A record crowd of 178 delegates at HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s 77th annual meeting has voted unanimously to eliminate a customer outage service credit.

The credit was established by the Michigan Public Service Commission in 2004 as part of an electric service reliability program aimed at the state’s two large investor-owned utilities.

Through Public Act 167 of 2008, the Michigan Legislature recognized the right of member-regulated co-ops to opt-out of the service credit by a vote of their members.

Before the vote, HomeWorks general manager Mark Kappler said information about the credit elimination was covered thoroughly for members by way of an open member meeting, discussion at all district membership meetings, formal notices, and in his manager’s column in Country Lines magazine.

The co-op has not been asked to pay the service credit since its inception.

The board’s final resolution noted that the credit didn’t accomplish its intended purpose because:

  1. the Co-op’s focus is member service, and there is no conflict between making a profit and providing outstanding service;
  2. the Co-op is nonprofit, and any such credit paid would reduce margins available to be returned to members; and
  3. if any member-owner believes their electric service is substandard, they have direct access to the Co-op’s management and any board member.