The South Carolina legislature is looking at two utilities. So is JD Power. How did they rank with JD Power? Santee Cooper came in #8. FPL, the Florida utility owned by NextEra Energy, came in #1.

That was just one assessment. Often corporate accomplishments are recognized by significant and objective third parties. Check these for NextEra, FPL and Gulf Power:*

  • FPL received the ReliabilityOne® National Reliability Excellence Award; fifth time in six years. Gulf Power, which NextEra bought in early 2019, earned its first ever reliability award. (Perhaps this can help close gaps on any Santee Cooper “Major Event Day” numbers.)
  • NextEra Energy – #1 in the electric and gas utilities industry on Fortune’s list of World’s Most Admired Companies; 13th time in 14 years. (Possible to go from #8 to #1 for Santee Cooper under NextEra management?)
  • NextEra Energy was recognized by Fortune magazine as among the top 20 companies worldwide, across all industries, for innovation, people management and quality of management. (Building, not just announcing, a cleaner portfolio.)
  • In 2020, NextEra Energy was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for the fourth consecutive year and as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for the second consecutive year. (That is an excellent signal for the Santee Cooper employees who could be part of this culture.)
  • NextEra Energy was recognized in 2020 for the 13th time as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies™ by the Ethisphere Institute, building sustainable businesses that grow responsibly. (Helpful after such a time of questions and turmoil in South Carolina.)
  • NextEra Energy was assessed as having best-in-class preparedness, according to S&P Global Ratings’ Environmental, Social, Governance evaluation.

The other side of that coin – “Santee Cooper is rated #8 in customer satisfaction.” That was on a social post recently.

True that is. The JD Power survey ranked Santee Cooper at #8 out of 20 companies in its size and geographic region. A part of that ranking is below from the press release from JD Power.

Surveys are interesting things. Results are based on what questions are asked. Keeping the power on and response times are critical to a utility. All need to do well. These are logical areas for customers to consider.

So are issues such as inflicting burdensome debt on customer households. Or, communicating thoroughly. Or perhaps the way energy projects are completed for the future. These kinds of questions are not always asked.

Those kinds of details are available, as ECC has noted.

Back to JD Powers, a well-known and reliable instrument. In the same JD Power survey mentioned above, Florida Power and Light was #1 in its category. It has a larger territory and more customers to serve than Santee Cooper.

The top five are shown here from the JD Powers survey. FPL is a part of NextEra Energy, which has extended an offer to purchase Santee Cooper.

Objective, true assessments of corporate performance, of what customers get. NextEra and its companies consistently top the lists, and not only in one area, but many.

Objectivity versus emotion – that’s a concern in South Carolina about the sale of Santee Cooper.  But the facts show that NextEra is the better choice for South Carolina.

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*Most from the 2020 NextEra ESG Report.