Texas Retail Electric Provider Brand Trust Is Declining, 25% of Consumers Ready to Switch: Research Study

September 29, 2019

One out of four Texas residents are planning to switch retail electric providers (REPs) amid a decline in overall brand trust among such providers, with AEP and CenterPoint among the more preferred brands, according to a new research study.

The 2019 Cogent Syndicated Texas REP Trusted Brand study from analytics and human behavior firm Escalent indicates moderate consumer disenchantment with rate plans, with “lower ratings for environmental dedication” among REPs as one reason.

Overall, 16 REPs increased brand trust over the last year while 13 declined.

Establishing trust is crucial for REPs, the report says, as 84% of Texans stated a need to trust a REP before doing business with it.

Among one in four Texans ready to shop for a new REP, almost half have been with their REP two years or longer.

Cogent’s research indicates that REPs with low brand trust will be challenged financially.

The research also found that after 17 years of deregulation, 38% of Texans prefer to purchase their electricity from a REP, while 28% would like to use their “incumbent utility” — and “of those incumbent utilities, AEP Texas (32%) and CenterPoint Energy (31%) have the strongest preference among Texans.”

The report surveyed 5,361 Texans on their experiences with REPs and found the Cogent Brand Trust index has declined by two points to 735.

“With so many provider brands to choose from and customers open to switching, successful REPs will need to become trusted brands to avoid losing profits on customer churn,” according to Escalent Senior Vice President Chris Oberle.

 

The chart below highlights the 2019 Most Trusted Brands among Texas Retail Electric Providers (in bold).

These brands have a competitive advantage on customer attraction and loyalty.

Also included are brand trust scores and rankings for all large and challenger REP brands.

 

Large brands

Brand Trust Index

Challenger brands

Brand Trust Index

Just Energy

789

Alliance Power

829

4Change Energy

784

NEC Retail

821

Amigo Energy

767

American Light & Power

810

Green Mountain Energy

760

Bounce Energy

757

Cirro Energy

755

Discount Power

756

Stream Energy

745

Xoom Energy

749

Direct Energy

740

WTU Retail

740

Champion Energy Services

738

Spark Energy

725

CPL Retail Energy

738

Frontier

724

TXU Energy

737

Entrust Energy

712

TriEagle Energy

730

Infinite Energy

708

Reliant Energy

729

Pennywise

705

First Choice Power

707

Constellation

692

Ambit Energy

704

Brilliant Energy

659

Gexa Energy

684

Source: Escalent. Cogent Syndicated. Texas REP Trusted Brand. September 2019.