electric co-ops are member owned, we like to know how well we are doing
our job for you, the owner and our boss. Every contact with you, whether
it is on the phone, in the office, on Main Street or at the annual
meeting, we feel is an opportunity to assess how we are doing.
way to see how we are doing is through surveys. Since 1989 Associated
Electric, supplier of electricity to 39 Missouri co-ops, takes the
pulse of the membership every three years to see what we are doing
right and what can be improved.
This year the results
were amazing. The members surveyed say Missouri’s
electric co-ops are setting the standard for good service.
More than half
of the respondents actually gave our co-ops a 10 out of 10 rating.
Fifty-five percent said they were very satisfied, which compares
to 47 percent among electric cooperatives nationwide.
into these satisfaction levels, those conducting the survey discovered
three key reasons for the high marks:
rates: This area was rated excellent by 77 percent of respondents,
an 8-percent increase since 2001 and a 14-percent increase since 1998.
customer service: Customer service was given an excellent rating
by 86 percent of those surveyed.
• Low frequency
of outages: 49 percent reported no long outages compared to only 34
That these three
areas were singled out by members is no surprise to electric co-op
employees. That’s because these
are the things cooperatives stress in their mission statements and
were the principles envisioned by your cooperative’s
founding fathers when your co-op was organized.
are organized as non-profit service companies. Because we don’t
have to set our rates to satisfy investors, we can supply electricity
at the lowest-possible prices.
But survey after
survey has shown it’s not just low rates members want.
You tell us reliable service is the most important priority.
co-ops statewide have beefed up right-of-way clearing, employee
training and cooperation among cooperatives to get the power
back on quickly during widespread outages. That’s also
why your cooperative carefully designs and constructs improvements
to their electric system to meet growth.
Electric co-ops are
different from other suppliers of electricity and you consistently
tell us you like the difference and are satisfied with the results.
Not only are we owned by those we serve, but in many cases
the employees are also co-op members. The basic tenets of the cooperative
movement include “Commitment
to Community,” a role we take seriously.
survey results are gratifying, we recognize that cooperatives
face constant challenges to remain in business. These
include staying ahead of the demand for electricity, providing
good service in harsh terrain and coming up with the
money to build new lines and power plants.
As we continue to
serve you we will continue to ask you how we are doing. Thanks to all
who were contacted and took the time to respond. Because you respond
when we ask you how we can serve you better, we realize you take
your role as a member-owner seriously.
We know you are
willing to give feedback because your employees and directors
will listen and try to meet your needs. Thanks for helping your cooperative
serve you better!
Hart is executive vice president of the Association of Missouri