September 2019 LightREADING Newsletter

Download: September 2019 Light Reading (PDF)


Here’s what you said!

Member Satisfaction Survey Results are in

Flathead Electric Co-op (FEC) conducted a recent survey on how members interact with and view their Co-op. The survey helps in our ongoing efforts to best meet the needs of members.

As part of the survey, FEC received our American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score. Although there were varying opinions, FEC is pleased to report that we received our highest ACSI score to date in terms of overall member satisfaction. That’s not going to keep us from trying to improve (and we know we can’t please everyone all of the time), but it’s reassuring to know that we are on the right track!

Member Survey



ACSI Score

The ACSI is regularly used by utilities across the country because it is the nation’s only cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction that gives businesses science-based insights across the complete arc of their customer experience. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) measures customer satisfaction and retention using four standardized questions focusing on the following attributes:

  • overall satisfaction,
  • confirmation of expectations,
  • comparison to an ideal utility company and
  • intention to choose said utility again.

Over 1,000 FEC members participated in the survey, and we were pleased with the high marks we received on these key attributes.

ACSI Score
On 100 point scale, FEC scored significantly higher than cooperative energy utilities across the nation.

Member Perspectives

As you can imagine, keeping over 52,000 members (with differing opinions) satisfied can present challenges, especially when some members have polar opposite perspectives as illustrated in the member comments below:

Quote AquaFlathead Electric  Co-op keeps their power sources secret.”

Quote BlueFEC is one of the best companies for communicating information”

FEC 2018 Fuel Mix:

  • Hydropower – 85.11%
  • Nuclear – 8.57%
  • Market Purchase – 2.97%
  • Biomass & Waste – 2.23%
  • Wind & Solar – 0.85%
  • Coal – 0.25%
  • Natural Gas – 0.02%


FEC makes resolute efforts to inform our members about our power supply (mostly hydropower, which is carbon-free and renewable), and other issues through our monthly newsletter, traditional and social media, our website and numerous additional sources.

Quote Aqua

Power outage took a long time to fix.”

Quote Blue

Response to power outages is very prompt.”

FEC keeps the power on 99.97% of the time, which is higher than the state average. In our perfect world, FEC would provide power 24/7 without interruption. In reality, we come very close.

Quote Aqua

The Co-op should be involved in solar.”

Quote Blue

Don’t go to wind or much solar – not truly cost effective.”

Our board is constantly balancing our members’ opinions and desires with our available power sources. We’re fortunate to have access to reliable, affordable, carbon-free hydropower. We’ve also ventured into some other generation projects that make sense for the Co-op such as Community Solar and our landfill gas-to-energy plant. Ensuring that our members have access to affordable and renewable power is at the forefront of our minds, and we will continue to explore other options as they become viable and practical for our membership as a whole.

Community Solar
Community Solar
Landfill Gas to Energy Plant
Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant



Thank you for your feedback!

Throughout the member satisfaction survey, there were a few things almost all of our members agreed on like the friendly helpful staff at FEC and the benefits of the Round up for Safety (RFS) program. (RFS is a voluntary program for FEC members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money goes into a fund for community safety projects.) We would like to take this opportunity to thank our members for the overwhelmingly positive feedback and share some of the comments we received in the process:

Our members’ feedback is very important in helping us provide the best possible service to all members. Please know that following this survey, we will address any concerns that we can, and will continue our daily work to fulfill our mission:

“The mission of Flathead Electric, a not-for-profit, member-owned Cooperative, is

to provide competitive and reliable services,

achieve the highest level of member satisfaction, and

enhance the quality of life in our communities.”


Last Chance for Free LED Light Bulbs

Request your free bulbs before September 15!

Last Chance!

Have you requested your free LED light bulbs yet? This program will be available until September 15 or while supplies last, so FEC members who would like to receive free LED bulbs need to order them at their earliest convenience.

This program helps the Co-op meet the federal efficiency requirements set by The Bonneville Power Administration. Your Co-op pays a certain amount for energy efficiency through our wholesale power rates. If Flathead Electric doesn’t utilize those funds for efficiency projects in our service area each year, those dollars get used in other areas across the northwest. Offering these free energy kits ensures that we are good stewards of our members’ money, and directly benefits FEC members by giving them access to free LED bulbs which provides them with an easy way to use energy more efficiently. Over 15,000 members have already taken advantage of this offer, so request yours now!


Co-op Connection

Get to know the people working for you


Terri Smiley – Roundup for Safety Director, District #4

Q. What do you bring to the Roundup for Safety Board?

A. Roundup funds come from FEC members, so it’s important to invest their donations wisely. My experience in management and finance helps me to evaluate the non-profits that apply for grants.  A well-run non-profit should serve a public need and be fiscally responsible.

Q. What’s the best thing about serving as a Director?

A. I enjoy learning about the service missions of applicants. They help make our niche in Northwest Montana an even better place to call home.

Q. If you had a super-power, what would it be?

A. No doubt that would be Superwoman: strong, resilient, and tackles anything that comes her way with strength and grace. I continue to work on the “grace” part.


Roundup Report

Roundup for Safety grant will aid in river rescues

A $6,000 Roundup for Safety grant will provide the North Valley Rescue Association with swift-water rescue kits. Members respond to an average of 100 calls a year and cover 219 miles of river. The grant will enable response to be even more efficient, which will benefit those in our community and beyond who spend time recreating on the water. Responding to an emergency quickly can mean the difference between a rescue…and a recovery.

August Projects Funded

  • Center for Asbestos Related Disease
    Parking lot for CARD clinic $10,000
  • Early Childhood Center
    Rubber mulch for playground $2,800
  • Blankenship Rural Fire District
    Two AEDs  $2,000
  • Evergreen Community Partners, Inc.
    Fencing for ball fields $6,000

Roundup for Safety is a voluntary program for FEC members who round up their electric bills to the next dollar. This money goes into a fund for community safety projects.

To apply for a Roundup for Safety grant, visit Roundup for Safety. Thank you to the thousands of Flathead Electric members who round up their bill for safety! Together, we are making a difference in our community.