The 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey released in May shows that members belonging to electric co-ops 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 for any electric-only utility. Co-ops not affiliated with Touchstone scored 80. IOUs and municipals received scores of 75 and 76, respectively.

Members gave their electric co-ops high marks on overall quality of service. The ACSI report stated, “[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 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.

When consumers are asked to rate the ability of their utility “to provide reliable electric service,” co-ops score the highest at 89, followed by municipals at 87 and IOUs at 85. Co-ops also lead in customer satisfaction with power restoration (score of 87), followed by municipals (82), and IOUs (79). Touchstone leads all utilities for this metric with a score of 87, followed by Salt River Project and Southern at 85.

Over 900 electric co-ops serve 42 million people in 47 states.