Hughesville, MD – Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s (SMECO) Board of Directors recently received approval for a decrease in the power supply rates that customer-members pay for their electric service. On February 28, SMECO submitted a filing to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to reduce its base energy charges by more than 10 percent for residential customers. The lower rates were approved by the PSC on April 22 and will go into effect on May 1, 2020.
“This rate reduction couldn’t have come at a better time. We know that many of our customer-members have been affected by the stay-at-home orders in Maryland and their income has been significantly impacted,” said Sonja Cox, SMECO president and CEO. “At 6.21 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), our residential base rate for May will be the lowest it has been in almost 15 years.”
The base rate for an average residential customer with 1,300 kWh of monthly usage will be $10.40 less this summer than last summer. “Lower rates have a positive effect on a household budget,” Cox said. “But for commercial accounts, schools, churches, and government buildings, whose facilities use a lot of energy, the savings can be considerable.”
SMECO’s Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate is made up of the energy charge and the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA). SMECO’s base residential energy charges for summer will decrease by 11 percent, from 6.98 cents per kWh to 6.21 cents per kWh. Summer energy charges appear on bills rendered May through September. Base residential winter energy charges will be reduced from 7.54 cents per kWh to 6.74 cents per kWh, a 10.6 percent reduction.
On SMECO’s monthly electric bills, lower power supply costs have been reflected in the PCA, which has been a credit for the last several months. The PCA, which changes monthly, is a credit of 0.8839 cents per kWh for April. The combination of the base energy charge and the PCA credit effectively reduces the SOS rate for April from 7.54 cents per kWh to 6.6561 cents per kWh.
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 166,000 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 $93.6 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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