County: Utility Survey Reveals Successes And Room For Improvement


In a recent survey of Los Alamos utility customers, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) saw increased ratings for customer service attributes and opportunities for improvement in other areas.

The DPU’s second annual Voice of the Customer survey was conducted by Great Blue Research for five weeks beginning in early January to gauge customer satisfaction, awareness and preferences relating to the utility services provided by the DPU. For the second year in a row, the department proved to be at or above the benchmark with other U.S. public power providers, the group used for comparative purposes, particularly in customer service-related areas.

The DPU improved over 2022’s survey and exceeded American Public Power Association (APPA) benchmarks in areas such as “responding promptly to customer questions and complaints” and “helpful and knowledgeable staff.” Satisfaction with the Customer Care Center exceeded the APPA benchmark of 81.9% for both residential and commercial customers, with scores of 85.9% and 88%, both of which were slight increases over the DPU’s 2022 survey results.

When it came to first contact resolution, 68.2% of residential and 64% of commercial respondents said their questions or issues were resolved the first time, up from 54% and 47.4%. The APPA benchmark is 61%. DPU also saw increased ratings for helping customers to conserve utilities and satisfaction with the quality of communications received.

As for areas in which the DPU should focus on improvement, Great Blue reported three key findings.

  1. Commercial customers are decreasingly finding the DPU’s natural gas and water services to be reliable. Ratings from 39 commercial respondents fell 17.7 percentage points for natural gas service and 12.6 percentage points for water service. (The margin of error for the commercial respondent group was 14.9% due to the small sample size.) The DPU will investigate what specific issues may have contributed to lower levels of satisfaction for these customers.
  2. Respondents reported decreased awareness that the DPU is a community-owned municipal utility. Despite this, most respondents said it is important to maintain local control of their utility. With this result, the public should expect to see more materials emphasizing the benefits of being customers of a community-owned municipal utility.
  3. While the DPU’s rating for helping customers conserve utilities increased, There is still room for improvement. The survey showed that most customers are not using the automated metering customer portal to view and manage their services. Because this portal can be a reliable tool to understand usage and conserve electricity, gas and water, the DPU will work to increase awareness of it and educate customers on how it might help them.

More than 700 DPU customers completed the survey this year, up from 500 last year. The Voice of the Customer survey report can be found at

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