Utility customers respond to residential surge suppression offerings

ATLANTA, Nov. 5, 2002 — Increasing awareness among end-users of the need for surge protection devices for their sensitive home electronics and appliances has led to a growing market for these devices that can be plugged into outlets or attached at the meter.

Utilities are responding, and, according to utility sources, customers are buying.

The percentage of North American utilities offering residential surge suppression has soared from 15% in 1997 to 50% in 2002, according to Chartwell’s latest report, Residential Surge Protection.

In addition, in 2002, another 9% of utilities said they were in the planning stages of offering surge suppression and 13% were considering doing so, for a total of 72% of utilities taking some action on this ancillary offering. Chartwell surveyed 50 random utilities about their various products and services in March 2002.

The utilities interviewed also rank surge suppression among their most popular and most profitable residential ancillary offering. Surge suppression came in at No. 2 for “most profitable” in both the 2001 and 2002 Chartwell surveys.

In addition to data and analysis, the 38-page Chartwell report includes two detailed utility case studies, one on Cinergy’s award-winning surge protection marketing strategies, and the other on Tampa Electric’s program that met with great success only after being revamped. The report also profiles a number of vendors that offer whole-house and outlet-based surge protection devices.

Residential Surge Protection, which is available from Chartwell for $250, is part of The Chartwell New Products and Services Research Series, an ongoing information service that provides utility case studies; topical analysis and research centered around specific products or services in the utility and energy services marketplace; and a database of 70 utilities and the products and services they offer.

For more information about the ongoing Research Series, the Report on Residential Surge Protection, or the products/services database, please call Juli Collins at (800) 432-5879, or (404) 237-9099.

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