with the performance of its largest electric utility, Central Maine Power Co.

The company ranked last in an annual satisfaction study, released Wednesday, that evaluated 87 electric utilities nationwide based on a survey of more than 21,000 business customers.

The study, by market research firm J.D. Power, scored each utility on a 1,000-point scale, using survey responses about their power quality and reliability, corporate citizenship, pricing, billing, communications and customer service.

CMP received a score of 639 — the only score in the U.S. below 700.

Pacific Gas & Electric, a San Francisco utility with over 5 million electricity customers, got the next-lowest score, 724. Entergy Texas, which provides power for about 450,000 customers in that state, scored highest in the country, at 831.

The study, which J.D. Power has conducted annually for 21 years, surveyed business customers that spend at least $200 a month on electricity. The survey was fielded between February and October.

In a news release, J.D. Power said that while overall business customer satisfaction with electric utilities climbed this year, the gap between the highest-ranking and lowest-ranking utilities also has grown considerably.

"Many top-performing utilities are getting that formula right, by visibly maintaining their infrastructure and leveraging technology to ensure businesses receive timely information needed to deal with outages and support decision-making,” said Adrian Chung, director of utilities intelligence at J.D. Power.

“However, several utilities are still missing the mark by not focusing on these areas that drive customer satisfaction."

CMP has come under public fire in recent years, in response to weather-related outages, investigations into its billing practices, and plans for a $1 billion, 145-mile electricity transmission corridor through western Maine.

The company, a subsidiary of Avangrid Inc. (NYSE: AGR) has more than 620,000 customers in central and southern Maine. Headquartered in Augusta, CMP operates a dozen service centers throughout the state, 280 substations and 25,000 miles of power lines.

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