Manager's Message: Survey Tells Us How We Measure Up

Manager's Message: Survey Tells Us How We Measure Up

Last fall, an independent company surveyed 300 HomeWorks Tri-County Electric members to help us learn more about your expectations, and how we’re doing at meeting them.

Our first report, in last month’s issue of Country Lines, covered the top “satisfaction drivers,” such as courteous and knowledgeable employees, quality customer service, and reliable electric service, all of which scored 90% or higher.

In fact, we score an outstanding 86 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The ACSI is based on four questions asked of customers in similar surveys across the US every year. With an 86, we rank higher than most other electric co-ops nationwide (81), as well as Apple (84), Cadillac (80), and Southwest Airlines (78).

There are two areas that we’re taking a closer look at: ownership and renewable energy.

As a cooperative, we are owned by the people we serve. That’s everyone who buys electricity from us. However, 51% of those surveyed said they feel they are customers, not co-op members; and a significant number say it’s not important to attend an annual meeting (36%) or vote to elect the board of directors (29%).

These results tell us we need to do a better job of educating all members about their role in a democratic organization, especially since we are member-regulated.

HomeWorks has been providing renewable energy for several years, through our generation partner Wolverine Power Cooperative. Wolverine is a leader in Michigan, involved in the state’s first commercial wind farm since 2009. We also launched our Community Solar Garden last spring, making solar power easily affordable to any interested member. We’ve used Country Lines to report regularly on each of these projects.

Yet, 62% of those surveyed didn’t know what kind of renewable energy HomeWorks offers, and 2% said we don’t offer any.

For the record, the state of Michigan requires us to get at least 10% of our energy from renewable sources as of the end of 2015. With Wolverine’s help, we’ve met and passed that goal. On page xx, you can read more about the renewable projects Wolverine is working on.

We’re very pleased that the survey tells us so many members rate HomeWorks highly on their satisfaction scale, and we learned that we have a lot more education and communication to do on a few subjects.

Thank you for taking time to share your opinions with us, and thanks most of all for the great responses. We’ll keep working hard to earn your trust and satisfaction.

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