Rural Missouri - July 2011 - (Page 4)

C O M M E N T S “Devoted to the rural way of life” July 2011 Volume 63 / Number 7 Jim McCarty, editor Jason Jenkins, managing editor Heather Berry, associate editor Kyle Spradley, field editor Megan Schibi, editorial assistant Mary Davis, production manager Caitlyn Emmett, summer intern Angie Jones-Gerber Dusty Weter Co-op page designers Islands in the storm on a tour of southeast hen a Missouri in the wake of major outthe state’s worst ice storm. age takes “My experience growplace, ing up on a farm, I know your electric cooperawhat co-ops are all about,” tive has many friends it he said. “And as a soldier can turn to for help whose mission is to progetting repairs quickly tect Missouri from bad made. Now —thanks to a things, I appreciate what memorandum of underyou do. I worry about one standing recently signed thing: electricity. If we by Barry Hart, CEO of the have electricity, we will Association of Missouri survive any crisis.” Electric Cooperatives During the 2009 ice (AMEC), and Adj. Gen. storm, Danner was Steve Danner of the Misshocked to learn one of souri National Guard — the armories in the affectelectric cooperatives will ed area was not wired for be able to use National National Guard Adj. Gen. Steve Danner, left, and AMEC CEO Barry emergency generators. He Guard armories to house Hart sign an agreement that would let electric co-ops use armories later discovered there were workers brought in to to house workers during major outages. Joining the ceremony are, several other older armorhelp restore power. from left: Dennis Fulk, AMEC president, John Eggleston, AMEC ies that were not ready for In return, the electric secretary/treasurer, Tom Steska, AMEC vice president and Rob Land, an emergency. cooperatives will rewire AMEC director of risk management and training. With the state facing those armories not cura budget crunch that rently set up for easy prevented the Guard from making improvements, Danner connection to emergency generators. Two pilot projects, in turned to his friend Barry Hart at the statewide associaKennett and Maryville, are in the works. tion for electric cooperatives for help. Last summer, the “I know how tough it is to make sure you have a place to two worked together to educate the Guard’s Agri-business house the people you bring in to assist you,” Danner said Development Team on co-op principles, which will be used during the signing, which took place during a meeting of to assist farmers in Afghanistan. the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives board. “It Hart saw this as an opportunity to help electric cooperaseems logical to work with you on wiring our armories to tives facing a crisis situation. During the 2009 storm, thouensure we can keep them going. In return, we can be that sands of additional workers poured into southeast Missouri island in a rough storm where people can seek shelter.” in an all-out effort to restore power. Housing was short, Danner, who can trace his connection to the state’s elechowever, forcing some crews to sleep in their trucks or at tric cooperatives to 1969 when he was selected to attend the New Madrid Power Plant for a time. the Rural Electric Youth Tour, saw firsthand what electric While everyone hopes we will never need to use the cooperatives go through during the 2009 ice storm. armories during a disaster, there will be great comfort in In his first day as commander of Missouri’s Guard, and knowing they are ready to go should the need arise. shorthanded as well, Danner accompanied Gov. Jay Nixon W Agreement lets co-ops use armories during outages USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578 Copyright 2011, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights. Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Barry Hart, executive vice president. Individual subscription rate: $9 per year or $21 for three years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members of participating RECs $3.99, taxes and postage included. Delivery as specified by subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by periodical class mail at subscriber’s expense. Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City, MO, and additional mailing offices. P.O. Box 1645 Jefferson City, MO 65102 573-659-3423 Rural Missouri E Survey: Co-ops tops in satisfaction study is no different than the other surveys it does. “It’s exactly the same methodology, the same satisfaction questions that are used on the surveys of other American corporations,” Bausell said. “We are higher than the highest-rated airline, Southwest,” whose most recent score was 79. Electric co-ops have the highest score in consumer expectations, 84, as compared to 78 and 77 for IOUs and municipal utilities, respectively. ACSI said this was “not surprising given the significantly higher level” of member satisfaction. Co-ops also have the highest perceptions of value for money by consumers, scoring 79. IOUs trailed at 70, with municipals at 66. Not that any of this surprises Bausell. He said co-ops are “staying tuned in to the issues that really matter” to consumer-members, who, in turn, have given co-ops a “vote of confidence.” “Our core theme is connecting with members on pocketbook issues,” Bausell said. “That attention to helping consumers deal with everyday pressures on their household budgets, I think, is paying off.” — Electric Co-op Today Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri. Advertising standards: Advertising published in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri’s electric cooperatives do not endorse any products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted by this publication. Advertising information: 573-659-3400 National Advertising Representative: National Country Market; 611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704 573-659-3400 Member, Missouri Association of Publications and Missouri Press Association Find us on lectric cooperatives received the highest score for consumer satisfaction in a survey released recently. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has, for the first time, included co-ops as a separate category. In the first quarter of 2011, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives not only topped that category with an ACSI score of 83, but that number was the highest among energy utilities. Non-Touchstone Energy co-ops had an ACSI score of 80, making the average score for the entire co-op sector an 82. The score is based on a random sampling of consumer-members. By comparison, investor-owned utilities (IOU), as a group, received a score of 74. The highest-ranked IOU offering only electric service was FirstEnergy, scoring 78. Sempra Energy topped the list of IOUs offering both electric and gas service, with an 81. “These scores validate the unique co-op business model,” said Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Owned by the people they serve, cooperatives put affordable electric bills above profits and dividends. At heart, electric co-ops are local consumer advocacy organizations.” Touchstone Energy’s Jim Bausell noted that ACSI’s utility 4 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2011

Rural Missouri - July 2011
Table of Contents
Raising the Great White Arabia
Now showing: rural broadband
Missouri snapshots
Out of the Way Eats
The changing tide
Pyrotechnic pros
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Sting of relief
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - July 2011