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National Fuel drops in survey

National Fuel Gas Co. is getting lower grades for customer satisfaction in a new survey ranking natural gas utilities by J.D. Power and Associates.

The Amherst-based energy company's customer satisfaction score dropped by 3 percent from last year and was the ninth-lowest among the 75 largest natural gas utilities in the United States.

National Fuel's score of 575 was down from 593 last year and five points worse than its 2007 tally. The company ranked 18th among the 20 Eastern U.S. gas utilities included in the survey and 20 points below the average for all of the Eastern utilities.

New York State Electric & Gas Corp.'s gas utility business, which serves portions of Niagara and Orleans counties, as well as parts of the Southern Tier, ranked ninth among Eastern utilities, with a score of 597, which was two points above the regional average. NYSEG was not included in the survey last year.

The other major upstate natural gas utility, National Grid, scored just below the Eastern U.S. average, at 594, up from 587 last year. National Grid does not provide gas utility service in Western New York.

The survey ranked utilities on company image, communications, price and value, billing and payment, customer service and field service.

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