Due to a decline in overall brand trust, Texas consumers are looking for new retail electricity providers.

A whopping 41% of Texas Retail Electricity Provider (REP) customers said they plan to purchase a new REP within the next year. Falling levels of trust, less communication from REPs, concerns about getting lower rates, and the desire to reduce overall electricity consumption are all contributing to customers’ desire to find a new supplier. These and other findings come from the Cogent Syndicated Texas REP Trusted Brand survey conducted by Escalent, a leading human behavior and analytics consultancy.

The survey found that overall, the Texas REP Brand Trust fell a modest three points from 2021 to 725 this year, following a significant decline in the agreement that REPs support from customers, programs, causes, or charities they care about. With this drop, REPs are now close to the bottom of several service providers, with a level of brand trust comparable to waste management companies and cable TV. On the other hand, companies such as banks and mobile operators have significantly higher Brand Trust scores.

“The wants and needs of REP customers are changing,” says K.C. Boyce, vice president of Escalent. “While the decline in the industry’s Brand Trust score is primarily due to a lack of support from programs or charities that customers care about, this very characteristic is losing importance. With market volatility and inflation directly impacting customer portfolios, brand attributes such as offering the lowest rates, providing excellent service, and helping customers reduce electricity consumption are more attractive to customers. This creates an opportunity for REPs to truly differentiate themselves by offering programs that align with these desired benefits.

And the data in the report supports this new opportunity:

  • “Savings” is still the program benefits customers want most from REP’s offerings. Nearly a third (29%) say they expect to save 20% on their bill with one of these offers, but over a quarter (26%) say the specific amount doesn’t matter.
  • Resilience, or maintaining power during a power outage, has grown in importance over the past year, with nearly a third (32%) of customers saying this is a key benefit of the program.

While the industry is seeing a decline in brand trust overall, six REPs are seeing large increases in their brand trust scores. These REPs have seen an average increase of more than 60 points in their brand confidence index this year. Today we named them as the most trusted brands of 2022 among Texas REPs.

“These REPs are in an excellent position to retain their existing customers and attract new ones, as four out of ten customers will buy a new supplier in the coming year,” added Boyce. “High brand trust customers are much more likely to prefer their retailers for offerings that offer savings or resiliency, such as demand response programs, smart thermostat programs, backup batteries for home use and solar for the community.”.