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WTOP Beltway Poll: Most satisfied with electric companies

The cleanup begins in Montgomery County after heavy storms whipped the region. (WTOP/Laurie Cantillo)

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of thousands in the D.C. area lost power during the June 29 derecho, but not all customers remained angry with their power companies.

The latest WTOP Beltway Poll shows that 88 percent of customers continued to remain satisfied with their electric utility after the storm. However the poll, conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies, shows satisfaction varies among specific providers.

The poll finds 98 percent of Dominion Virginia Power customers were satisfied with their utility. Sixty-five percent reported being “very satisfied” and 33 percent were “somewhat satisfied.”

Among Baltimore Gas and Electric customers, overall satisfaction drops to 88 percent, with 53 percent of respondents saying they were “very satisfied” and 35 percent “somewhat satisfied.”

Pepco customers were the least satisfied. Seventy-five percent reported overall satisfaction, but just 29 percent said they were “very satisfied.”

While the majority of utility customers throughout the region say that, if given a choice, they would stay with their current electricity provider, 42 percent of Pepco customers say they would select a different provider if given the option. That’s compared to 29 percent of BGE customers and just 8 percent of Dominion customers who said they would switch.

Among customers who believe the number of annual outages and length of outages has increased, Pepco customers are most likely to say they have increased. Thirty-six percent of Pepco customers say they believe outages have increased, followed by 14 percent of Dominion customers and just 9 percent of BGE customers.

Among Dominion customers, 23 percent believe the average length of their outages has increased while only 11 percent of BGE customers report longer outages.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.17 percent.

Editor’s Note: The D.C. metro phone survey was conducted among 550 adults age 18 and over, between July 26 and July 29, 2012. This included representative samples of 200 people in Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford) 250 in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince George’s and 100 in D.C.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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