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And the Gas Utility Customer Champion is Piedmont Natural Gas

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Piedmont Natural Gas has been designated a 2017 Utility Customer Champion, according to a report based on surveys of more than 50,000 customers of the nation's 130 largest utilities.

Piedmont's score on the index was high enough to place it fourth among all utilities – natural gas and electric – nationwide.

Piedmont earned the honor based on a strong third-place ranking among all natural gas utilities included in Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study, a Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International, conducted in December 2017.

Piedmont was recognized last year as one of the utility industry's most trusted brands.

"Piedmont Natural Gas is honored to be included among the nation's top natural gas utilities as a Utility Customer Champion," said Frank Yoho, executive vice president and president of natural gas operations for Duke Energy. "Piedmont continuously strives to provide the best experience for all of our customers, and we are pleased to know our efforts are being recognized."

The core factors measured in the study are operational satisfaction, product experience and brand trust. To qualify as a Utility Customer Champion, utilities needed to achieve high scores not only in each of these three areas but on the survey's Engaged Customer Relationship (ECR) index as well.