Article I – Membership

Section 1.01 Requirements for Membership

Any individual or entity with the capacity to enter legally binding contracts may become a member in the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc., (hereinafter called the “Cooperative”) by:

  1. agreeing to purchase from the Cooperative electric power or energy and/or electric distribution services;
  2. agreeing to comply with and be bound by the Articles of Conversion and bylaws of the Cooperative; the Articles of Conversion and bylaws shall constitute a contract between the Cooperative and each member, and both the Cooperatives and the members are bound by such contract, as fully as though each member had individually signed a separate instrument containing such terms and provisions; and
  3. having a service connection.

No member may hold more than one membership in the Cooperative and no membership in the Cooperative shall be transferable.

Section 1.02 Evidence of Membership

Membership in the Cooperative shall be evidenced by compliance with Section 1.01.

Section 1.03 Joint Membership

Any two persons residing in the same household may apply for a joint membership and, subject to their compliance with the requirements set forth in Section 1.01 of this Article, will be accepted for such membership. The term “member” as used in these bylaws shall be deemed to include two persons residing in the same household holding a joint membership and any provisions relating to the rights and liabilities of membership shall apply equally with respect to the holders of a joint membership. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the effect of the hereinafter specified actions by or in respect to the holders of a joint membership shall be as follows:

  1. The presence at a meeting of either or both shall be regarded as the presence of one member and shall have the effect of constituting a joint waiver or notice of the meeting.
  2. The vote of either separately or both jointly shall constitute one vote.
  3. Notice to either shall constitute notice to both.
  4. Expulsion of either shall terminate the joint membership.
  5. Withdrawal of either shall terminate the joint membership.
  6. Either but not both may be elected or appointed as an officer or director, provided that both meet the qualifications for such office.

Section 1.04 Conversion of Membership

  1. A membership may be converted to a joint membership upon the request of the holder thereof. A joint membership may be converted into an individual membership upon the request of one of the parties.
  2. Upon the death of either holder of the joint membership, such membership shall be held solely by the survivor. Upon notification of the death of a joint member, the Cooperative will note the change on its official records of membership, provided, however, that the estate of the deceased shall not be released from any debts due the Cooperative.

Section 1.05 Purchase of Electric Distribution Service

Each member shall purchase from the Cooperative all electric distribution service purchased for use on the premises specified, and shall pay therefore at rates which shall from time to time be fixed by the Board of Directors. It is expressly understood that amounts paid for electric distribution service in excess of the cost of service are furnished by members as capital and each member shall be credited with the capital so furnished as provided in these bylaws. Each member shall pay to the Cooperative such minimum amount per month regardless of the amount of electric energy consumed, as shall be fixed by the Board of Directors from time to time. Each member shall also pay all amounts owed by him to the Cooperative as and when the same shall become due and payable. Production, storage, or use of electric energy on such premises, regardless of the source thereof, by means of facilities which shall be inter-connected with Cooperative facilities, shall be subject to appropriate regulations as shall be fixed from time to time by the Cooperative.

Section 1.06 Termination of Membership

Any member may withdraw from membership upon compliance with such uniform terms and conditions as the Board of Directors may prescribe. The Board of Directors of the Cooperative may, by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all the directors, expel any member who shall have refused or failed to comply with any of the provisions of the Articles of Conversion, bylaws, or rules adopted by the Board of Directors, but only if such member shall have been given written notice by the Secretary of the Cooperative that such refusal or failure makes him liable to expulsion and such refusal or failure shall have continued for at least ten days after such notice was given. Any expelled member may be reinstated by vote of the Board of Directors or by vote of the members at any annual or special meeting.

Upon the withdrawal, death, cessation of existence, or expulsion of a member, the membership of such member shall thereupon terminate. A membership will be terminated if electric distribution service has been discontinued. Termination of membership in any manner shall not release a member from any debt due the Cooperative.