6/6/2018 11:30:00 AM - by SMECO
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) is issuing capital credit refunds totaling nearly $5.6 million. Of that total, a general refund of approximately $3.7 million will be issued in July. Active eligible members will receive credits on their bills and checks will be issued to eligible former members. Special refunds of about $1.9 million will be paid throughout the year to estates of deceased members and unpaid final bills.
“When SMECO issues a refund to members, we’re making good on a cooperative promise,” said Austin J Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO. He added, “Whether you have a residential account or a large commercial account, you realize one of the benefits of being an electric cooperative member when you receive a portion of SMECO’s margins. Passing savings on to members demonstrates electric cooperative values and shows how we’re different from other utilities.”
SMECO’s margins for 2017 totaled more than $23 million. SMECO uses margins—revenue minus expenses—as working capital for system improvements and construction. Slater explained, “SMECO’s members invest in their cooperative every time they pay their bill. They help to finance the cooperative’s operations, but they also share its rewards.”
At the end of each year, SMECO’s margins are allocated to members’ capital credit accounts. Capital credits are refunded to members when SMECO’s Board of Directors determines that the cooperative’s financial conditions can be met.
Each member’s share of the cooperative’s margins is based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. All eligible active members will receive a credit on the bill for their primary account. If members wish to contact SMECO to designate their primary account, they may call 1-888-440-3311. Inactive eligible members will receive a full refund of the balance in their capital credit account if the balance is $50 or less. Capital credits may also be used to pay any amount due if a member had an unpaid final bill for electric service.