Advice for Renters

When You Move In

  • Before moving in, contact SMECO at least 24 hours (one business day) in advance to have the apartment’s or home’s electric service put in your name. Just call (888) 440-3311 or use our online Connect Service form.
  • We may ask you to provide us with a notarized copy of your lease agreement
  • If you’ve never had service from SMECO, we require a refundable security deposit – This can be waived if you provide us with a letter of good credit from another utility company or a credit report run within the past year.
  • What does “good credit” look like?
    • The letter of good credit must state that within the last two years, you had a 12-month continuous history with no more than two late payments, no returned payments (bounced checks), you were never disconnected for non-payment, and you do not owe an outstanding bill
    • You may also submit a credit report run in the last 12 months with a FICO score of 650 or higher
    • Credit reports or letters of credit can be e-mailed to SMECO

When You Move Out

  • Make sure you take the account out of your name – You don’t want to be responsible for bills accrued after you move out. If you leave the account in your name, SMECO will hold you responsible for the bills at the home you were renting
  • Were you sharing the home with roommates? Don’t rely on them to close your SMECO account; do it yourself.
  • You may obtain a letter of credit from SMECO that shows your bill payment history – Just call us at (888) 440-3311.

Monthly Bills

An average monthly residential bill is 1,300 kilowatt-hours. Bills are based on energy use and may be lower in spring and fall; bills in summer and winter are usually higher. For more information, visit our Why Is My Bill High? page.

  • Your bills will be higher in winter because you use more energy to heat your home
  • Bills in summer can be higher because you use more energy to cool your home
  • If you live in a poorly insulated beach cottage or mobile home, your heating and cooling costs may be higher

Don’t be caught off guard. Plan for higher bills based on the weather—budget your payments. You can even make weekly payments if that will help you stay on top of your bills.

Sign up for our Budget Plan to even out your monthly electric bills. If you have lived in this rental unit for more than 12 months, fill out the enrollment form located on our Budget Plan page.

Paying Your Bill

Click Pay Your Bill to use our online bill payment service above. It’s quick and easy. You can also text us or download the SMECO 24/7 App and use it to pay your SMECO bill.

How to Reduce Your Monthly Bill

If you live in an apartment or rented home, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your energy bill.

  • In the summer, set your thermostat to 78ºF or higher
  • In the winter, set your thermostat to 68ºF or lower
  • Buy energy-saving CFL or LED light bulbs – Take out any incandescent bulbs from the ceiling or wall fixtures and store them in a safe place – When you move out, put the incandescent bulbs back in the lights
  • Ask your landlord the age of your hot water tank – Tanks installed more than 10 years ago should have blankets to conserve heat, and all tanks should be flushed every year – The optimum energy-saving setting for your tank is 120 to 125ºF
  • Find out the age of your central air conditioner or heat pump – These units typically last 12 to 15 years when serviced annually – Ask your landlord who is responsible for changing the unit’s filter – Change the filter monthly
  • If you have baseboard electric heaters, use as few as you need to use to be comfortable – This is the most expensive form of heating, so use it as sparingly as possible
  • Ask your landlord to install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators
  • Plug your entertainment appliances into a surge protector strip, and turn off the strip when you’re not using your TV – Anything that has a light, clock, or remote control is always using power – By unplugging it or turning the strip off, you will reduce your overall bill
  • Unplug cell phone chargers when not charging your phone

For more tips, read SMECO’s “How to Control Your Electric Bill” booklet

Home Energy Improvement Program

You don’t need to own your residence to get an energy analysis: visit our Efficiency Improvements page. For no additional cost, our energy advisers will show you how to save energy and save money.

Reporting Outages

If you lose power in your house or apartment, you may notify SMECO. Go to our outage map to check the status of outages. Use our online tool for reporting outages, call us at (877) 74-SMECO ((877) 747-6326), or text OUT to SMECO (76326) to use our text messaging service. You may also download the SMECO 24/7 App

Bill Assistance

If you need help paying your electric bill, you can contact your local assistance agencies.

Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc.

(Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties)
8371 Leonardtown Road (Old Route 5), Hughesville
(800) 255-5313
(301) 274-4474

Prince George’s County Department of Social Services

805 Brightseat Road, Landover
(301) 909-6300

Patriot Connect

SMECO’s Patriot Connect program is designed to help veterans and active military personnel who may be having a difficult time transitioning back into the community.