ATLANTA – Jan. 21, 2020 – Southern Company Gas subsidiary Chattanooga Gas earned the top-ranking score for customer satisfaction in a 2019 survey of the business community rating the 76 largest utilities in the United States. Chattanooga Gas sister companies, Virginia Natural Gas and Nicor Gas, also received high marks, earning all three natural gas providers the title of “Business Customer Champion” from the survey’s conductor, analytics firm Escalent.
The Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand and Customer Engagement Business Study by Escalent measured overall business customer engagement based on three core components: brand trust, product experience and service satisfaction. Three of Southern Company Gas’ local distribution companies ranked in the 2019 survey:
Chattanooga Gas achieved the highest Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) score in the entire industry, earning 826 out of 1,000 points.
Virginia Natural Gas ranked second in the South region and third overall with an ECR of 808.
Nicor Gas finished fifth in the Midwest region with an ECR of 790.
“Because we hold ourselves accountable to our customers above all else, we are extremely proud to receive this honor directly from Escalent,” said Robert Duvall, senior vice president, customer operations, safety and training at Southern Company Gas. “We will continue to work hard at listening to and learning from our customers to go above and beyond meeting their clean energy needs.”
This is the first full year that all eligible Southern Company Gas utilities have participated in this study. Southern Company Gas’ fourth utility, Atlanta Gas Light, was ineligible to be included in the study due to its deregulated model.
This is the 21st customer-related award Southern Company Gas has received since 2014.
Earlier in 2019, Chattanooga Gas and Virginia Natural Gas received the Most Trusted Brand award from Escalent. That award is based on the brand trust category only and is measured against six brand trust index components such as local outreach, reputation, customer advocacy, environmental focus, communications effectiveness and brand traits.
“Utilities are doing a great job managing their business customer touchpoints on service, communication and outreach,” said Chris Oberle, senior vice president at Escalent. “This performance is providing utilities the ability to influence product demand and adoption of key offerings that will have a positive impact on their bottom lines.”
Escalent conducts semiannual surveys with 14,000 business electric, natural gas and combination utility customers who respond to a web-based survey about the 76 largest U.S. utility companies (based on customer counts). Utilities are given equal weight to balance the influence of each utility’s customers on survey results.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 700,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.
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