High Electric Bills This Winter?

This is the time of year when we receive the most calls from customers concerned about high electric bills.  Temperatures have been colder; people were home for the holidays; and a lot of cooking, baking and entertaining occurred. When the bill arrives a month later, you may not associate these things with the higher energy use.

Herb Marshall Enery Audit
Herb Marshall

According to Herb Marshall, our Energy Conservation Coordinator who performs most of the in-home energy audits, he finds that portable space heaters and electric baseboard heat are the biggest culprit for higher bills in the winter. That’s why we developed a Space Heater Guide to help customers select the best space heater option for their needs.  Many customers don’t realize that space heaters cost about $0.15/hour to operate, but that can easily add up to an additional $30-$40 per month in cold weather!

Year round, we offer customers a free in-home energy audit to help identify ways to save energy and lower your electric bills, but this service is especially popular this time of year. We offer a number of other resources to help you save money and energy, as well as improve comfort in your home.  Check out our Energy Saving Tips and download one of our guides today!

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Standing Up for Customers Yields Standout Award

It was great to be ranked at a record high level for customer satisfaction in a customer survey earlier this summer. The independent research firm that does these surveys, RKS Research of New NN7_3461-01York, also asks customers what they appreciate or want to see from their utility. Along with low cost and reliability, our customers always ask that we keep communications high on our list of priorities.

So we were delighted when an industry award for outstanding customer communications was given yesterday to our top customer services executive, Larry Owens.  The Northwest Public Power Association gave Larry its lifetime achievement award to recognize his work here for the past 20 years. The award honors remarkable work in the areas of marketing and communication and lifetime commitment to the public power industry.

Larry has driven us to develop strategies that have won widespread community support for the City’s electric utility. He makes every effort to deliver what our customers need or want to know in a timely and effective manner. The results are remarkable. Customer satisfaction and solid trust in SVP have been repeatedly and dramatically validated in independent surveys.

All of us value communications with our customers. Not only do we try to let you know what’s happening with your utility, but we welcome your feedback too. If you have a suggestion or a question, let us know at info@siliconvalleypower.com.

You Spoke, We Listened!

We pride ourselves at staying in touch with our residential and commercial customers and making sure that they know what’s going on, whether it’s tips for saving energy or information about new power resources. And we like to be responsive to customers’ needs. So we occasionally have an independent research company conduct customer surveys to find out how we’re doing with our customers.

One of those surveys this summer showed we set a record for high satisfaction ratings among our residential customers compared to other utilities in California.

Among other questions, customers were asked about their overall satisfaction, their opinion about our rates and whether or not they trusted us to act in customers’ best interests.

The latest results found:

  • Overall, 82 percent of customers surveyed said they were very satisfied with us, a full 15 points above the statewide utility average.
  • Customers are pleased with rates, giving us an average of 7.8 on 0-10 scale, compared with 6.7 statewide.
  • The value of electricity service for the price paid rated 8.2, a full 1.0 above the statewide average.
  • Trust in us rated an 8.4 compared to average ratings between 6.9 and 7.1 statewide for other utilities.
  • 89 percent of customers consider their relationship with us to be “excellent” or “pretty good.”

Our customers also gave us some very constructive feedback, such as a need for us to enhance our online customer service process and improve e-billing services.

We’re working on it! We’re working to update the current version of our e-billing service with a new release that fixes operational bugs and includes usability enhancements, while at the same time, searching the market for a better product.

RKS Results

Legend: Muni – other California public power utilities; IOU – California Investor Owned Utilities