Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a settlement in the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) request to increase its electric distribution rates by $19.2 million, granting instead an increase of $17.3 million. The new rates become effective March 1, 2016. The typical residential SMECO customer can expect a 4.6 percent increase in the total monthly bill.

On September 18, 2015, SMECO filed an application for an increase in its base rates, principally related to the utility’s growth and costs incurred since its last rate case in 2010, and investments in the Southern Maryland Reliability Project—a seven-year, $108 million project to upgrade its transmission and distribution systems to improve reliability. Serving more than 160,000 customers in Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s and southern Prince George’s counties, SMECO is the largest electric cooperative in the state. 

The Commission’s decision included a thorough review of the company’s application, each party’s testimony and exhibits from the proceedings, and the settlement agreement among SMECO, the PSC staff and the Office of People’s Counsel.  Based on the record in this case, the Commission found that the revenue increase was both just and reasonable for the utility and its customers and will not unduly burden any one class of customers.

The complete details for Order 87417 in Case No. 9396 are available on the Commission’s website,