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Illinois electric utilities hit bottom in satisfaction surveys

The two major electric utilities in Illinois ranked at the bottom of the annual household customer satisfaction survey of large Midwest electric utilities released today by J.D. Power and Associates and in the bottom four of 14 in business customer satisfaction.

Commonwealth Edison Co. ranked worst in household satisfaction with a score of 579 on a scale of 1,000 points, and eleventh in business satisfaction with a score of 642.

Ameren Illinois, with a score of 606, was just above ComEd in the household survey and was dead last in the business category with a score of 610.

ComEd's ranking put it among the worst of large electric utilities nationwide as well.

The average scores for large Midwest electric utilities, serving more than 500,000 residential customers and 85,000 or more business customers, were 617 in the household category and 654 in the business category.

In its release today, J.D. Power said that customer satisfaction for the utility industry as a whole fell about 20 points in 2012, and it attributed much of that decline to increased power outages due to violent weather. It said that utilities could help mitigate consumer unhappiness by setting up better communications systems during storms.