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Reputation, trust and utilities

Reputation is often synonymous with the trust an organisation has generated among its various stakeholder groups, customers, investors, employees, regulators and other key stakeholders base their expectations of a company’s future behaviour on their perceptions of its previous statements and actions.

A decrease in reputation leads inevitably to an erosion of trust, which may result in customers moving to a competitor, shareholders disinvesting, employees leaving among other outcomes. This trust element of reputation also influences how stakeholders respond to a company’s outreach and engagement activities, such as consultation processes, advertising and public relations.

Utilities have been hit by a number of negative reputational stories of late which have impacted the overall trust in the sector by its stakeholder groups. An example of this was the Daily Mail’s coverage of National Grid’s allegedly inaccurate gas meters which led to millions of customers paying too much for their electricity bills.

This article was written by Nicholas Chrysanthou, energy consultant analyst at alva and released in full on Energy Business Review.

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