Annual Report To The Members: August 2015
Rate stability, reliability help keep member satisfaction high
At first glance, your cooperative's continued financial stability and low rates could imply we're simply coasting along. However, below the still surface waters, we are working hard to "stay the course" in today's utility environment.
So we are pleased to be celebrating the rate stability and reliability we have been able to maintain for you for another year!
Your cooperative and your power suppliers, Central Electric Power Cooperative and Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. continue to navigate dynamic industry challenges as we focus on providing you the affordable, reliable service you value.
Rates. As we enter our sixth year without an energy rate increase, we continue to seek the fairest method to distribute non-energy costs. The 10-cent daily fee increase, the first in eight years, is an important step toward separating energy costs from rising infrastructure costs we all share, regardless of how much or how little energy each of us consume.
Rebound. We're pleased to report that membership growth and new services are beginning to rebound. We're not setting new records, but heading in the right direction as once-idle services and vacant properties gain homes and families.
Results. ACSI 92! Our member survey is one way we measure how well we are doing each year. Our 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) of 92 matched the highest ratings we have ever received from our members who rate their satisfaction, the way we meet their expectations, their loyalty and our ideal utility attributes.
The electric industry ACSI of 74 and other scores help put this member-assessment in perspective. (See ACSI Scores.)
This year members gave us the highest marks we've ever received for electric service reliability, with a 96% "Very Reliable" rating.
Ninety-nine percent were also very satisfied with our response to their concerns, and 95% gave employees high marks. There is no doubt our employees help make these results possible.
The survey also shows many of you know that at Cuivre River you are more than just a customer. We are pleased that 68% of respondents recognized this. Another 89% said receiving capital credits — getting money back— was a very important member benefit.
Refunds. Your Board of Directors continues to make it a top priority to give you money back — refund your capital credits, the funds that remain after all expenses to provide your electric service are met. They authorized a record-setting refund of $4.8 million to you this year.
Resources. Survey results indicate many members prefer renewable energy and natural gas compared to other resources. However, only eight percent of those surveyed rank an environmentally clean fuel source as more important versus reliability (48%) and affordability (44%).
We are fortunate that your member-owned power suppliers work to secure fuel diversity and have the flexibility to utilize the most affordable generation resources to provide affordable, reliable power to you. Coal, wind, hydropower and natural gas were in your energy mix during the past year. (See Generating Capacity, Fuel Diversity chart.)
Leadership. Cooperatives rely on local leadership — you and your neighbors — to guide the organization.
We were saddened by the loss of one of our leaders, the late Dennis Brakensiek, who served as a director from Warren County for more than 25 years, including nine years as vice president of your Board of Directors.
To complete his term, we welcome Dan Elliott as the new director for Warren County District 1. Dan served as a volunteer on the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board for six years, including two years as chairman.
We also welcome Cuivre River Electric Community Trustees Doug Steinmeyer of St. Charles, Linda Whalen of Troy and Joyce Hollaway of Warren County. These new volunteers will award funds donated through Operation Round Up. We are grateful to their predecessors Nancy Matheny, Bob Hall, and Dan Elliott for their service to the trust board and their communities for six years.
Members First. Serving you is our first priority. We will continue to use every tool and resource at our disposal to keep your rates among the lowest in the region, state and country, and maintain the reliability you value.
We are humbled by the trust you place in us and grateful for the opportunity to earn it every day.
Walter Gregory, Board President
Dan L. Brown, GM/CEO