FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Regi Goodale, Director of Regulatory Affairs, 515-727-8949
Survey: Electric Cooperatives are No. 1 for Customer Satisfaction
Cooperatives scores higher than IOUs and Municipal Utilities
DES MOINES, Iowa – May 22, 2014 – According to the newly released 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index (http://www.theacsi.org) survey, member-owners belonging to not-for-profit electric cooperatives are more satisfied with their utility than consumers served by either investor-owned utilities (IOUs) or municipal utilities. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives received an overall customer satisfaction score of 81 – the highest score for any electric-only utility. Nationwide, cooperatives not affiliated with Touchstone Energy scored 80. IOUs and municipals received scores of 75 and 76 respectively. The survey reflects scores from second quarter 2013 to first quarter 2014 through a random sampling of customers.
In Iowa, overall scores were even stronger with the highest-ranking electric cooperative receiving a score of 87. Most of Iowa’s electric cooperatives are Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.
Member-owners gave their electric cooperatives high marks when asked to rate the overall quality of service. According to the ACSI report, perceived quality rates are highest among customers of cooperative utilities with a score of 85, followed by investor-owned utilities at 82 and municipal utilities at 81. Quality is the most important driver in determining overall satisfaction with the customer experience.
“These scores demonstrate the value of the cooperative business model and the difference that we deliver through our approach to customer service,” said Marion Denger, president of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.
“As member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, we put our members first and these numbers show why cooperatives continue to thrive. From our expansive energy efficiency offerings to Touchstone Energy’s exclusive Co-op Connections membership program, we provide results-oriented energy solutions for residential and business consumers.”
The ACSI survey recently added questions about reliability in its survey of electric utilities. When consumers are asked to rate the ability of their utility “to provide reliable electric service,” cooperatives score the highest at 89, followed by municipal utilities at 87 and IOUs at 85. Cooperatives also lead in customer satisfaction with power restoration with a score of 87, followed by municipals at 82, and the IOUs at 79. Touchstone Energy leads all utilities for this metric with a score of 87, followed by Salt River Project and Southern Company at 85.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents 34 distribution cooperatives in Iowa and six generation and transmission cooperatives providing electricity to approximately 650,000 Iowans in each of the state’s 99 counties. Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives are part of a national network of 1,000 electric cooperatives. These utilities, which serve 25 million Americans in 46 states, work together through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, a Washington, D.C.-based service organization formed in 1942. Information about Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives is available on the association’s website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.iowarec.org. Information about Touchstone Energy is available at www.touchstoneenergy.com.
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