FROM: Amy Simon
Goodwin Simon Strategic Research
RE: Results of Nevada statewide registered voter survey
DATE: October 18, 2010
This memo summarizes key findings from a Nevada statewide telephone
survey conducted October 8 10, 2010, among 400 registered
voters. Interviews were conducted by trained professional interviewers
using a registered voter list. The sample includes both cell phone
and landline respondents.
The NV Energy company finds itself in a weak position for a public
company, with almost as many respondents rating them negatively
(44% unfavorable) as positively (46% favorable). Very few respondents
are unable to rate them (11%), giving them little room to significantly
improve their public standing without an enormous investment of
resources into public communications - and likely having to change
some of their more troubling corporate conduct as well.
Driving much of this unpopularity is a great deal of concern with
NV Energy's corporate conduct. Fully three-quarters of respondents
(75%) are concerned a great deal that NV Energy customers pay
the highest residential utility rates in any Mountain state. Almost
two-thirds (64%) are concerned a great deal that NV Energy's CEO
Michael Yackira is making a record $4.5 million. In addition,
more than half of respondents are troubled by the recent loss
of services from NV Energy, with 54 percent saying they are concerned
a great deal by the company's eliminating electric line repair
crews in rural Nevada and 52 percent concerned that they have
closed all but one customer service office in Nevada.
As respondents learn more about NV Energy's current record and
corporate conduct, they become increasingly negative about the
company, with more than seven in ten (72%) rating them unfavorably
after hearing more information about the company's conduct.
These results should be concerning for any responsible corporation.
NV Energy Company has weak popularity ratings, with a 1:1 favorable
to unfavorable ratio (46% favorable, 44% unfavorable ratings).
In contrast, as an example, AT&T has stronger favorability
ratings than NV Energy Company, with a favorable to unfavorable
ratio of greater than 2:1. Over half (56%) of respondents have
a favorable opinion of AT&T, while fewer than one-quarter
(24%) have an unfavorable opinion of them.
Corporate executives at NV Energy have much higher unfavorable
ratings than favorable (39% to 18%), with a more than 2:1 negative
to positive ratings ratio (42% say they cannot rate them). NV
Energy CEO, Michael Yackiras negative to positive ratings
ratio is even worse, with 3.5:1 negative to positive ratings (22%
unfavorable, just 6% favorable). Over seven in ten (72%) cannot
rate him, yet those who do are overwhelmingly negative.
After hearing information about NV Energy, respondents are again
asked their opinion about NV Energy and its executives. For all
three, their unfavorable ratings increase dramatically, to over
70 percent for each (72% NV Energy, 72% corporate executives,
73% Yackira), and favorable ratings decrease significantly. Just
seven percent say they cannot rate NV Energy in the final popularity
question, while just two in ten cannot rate corporate executives
at NV Energy (22%) or its CEO, Michael Yackira (23%).
Recent Changes at NV Energy
Respondents show considerable concern about each of six recent
changes at NV Energy tested in the survey. The top concern for
respondents, with three-quarters (75%) saying it concerns them
a great deal, is that NV Energys customers now pay the highest
residential rates in any mountain state. Following this, 64 percent
say they are concerned a great deal when they hear that NV Energys
CEO is making a record $4.5 million.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of respondents say they are concerned
a great deal when they hear NV Energys management announced
they are cutting medical benefits for 600 of their retired workers,
requiring that retirees pay 100% of the cost of higher medical
Over half also say they are concerned a great deal when they hear
NV Energy eliminated electric line crews in rural Nevada, which
will mean a slower response time for major incidents like power
outages (54%) or that they have closed all but one customer service
office in Nevada (52%).
Just under half (48%) express this level of concern when they
hear that NV Energy has cut over 100 good-paying jobs across the
state and cut electric line crews in rural Nevada.
The data show customers
deeply concerned about the companys recent conduct, with
the greatest concern about high prices and the high pay of CEO
Michael Yackira. These findings mirror a recent customer satisfaction
survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates that ranked NV Energy
as the worst energy company in the West based on customer satisfaction.
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