Vol73-6 June 2023
Member newsletter for Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
Southern Maryland is a beautiful place to live, and SMECO is consistent in its commitment to protect and preserve natural resources. The cooperative’s stance on environmental care is in line with global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through decarbonization. Cooperative members care about where their power comes from and how it impacts society. Members also want increased reliability and sustainability in the face of climate change.
In 2022, SMECO introduced a 100 percent renewable energy rate option for residential and commercial accounts. The cooperative purchases renewable energy credits (REC) to cover the total amount of energy used by members who sign up for the green energy option, called “Rider G.” SMECO already obtains a percent of its energy from renewable generation, so members who sign up for Rider G will be charged an additional rate to pay for renewable energy for the remaining percent of the energy they use each month. The Rider G rate is updated each year to reflect changes in REC prices and purchase percentages. The rate may also be adjusted at other times whenever significant market pricing changes occur.
SMECO also began offering time-of-use (TOU) rates in 2022. Energy costs are higher for SMECO during peak times and lower during off-peak times. SMECO’s Standard Offer Service rate doesn’t fluctuate between peak and off-peak periods. For members who choose TOU billing, energy charges will reflect the peak and off-peak price difference. TOU rates can help customers save money if they use less energy during peak times. Weekends and most major holidays are always off-peak.
Choice is important and SMECO seeks to provide a variety of rate options and other tools to support the varied interests of its members.
Moving from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles to electric or hybrid vehicles is a choice an increasing number of cooperative members have made. In partnership with Greenlots, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shell New Energies, SMECO began installing public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in late 2020. By December 2022, SMECO had commissioned 32 EV charging stations throughout the service area. As technology improves and EV options become more prevalent, EV ownership is expected to rise exponentially in Maryland. Having easy access to charging locations helps support members who choose EVs.
SMECO’s strategic plan outlines a number of additional opportunities for the cooperative to lead sustainably in our community over the next five years. Efforts include creating a plan to reduce the cooperative’s carbon footprint by reducing carbon-based generation usage in its facilities and fleet.
In 2021, SMECO embarked on an initiative to install 60 electric vehicle
charging stations within five years throughout Southern Maryland.
As of December 2022, 32 SMECO EV Recharge charging
stations were installed in the member service area.