SECO to survey customers

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Power crews back from aiding storm recovery

By Pat Faherty

The Sumter Electric Cooperative (SECO) will survey many of its members by telephone this month and in early December.

The utility has approximately 175,000 members in parts of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Levy, Marion, Pasco and Sumter counties.

Barry Bowman, SECO director of corporate communications, said in a news release the electric cooperative does this annual survey to get opinions on how co-op members feel their utility is doing with regard to such things as reliability and customer service.

“Generally speaking, SECO gets very high marks from the members during these surveys,” Bowman said. “In fact, a series of questions in the survey allows our co-op to be ranked against all other types of electric utilities in the nation on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).”

In last year’s survey, members gave the co-op a mean overall satisfaction rating of 8.87 on a 10-point scale, with seven in 10 members giving it ratings of 9 or 10.

“We are a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative,” Bowman said. “That means our focus is on delivering the most reliable, lowest cost electricity possible and best customer service we can to our members.

“We hope the members will take the time to answer the survey being conducted by NRECA Market Research Services on our behalf.”

Bowman noted the survey process is one of the numerous ways SECO stays in touch with its overall membership. He said member thoughts and opinions are important and help guide co-op operations.

n SECO also announced this week that its power restoration team for Hurricane Sandy is now on its way home after being released from duty by First Energy.

Upon their return, the team will have traveled more than 2,300 miles and will have restored power to thousands of homes and businesses in Maryland, West Virginia and New Jersey.

The co-op sent a full traveling module of 17 SECO employees and 15 pieces of equipment north on Oct. 29 in response to the storm. SECO also released 18 of its Nelson Tree Service crews (39 people) and Pike power line crews (15 people) to assist with the damage.

Contact Chronicle reporter Pat Faherty at 352-564-2924 or pfaherty@chronicleonline.com.