Utility companies provide a vital service to customers throughout the United States and the world. As if it weren’t complicated enough to ensure everyone has access to clean, safe water, gas, and electricity, utility companies also have to provide high customer service. A well-designed website can help make this goal a reality.
Utility company websites should provide basic information to customers. It should also allow them to access their accounts, report outages, and get alerts for bills and emergencies. As utility companies offer a public service, these websites should be easy to navigate and accessible so all customers can utilize them.
Inclind’s award-winning website design and development team has significant experience helping utility companies build smart, responsive websites. We understand the specific needs of utility companies, including the need to have custom features like outage maps. Reach out today to learn more about our website design, development, and support and maintenance services.
What a Utility Company Website Should Include
Whether you run an oil and gas company, a water company, a renewable energy start-up, or another type of utility operation, a website is a necessity. In 2023, customers and prospective clients expect that they will be able to find a business online. Ideally, they will be able not just to get information from the website but will also be able to pay their bill, startor stop service, and more.
As an initial matter, a utility company website should have an intuitive and responsive design. In addition to looking great and being visually appealing, your site should function well regardless of the device your customer is using. Navigation should be simple and easy to use, and the website should be fully accessible.
User experience (UX) is a key component of website design. Essentially, you want to be sure that your website isn’t cluttered so that the focus can be on content. You can have the most informative, helpful site in the world, but people won't utilize it if it isn’t set up in an easily usable way.
Next, utility company websites should have clear, consistent messaging. This includes your company’s story (such as an energy company focused on customer service or a sustainable future) but the overall branding. Good design can help communicate your messaging using white space, consistent fonts and colors, and visuals.
When it comes to technical aspects of your utility website, it should include:
- A customer portal and self-service options: having a portal enhances the customer experience and also reduces your own labor costs. With a portal, customers can view and manage their account details, check for outages, track usage, and access resources.
- Billing alerts and notifications: when customers sign up for an account, they should input their email and/or phone numbers. You can then ask for permission to send billing notifications and alerts, which will help customers remember to pay their bills - and increase the likelihood that customers will pay their bills in full and on time.
- Auto-pay and online billing: as part of the customer portal, you should have an option for online billing and auto-pay. Many people prefer to pay online rather than write out a check. Giving customers the ability to make payments quickly and easily will benefit everyone.
- Outage maps: when possible, an outage map is an incredibly helpful tool a utility company should have on its website. This way, customers can easily report an outage and check for service interruptions in their area. This can reduce demand on your customer service team and make it easy for customers to get the information they need.
- Conservation resources: whether customers are concerned about the environment or simply want to save money, utility companies can offer helpful tips on how to reduce their consumption of energy and/or water. If your company has a program that offers energy audits, credits for switching to energy-efficient appliances, or another option, this is a good place for it.
Ultimately, the goal of a utility company website should be to provide the information that customers want and need. Custom integrations can help to achieve this goal, along with a clean, user-friendly design. An experienced website design and development team can help you achieve these goals.
15 Great Utility Website Examples
If you’re looking to design - or redesign - a website for your utility company, having examples can help you figure out what you want (and don’t want). Below, we have collected some of the best utility website examples to help you get started.
PA Power Switch
PA Power Switch is a website that Pennsylvanians can use to comparison shop for an energy provider. It is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Right on the home page, visitors can enter their ZIP code to find what energy providers are available in their area - which is the website's primary purpose.
The website also features a navigation bar at the top with information that customers will find helpful, including rates, terms, and ways to save energy. Signing up for rate change alerts is also an option to make more informed choices about power providers.
Altogether is an Australian utility company that puts its customer portal front and center. As soon as you visit the site, a pop-up asks you to enter a passcode to connect your new utility account. You can also go directly to your account, get help and support, or check for outages using the navigation bar at the top.
The website has a clean, bright design with a vivid green/yellow color bringing it together. It is easy to navigate, with pull-down menus for power and water at the top.
DTE is a Detroit-based energy company that provides electric and natural gas utilities to consumers in Southeast Michigan. DTE does a great job of keeping their site simple and easy to navigate. The links below the hero on the homepage guide users to four of the most popular pages across the site. The toggle at the top on both desktop and mobile lets users seamlessly switch between the consumer and business sections of the site. The navigation also collapses well on scroll to allow users to continue to navigate to different pages without taking up too much space at the top of the screen.
