About the Commercial Bill

For more information about SMECO’s rates, read the Retail Electric Service Tariff on our Rates & Fees page or check out the Standard Offer Service on our Customer Choice page.

Sample of SMECO residential energy bill


CONTACT INFORMATION: Use the phone numbers to contact SMECO with questions or report an outage.


IMPORTANT ACCOUNT INFORMATION: Details about your account may be found here.


USAGE PROFILE: Compare your current month’s usage to the same month last year.


ENERGY USAGE HISTORY: This chart gives 13-month energy usage data.


MAILING ADDRESS: The address as it appears in SMECO’s records. For address changes, call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311, or mail in the bottom portion of your bill with address changes written on the back.


ACCOUNT NUMBER: Identifies your account. Please use this number on all payments and correspondence.


DUE DATE: Pay your bill by this date to avoid late fees.


TOTAL AMOUNT DUE: The total amount that you owe for the month.


ACCOUNT SUMMARY: Summarizes billing and payment activity at the time the bill was issued.


SERVICE ADDRESS: A short location description of your account.


LAST PAYMENT RECEIVED: Includes the amount that you last paid and the date SMECO received it.


DID YOU KNOW?: SMECO provides helpful information about your account, services, programs, energy efficiency, and more.


METER NUMBERS: A serial number that identifies the meters used for each account.


METER READINGS: The meter reading from the last billing period is subtracted from the meter reading for the current billing period to determine how much energy was used during the month.


METER MULTIPLIER: For accounts that use large amounts of electricity, meters register a percentage of the actual kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage to keep the meters from operating at excessive speeds. A meter multiplier is then used to determine the total kWh usage.


NEXT APPROXIMATE DATE TO READ METER: The approximate date of the next meter reading. The time between readings can vary from 27 to 34 days if a reading date falls on a weekend or holiday.


BILLING PERIOD: Denotes the dates and number of days covered by the bill.


RATE: Indicates which rate schedule the customer is billed under.


CURRENT CHARGES AND ADJUSTMENTS: A listing of the charges that make up the SMECO bill.

  • STANDARD OFFER SERVICE (SOS): A per-kilowatt-hour charge for energy provided by SMECO. The charge is calculated each month based on the amount of electricity the customer uses. The combination of the SOS and the PCA is the total cost of electricity supply for the month.
  • DEMAND: Demand is the amount of power required to make electrical equipment work, measured in kilowatts (kW) at 15-minute intervals. All the lights, appliances, and equipment that are on simultaneously create the kW demand for a business. SMECO must install equipment and maintain its system at a level sufficient to supply the highest demand likely to occur at a business. This is why the energy demand charges are part of your commercial bill.
  • POWER COST ADJUSTMENT (PCA): The PCA is a monthly adjustment to the SOS charge to reflect short-term increases or decreases in the cost of purchased power. The charge or credit is calculated each month.
  • FACILITIES CHARGE: A fixed monthly charge for facilities required to serve customers, including billing and payment processing, and electric service and metering facilities.
  • DISTRIBUTION CHARGE: The charge for the cost of building, operating, and maintaining SMECO’s electric system (poles, conductors, substations, buildings, vehicles, etc.). The charge is based on the amount of electricity the customer uses each month.
  • BILL STABILIZATION ADJUSTMENT: This adjustment helps ensure that SMECO revenues to cover fixed costs will not be adversely affected by abnormal weather or energy usage. This adjustment is either a charge or a credit, depending on whether revenues fall short or exceed an average monthly level.
  • EMPOWER MARYLAND CHARGE: This charge covers the cost of state mandated programs to help customers save energy and save money. Rebates are available for heating and cooling systems, large appliances, and recycling refrigerators. Go to smeco.coop/save for more info.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY FRANCHISE TAX: A tax applying to all customers as part of state utility tax law changes made in 1999.
  • ELECTRIC UNIVERSAL SERVICE CHARGE: A charge instituted by the State of Maryland to assist low- and fixed-income electric customers.
  • COUNTY ENERGY TAX: St. Mary’s County charges an energy tax on the Standard Offer Service energy and demand charges. Prince George’s County charges a tax on the amount of kWh each customer uses.
  • MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL SURCHARGE: This charge is imposed by the state. The PSC sets the amount of the surcharge every fiscal year.



TOTAL CURRENT CHARGES AND ADJUSTMENTS: This amount will be printed on the front of the bill in the account summary section.


MESSAGE BOARD: Find tips on saving energy and information about SMECO programs.


DETERMINING BILLING DEMAND: Demand charges can involve up to four calculations, listed as A, B, C, and D on the bill.

  1. kW DEMAND USAGE THIS PERIOD: The highest 15-minute kW demand measured at the meter during the billing period.
  2. 50% OF THE HIGHEST PRECEDING 11 MONTHS: This number is calculated by first finding the highest kW demand (Item A above) in the 11 months prior to the billing period. The highest kW demand is then multiplied by 50 percent.
  3. MINIMUM kW (50% OF CONTRACTED kW): Accounts with a 1,000 kVA capacity or more have a contracted amount of kW. Where special investment is made to serve a customer, a contract may be required. This figure is based on an estimate of electrical equipment at the facility.
  4. CORRECTED kW, kW demand this period x 90% DIVIDED BY PERCENT ACTUAL POWER FACTOR: This formula is used to calculate the adjusted kW demand for accounts that incur power factor penalties.


PAYMENT OPTIONS: You have multiple ways to pay your bill. Just choose the one
that’s most convenient for you.