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 1-888-440-3311.
- 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.
- You may obtain a letter of credit from SMECO that shows your bill payment history. Just call us at 1-888-440-3311.
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, go to Straight Talk About Your Bill. To see how energy use affects your bill, try our Sample Residential Bill Calculator.
- 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.
Paying your 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 lower your energy bill.
- In the summer, set your thermostat on 78 degrees or higher.
- In the winter, set your thermostat on 68 degrees 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 125 degrees.
- Find out the age of your apartment’s 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 your apartment or house has 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 How to Control Your Electric Bill.
Quick Home Energy Check-up:
You don’t need to own your residence to get a SMECO energy check-up—at no additional cost. Our technicians will show you how to save energy and save money.
If you need help paying your electric bill, you can contact your local assistance agencies.
Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc.
Prince George’s County Department of Social Services
805 Brightseat Road, Landover
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.