SMECO held its 85th Annual Meeting on August 24, 2023, at the Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall in Mechanicsville, Md.
The following SMECO members were elected to serve on SMECO’s Board for three years: Nancy W. Zinn of Calvert County; Charles B. Bowling, Jr. of Charles County; Daniel W. Dyer of Prince George’s County; and Joseph Douglas Frederick and Joseph Gilbert Murphy of St. Mary’s County.
More than 8,500 members voted in the SMECO election and results were announced at the meeting. SMECO’s election was conducted by mail and members could also vote electronically by casting their ballots online. Ballots were mailed to members on July 17. The deadline for submitting ballots by mail or electronically was August 17. Seventy-two percent of the ballots were returned by mail and 28 percent were cast online. Members who returned their ballots or voted online were eligible to win one of 30 electric bill credits of $50 each.
Scott White, Chairman of the SMECO Board of Directors, welcomed SMECO’s members to the event and called the meeting to order. SMECO’s president and CEO, Sonja Cox, introduced the video version of the cooperative’s 2022 annual report. The video shared that, in spite of supply chain challenges in 2022, SMECO employees were able to complete the second phase of the new Chaptico substation, replace two new substation transformers, and continue the construction of a 69-kilovolt transmission line connecting the Chaptico and Ryceville substations. The video also highlighted upgrades to several customer interfaces, including an update to the website and an overhaul of SMECO’s Account Manager portal.
“In 2022, we were able to move forward with many strategic upgrades and improvements for our members. From construction projects for improved reliability to more robust customer self-service options, we invested in improving service for our members,” Cox said.
Cox also answered questions from the audience and addressed topics such as the percentage of renewable fuel sources in SMECO’s fuel mix and possible federal funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or Inflation Reduction Act.
“We look forward to continuing to innovate, grow, and transform for our members,” Cox said. “Your satisfaction is our number one goal. It’s why we were formed and why we will continue to work to meet your needs as those needs evolve.”