WELLESLEY, Mass., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aclara consumer-engagement solutions power 15 of the top 25 utility web sites benchmarked in the recently completed "E Source Review of North American Electric and Gas Company Websites: 2011." In addition, Aclara solutions are used by 45 of the 100 utilities that were analyzed. A leading provider of advanced metering infrastructure, utility networks and data-driven consumer-engagement and operational-efficiency solutions, Aclara is part of the utility solutions group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE).
Aclara customers Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Avista Utilities were ranked first and second in the benchmark study, Pacific Gas and Electric Company came in fifth, and DTE Energy, We Energies, and Dominion ranked eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively. WPS and Avista were separated by a single point in the rankings.
Features that are strengths of Aclara such as on-line presentation, self-service options, and web-based energy analysis are critical components of the E Source web-site study. The study evaluates key functions such as the ability of consumers to monitor energy use, view and pay utility bills online, receive important service updates and obtain information about programs and services.The E Source study was conducted by a team of consumers who reviewed 29 informational and self-service tasks on 100 electric and gas utility web sites and assessed their user experiences. Web site performance was rated against the best in class across all types of web sites, not strictly utility sites. E Source tested 11 of the 29 tasks on mobile devices based on Google's Android, Research in Motion's BlackBerry, and Apple's iOS operating systems. According to E Source, customers are likely to use mobile devices to perform specific tasks such as reporting outages and other emergencies. E Source provides independent research as well as advisory and information services to utilities, major energy users, and other key players in the retail energy marketplace. It performs the benchmark study to offer utility customers insight and guidance on what consumers are looking for in web sites.