LA PLATA, Md. — The Charles County Government is the latest to receive incentives for investing in energy-efficient equipment upgrades through Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) EmPOWER Maryland Business Solutions program.

On Sept. 15, 2021, SMECO presented Charles County Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq., with a big check totaling $488,252 for completing LED lighting upgrades in 31 county buildings. The upgrades have yielded savings of 1,932,098 kilowatt hours (kWh), which is enough energy savings to power 134 homes for a year.

“I am pleased Charles County will receive a tangible benefit from our participation in SMECO’s Business Solutions Incentive Program, which affirms the County’s commitment toward our climate change goals by reducing our carbon footprint by more than four thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year,” said Charles County Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to planting 3,290 acres of trees or removing 845 cars from the road on an annual basis.”

Commissioner Collins also recognized and thanked the County’s partners Noresco and SMECO for their contribution to this important project.

The upgrades are an example of the incentives for energy-efficient equipment upgrades available to commercial businesses across Southern Maryland. SMECO’s incentives help accelerate the payback period of a project—including the building of new facilities, renovating existing buildings, or replacing aging and inefficient equipment or systems—resulting in immediate savings. The program allows businesses to choose their own contractor and have incentives either paid directly or as a credit on their SMECO bill.

“Working with NORESCO to install energy-efficient lighting fixtures in 31 of its buildings this year, Charles County took an extraordinary step in reducing energy use and helping to ensure a sustainable future for Southern Maryland,” said Jennifer Raley, energy and technology programs manager at SMECO.

Charles County has been a longtime participant in SMECO’s Business Solutions program. Other participants featured in our customer spotlights have included Calvert County Public Schools, University of Maryland Laboratory, and Miller Cabinetmakers.

“We’re proud to present Charles County with $488,252 in incentives for making LED lighting upgrades through SMECO’s Business Solutions Program,” Raley said. “We hope other businesses across Southern Maryland will take advantage of this program to reduce energy costs and consumption, create jobs, and support our environment.”

SMECO – The Cooperative Difference –
SMECO was incorporated in 1937 and is one of the 15 largest electric cooperatives in the United States with more than 169,000 member accounts in Charles County, St. Mary’s County, southern Prince George’s County, and most of Calvert County.
Electric cooperatives are shaped by the communities they serve, because co-ops are owned by their customers.  Co-op members elect the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors. Members share the responsibility of ownership by financing the cooperative’s operations, but they also share its rewards.

At the end of each year, SMECO’s margins (profits) are allocated to members’ capital credit accounts. SMECO uses its profits to invest in new construction, system improvements, and facility upgrades. The Board of Directors regularly evaluates the financial condition of the co-op and determines when members will receive a refund. Since 1937, SMECO has refunded more than $110 million.

As a cooperative, SMECO will always put its members first and be responsive, reliable, and resourceful—the power you can count on.
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