California Public Utility Commission
The California Public Utility Commission (CUPC) is a government agency responsible for ensuring that residents can access clean, safe utility services. When users navigate its website, they will immediately see four graphics that offer ways the CUPC can help. As visitors scroll, they can access additional information, like rate comparisons, drought and conservation info, and wildfires.
Nova Scotia Power
In Canada, Nova Scotia Power has a simple-to-use website. Right up front, the company highlights its commitment to sustainability with text and a photo of a windmill farm. Beneath the picture, customers can choose from 6 options, including reporting an outage, viewing a live outage map, and starting or stopping service. In addition, visitors can access information specifically for residential and commercial customers at the top.
The Ed in ComEd stands for Edison. ComEd was one of several energy companies owned by the father of electricity, Thomas Edison. Today, ComEd is the largest electric utility company in Illinois and a Fortune 200 energy company. The site design maintains simplicity to make navigation easy for users. The entire homepage can be digested without scrolling. The design also uses a simple block format to keep content sections visually separated.
Dominion Energy is a utility company that operates in eight different states. Building easy-to-navigate site architecture when operating across multiple states is difficult, but Dominion does this well. The site uses a dropdown in the navigation that allows you to select your location. Your selection will then take you to the proper subsection of the site for your state. A corporation as large as Dominion could easily have confusing navigation, but the designers did an excellent job of clarifying things.
Southern California Edison
Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest utility companies. The corporation has been powering Southern and Central California for over 135 years. Like many utility companies featured onthis list, SCE keeps some of their most important links below the hero with icons for easy navigation. The nav menu displays five of the most popular pages on the site and keeps all other pages collapsed in a toggle to reduce clutter. The site also offers multilingual support with the language dropdown.
Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a company that is responsible for providing natural gas to 4.4 million customers throughout the South. Its website focuses on telling a story of who the company is and what its values are. Scrolling down the page, you can find links to its subsidiary companies - like Atlanta Gas Light - with customer portals on their websites.
FirstEnergy is an electricity provider that has an easy-to-use website. When you land on its page, you will immediately see an option to log into your account. Underneath are three buttons you can click to report an outage, pay your bill, or get help stopping or starting services if you are moving. These options are repeated beneath the large photograph and are also included in the navigation bar - so that it is as simple as possible for users to find what they need.
Delaware Electric Co-Op
Delaware Electric Co-Op’s website is one of our designs at Inclind. It’s a great example of using color to create a consistent message. The website uses the brand’s signature colors, dark blue, light blue, and white. This use of color also makes it easy to read and accessible because of its high contrast.
On its home page, Delaware Electric Co-Op has a large button to report or see current outages and a tab on the side to start service. Along the top, you can find a button to log into your account, learn about energy savings, and participate in its “Beat the Peak” program. There is information about how to prepare for a power outage.
Aquarion Water Company
Aquarion Water Company has a clean, well-designed website. At the top, you can choose from several options, including paying your bill, logging into your account, and starting or stopping service. There is also a large photograph with a button to learn more about saving water. In addition, the site can be translated into several different languages using a drop-down box.
Florida Power & Light
Florida Power & Light (FPL) serves two distinct areas of Florida. To make it as easy as possible for visitors to get the information they need, the site immediately asks which region they want to access. Once visitors make that selection, they are taken to the specific site for that area. At this point, users can log into their accounts, peruse services, and find support.
Orange & Rockland
Orange & Rockland makes good use of its signature color - orange - on its website. On the main landing page, two large photographs prompt users to log into their account or learn how to conserve energy. The navigation bar provides additional options, including services and outages. The website can also be translated into different languages.
Liberty Utilities recently revamped its website to provide a more streamlined user experience. It starts by asking users to select a region. Once you make your selection, it redirects you to the site for that subsidiary - an excellent option for companies that operate in a number of areas. On the regional pages, the branding is consistent, and users can report an emergency or an outage, log into their account, and learn about smart energy usage.
Need to Design a Utility Website? We Can Help
Utility company websites are incredibly important to the company’s bottom line and the well-being of the community as a whole. These sites must provide critical, up-to-date information and allow customers to get the needed services. Our website design and development agency can work with you to build a beautiful, functional, and secure utility company website.
At Inclind, we offer a full range of web development and design services for utility companies. We know how vital these sites are to our clients and their customers, so we strive to make them as effective and efficient as possible. Our services include everything from website design and redesign to accessibility audits to custom integrations.
We're available if you’d like to learn more about our web services for utility companies. You can fill out our online contact form or hit the live chat button to talk to one of our experts about your website.