New results from Roy Morgan show customer satisfaction with electricity providers in the 12 months to November 2017 was only 57.6 per cent, down from 61.8 per cent in the 12 months to November 2016.
This low satisfaction level appears to be increasing the number of customers that are considering switching in the next 12 months to approximately 1.2 million households at the end of 2017, up from around one million in early 2017.
These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey of more than 50,000 consumers per annum, including over 15,000 electricity customers.
Red Energy lead the pack, with a satisfaction rating of 68.2 per cent, narrowly ahead of Lumo Energy (67.4 per cent) and Simply Energy (65.6 per cent).
Ergon was the lowest performer, with only 48.4 per cent of customers satisfied.
“With satisfaction declining by 4.2 per cent points across the total market over the last year, it is not surprising that declines in satisfaction were seen across nearly all the major players with the exception of Aurora Energy which improved by 7.3 per cent points,” the research said.
Both of the largest players showed a drop in satisfaction, with Origin down 7.9 per cent points (to 57.6 per cent) and AGL down 2.6 per cent points (to 62.5 per cent).
Roy Morgan industry communications director Norman Morris said the decline in satisfaction appears to be “increasing the switching intentions and so undermining customer loyalty and trust in major providers”.
“The decline in satisfaction with electricity providers over the last year, down to only 57.6 per cent is of major concern because it is well below the level of 73.5 per cent when this survey began in 2009,” Mr Morris said.
“It is likely that the most recent decline is a result of the continual negative news regarding energy shortages, blackouts, reliability, price increases and general lack of confidence in the long term direction the government is taking to tackle these issues.
“It is important to note that although most of the major electricity providers are operating in a similar negative environment, the fact that there are major differences in satisfaction show that there are lesson to be learnt by examining what the better performers are doing right.
“The decline in satisfaction appears to be increasing the switching intentions and so undermining customer loyalty and trust in the major providers.”
More than half (57.4 per cent) of customers who are ‘very dissatisfied’ with their electricity provider say they are either ‘very likely’ or ‘fairly likely’ to switch companies in the next 12 months.
Even more than a third (35.3 per cent) of those who are ‘fairly dissatisfied’ say they are likely to switch in the next 12 months.
Those customers who are ‘very satisfied’ have a very low intention to switch at only 5.1 per cent, which is well below the current industry average of 12.2 per cent.