SMECO newsletter

volume 65 - issue 2 - february 2015

Transmission line construction continues in Charles County

SMECO is committed to electric service reliability in Southern Maryland. As part of this commitment, the cooperative replaced an aging single-circuit 69,000-volt (69-kV) line with a double-circuit line on new steel poles from the Hawkins Gate switching station near La Plata to the Westlake substation near the St. Charles Towne Center. Construction took place between October 2013 and December 2014, and SMECO energized the new line on December 10, 2014. The double-circuit transmission line added capacity and improved reliability. Read more

Is your power being stolen?

When the weather turns cold, electric bills increase. These higher bills have caused some customers to wonder if a neighbor is stealing their electricity. While this seems like a plausible scenario that may happen often, it is actually quite rare in Southern Maryland. The most likely cause for higher bills during winter and summer is extreme temperatures—really cold or really hot weather—making heating and cooling equipment work harder. Read more

Save money in the kitchen

The kitchen is one room in your house that demands much energy with its many appliances. The appliance with the highest demand for electricity is typically the refrigerator unless you use the oven more than the average household. Major appliances, like the refrigerator, that are more than 10 years old lose efficiency and can cost more to operate. If you do have an older model, you might consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR® qualified model. These models use 15 percent less electricity when compared to non-qualified models, and they use about 40 percent less electricity than refrigerators did 10 years ago. Visit to learn about available rebates for qualified refrigerators if you decide to replace yours. Read more

Are energy vampires draining your wallet?

Many household appliances draw energy even when the power is switched off. This is known as standby power, phantom load, or vampire power. Any appliance with an external power supply or plug-in wall transformer uses electricity constantly and the easiest way to control vampire power usage is to unplug appliances when they are not in use. Read more

Applications due by 3/6

The deadline to apply for 2015 scholarships is close.

SMECO has four scholarships available to high school seniors who live with parents or guardians who are SMECO customers. Completed scholarship application packages (all items must be submitted as one package) are due by March 6, 2015. They may be taken to a SMECO office or mailed to:

Attention: Bernadette Lewis, SMECO Headquarters, P.O. Box 1937, Hughesville, MD 20637

For more information, visit, see your school career counselor, call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311, ext. 4340, or visit a customer service desk at the SMECO offices in Leonardtown or Hughesville.

Register now for the fourth annual SMECO 75 bike ride

SMECO is hosting its fourth annual 75-mile bicycle ride beginning at the Cooperative's headquarters building in Hughesville on June 6, 2015. Read more