VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – July 14, 2020 – For the second year in a row, Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) has been named one of Escalent’s Most Trusted Business Partners among utilities in its Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study.
In the 2020 survey by the leading human behavior and analytics firm, Virginia Natural Gas received the second-highest score in the South Region among energy service providers and among the top 13 in the nation.
“This ranking reflects the dedication of our entire team and our commitment to our customers, especially during these trying times,” said Jim Kibler, president of Virginia Natural Gas. “VNG has been in contact with our customers and has offered assistance through a number of programs to help those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are honored by this award and ranking and will continue to identify better ways to serve our customers while striving to deliver on our promise of being the safest, most customer-focused and reliable natural gas service provider to our community.”
Escalent noted that customer trust in utilities has hit historic highs amid the industry's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In recognition of the financial hardship caused by the pandemic, Virginia Natural Gas suspended service disconnections for non-payment for both residential and commercial customers. The utility is also helping customers who are facing financial hardships by connecting them to energy assistance resources, offering more flexible payment plans and providing energy-saving information to help keep bills manageable as the pandemic continues to impact Virginians.
The Cogent Syndicated Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Business study from Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm, measures overall business customer engagement performance based on three core components – brand trust, product experience and service satisfaction. Among the study’s six components that make up the Brand Trust index, customer engagement and business community support saw the greatest increases due to how utilities have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with financial help and community support efforts.
Escalent conducted the survey from among 14,583 utility business customers who responded to the web-based survey of the 77 largest electric, natural gas and combination utility companies across the country. This is the second year that Virginia Natural Gas has participated in this study, with customers awarding the utility a brand trust score of 792 out of 1,000-point maximum scale, a 9-point increase from last year.
For information about Virginia Natural Gas, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to nearly 300,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. In 2018, Virginia Natural Gas was named Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for the third consecutive year. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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 and 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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