Conducted every other year since 2002, the E Source 2021 Website Benchmark measures the user experience of utility websites accessed from mobile devices and desktop computers. The utilities with the most usable and accessible websites in the US and Canada are PPL Electric Utilities and ComEd. E Source will recognize these top-performing utility companies on September 30 at the E Source Forum 2021. Based on industry trends in user experience and utility feedback, E Source designed custom methodology for each of the study’s four usability components: findability, functionality, content, and appearance.
- Findability: Percentage of successful attempts to find, average pages visited to find the feature, and average time to find the feature
- Functionality: The inclusion of critical functions and functions that improve the experience
- Content: The inclusion of critical content and formatting, the reading level of the content, and the steps required to reach the content
- Appearance: Average customer rating
“Utilities are prioritizing responsive website design more than ever before. In 2021, 91% of websites tested were responsive, meaning the design of the website changes to best fit the screen size the customer is using,” explains E Source analyst Cory Coggins. “In 2019, the number of responsive websites in our study was 73%. As more customers are using mobile devices, utilities have evolved to offer a better mobile customer experience on their websites.”
“Accessibility has become a focus for utilities to help customers with disabilities and limitations easily use their website,” says Heather Hilgenkamp, PhD, manager for E Source market research. “In 2019, 5.2% of the utility web pages we tested met the highest standard for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2021, 8.9% of the utility web pages tested met the standard. While this is still a small number, we’re heartened to see more utilities making accessibility a priority in their website design.”
The 2021 study assessed the top 10 features (on both a mobile device and a desktop computer) of 85 US and Canadian utilities’ websites between January and May 2021. View the full rankings.