Sustainability Certification Program


Consumer expectations for electric utilities are changing, and while sustainability has become a driving factor in consumer satisfaction, consumer awareness and support for the climate sustainability initiatives of their local electric utilities remains low.  Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance is increasingly a top priority for utilities. Sustainability and businesses' impact on the climate are under increased scrutiny from investors, regulators, public authorities, and customers.

With over 60% of electric sales now subject to clean energy commitments, now is the time for utilities to address sustainability awareness. These efforts are likely going to cost money and will require support from rate payers and citizens, and without the support of customers and other stakeholders, utilities will struggle to achieve the clean energy goals they’ve put in place for the next few decades.  

J.D. Power Sustainability Certification Program

The J.D. Power Sustainability Certification Program sets you apart from other utilities. While there are multiple sustainability reporting platforms, guidelines, frameworks, standards, indices, and ratings, the J.D. Power assessment leverages data frequently included in other frameworks but has a stronger focus on criteria related to customer engagement and advocacy.

The program includes the Sustainability Index, Sustainability Proprietary Survey, Operational Performance Assessment, Sustainability Performance Improvement Program, and the final certification. 

How it Works


The Sustainability Index provides a public benchmark for the largest 35 parent organizations of investor-owned and publicly owned utilities. The Sustainability Proprietary Survey provides more in-depth VoC insights customized to each subscribing utility.  

The Operational Performance Assessment is a key component of the J.D. Power Sustainability Program.  The Operational Performance Assessment assesses performance against recommended sustainability best practices. 

These best practices are grouped in four categories:

  • Management and Leadership
  • Resilience and Adaptability
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Customer Engagement and Advocacy
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Why should you engage with the Sustainability Performance Improvement Program?

The Sustainability Performance Improvement Program provides custom consulting support for utilities seeking to improve their VoC and / or operational sustainability performance.

In addition to providing an assessment of performance compared to recommended best practices, the assessment is also designed to enable recognition for sustainability leadership for any utilities achieving the top quintile in the VoC data as well as operational performance metrics, making this a rigorous certification process. 


This program can:

Increase stakeholder support
Improve company image
Increase shareholder value
Help convert customers

This helps utilities understand and overcome barriers associated with meeting their clean energy goals. 

Program Details

Who Can Participate?

All electric utilities serving 100,000 or more residential customers are eligible to participate.  This includes investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, large (ranked) and midsized (unranked) utilities.
Certification is based specifically on electric operations, not water or natural gas utilities.
Sustainability Leadership Certifications are awarded to companies that meet the outlined criteria.

When is the J.D. Power Sustainability Leader Certification conducted?

Electric utility companies may enroll in the program on a rolling basis throughout the year. Certifications are awarded as program requirements are met with an opportunity for renewal eligibility in year two, contingent on ranking above the 80th percentile of the annual J.D. Power Sustainability Index Study.

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Stay Connected

J.D. Power studies, products, and services are available for purchase. If you’re interested in subscribing to a J.D. Power study or becoming a client, please fill out the form, and we'll be in touch. Questions? Click here to find the answers to frequently asked questions.

If you’ve received a J.D. Power survey and have questions or comments, please contact us here.

For all other inquiries, you can contact us here.