The nation's multisite businesses (hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, retail, convenience stores, health care facilities, and the federal government) have acknowledged the electric utilities that provided them with the best overall customer service last year in the 10th annual Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Customer Service Awards program. The awards were presented during EEI Spring National Accounts Workshop.

In the awards program, electric companies are grouped in three categories- small, medium, and large -- according to the number of commercial customers they serve. The winning electric companies were the top vote getters in each category.

PNM of Albuquerque won in the small company category. Due to the closeness of the vote, both Kansas City Power & Light and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. were chosen in the medium category, and American Electric Power, Entergy, and Southern Company were picked in the large company category.

The nation's chains also recognized three individual National Accounts executives for their outstanding customer service in 2006: Barry Mosser of American Electric Power, Greg Read of Progress Energy, and Judy Corrigan of Xcel Energy. This was the ninth consecutive year that Entergy has earned a distinction for its customer service, and the sixth consecutive year that Mosser of American Electric Power won an individual award.

"At the heart of every successful business relationship you'll find customer service," said Thomas R. Kuhn, president, Edison Electric Institute. "The electric companies and individuals honored today understand this. They truly believe that the best way to reach their goals is by helping their customers to reach theirs. They focus on continually improving their service and making their customer's experiences with them more satisfying, more productive, and ultimately, more profitable."

Over 200 representatives from more than 100 multi-site businesses selected the winning companies and individuals. The companies voting in the awards program encompass a wide variety of industries, and include such national brands as Best Buy, HealthSouth, Staples, Starwood Hotels, The Limited, and Wal-Mart.