(ARLINGTON, VA.) – According to the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey released today, consumer-members belonging to not-for-profit electric cooperatives are more satisfied with their utility than consumers served by either investor-owned (IOU) or municipal utilities. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives received an overall customer satisfaction score of 81 — the highest score for any electric-only utility. Cooperatives not affiliated with Touchstone Energy scored 80. IOUs and municipals received scores of 75 and 76 respectively.
Consumer-members gave their electric cooperatives high marks when asked to rate the overall quality of service. According to the ACSI report, “[p]erceived 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 validate the cooperative difference,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “Member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives put members first and these numbers show why this business model has succeeded and why cooperatives continue to thrive even in uncertain economic times,” Emerson said.
In 2010, the ACSI survey 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 at 85.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.