SMECO newsletter

volume 67 - issue 5 - May 2017

Investing in a sustainable future

Richard A. Winkler, Chairman of the Board

When local farmers decided to work together to bring electricity to rural Southern Maryland, concern for community was the foundation of the electric cooperative. Since these earliest days, it has been the cornerstone of SMECO's decision-making. Life has changed a lot since 1937, but one thing that has not changed in the last 80 years is your cooperative's commitment to establishing policies and engaging in activities that will enhance the lives of SMECO's members and help ensure a sustainable future for the community in which we live.

Austin J. Slater, Jr., President and CEO.

An essential part of ensuring a sustainable future is the protection and preservation of our natural resources. SMECO strives to balance the needs of its customer-members with its goal to protect the environment, all while providing reliable, competitively-priced electricity and related services. SMECO's commitment to enhancing the quality of life in Southern Maryland is aligned with the cooperative's commitment to environmental stewardship. We demonstrate this commitment through leadership, advocacy, and engagement.

SMECO is leading the way to a sustainable future by promoting energy efficiency through education. SMECO employees attend local organizational events and make presentations to educate customers about energy efficiency and renewable energy. We make it easy for customers to learn about solar power and to have solar net meters installed. We work with customer-members individually to help them save energy and save money. Helping our customer-members become more energy efficient not only helps our environment by reducing energy consumption, it also helps customers reduce their energy bills.

As an advocate for sustainability, SMECO works with state legislators and other utilities to craft policies that provide a framework for sound environmental practices, progressive benchmarks, and cost-effective goals for renewable energy procurement. We meet with Public Service Commission working groups to develop programs that make sense for our customer-members. Your cooperative also works to develop new sources of renewable energy and will continue to add wind and solar to our power portfolio. Currently, 7.7 percent of SMECO's energy is power generated by renewable resources.

At SMECO, we want to engage with our customer-members to do the right thing by the environment because sustainability is as much about preserving our heritage as it is about conserving energy and maintaining a healthy environment. We want to keep our forests, fields, and pastures green, our black-eyed Susans golden, and our Maryland crabs blue.

Many of the images in this year's annual report were taken right here in Southern Maryland by SMECO employees. When you look at some of these images, you'll see why sustainability is crucial to preserving our local heritage.

Cover photo ©2017; photo above by Glenn Macaranas