SMECO Earns J.D. Power and Associates Award for Highest
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SMECO Earns J.D. Power and This year marks the 41st Anniversary of the Associates Award for Highest St. Clement’s Island Blessing of the Fleet. The celebration will take place October 4-5 and Customer Satisfaction is sponsored by the Seventh District Optimist Club of St. Mary’s County. For more informa- tion, call event chairman Robert Pogue at 301-769-2019. J.D. Power and Associates has recognized SMECO as a top award recipient for the 2008 Electric Utility Residential Customer Need Help Paying Satisfaction Study. SMECO was Your Electric Bill? the highest-rated electric utility in its class, those companies serving Assistance is 125,000 to 499,999 residential Available. customers in the East Region. The study measures customer Having trouble paying your electric satisfaction with electric utilities by bill? You may be eligible to participate in examining six key factors: power one of two payment programs offered by quality and reliability; price; billing the State of Maryland. and payment; corporate citizenship; Above are a few of the SMECO linemen and If you qualify for the Maryland customer service representatives who helped Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) or communications; and customer the Cooperative achieve its top rating in service. SMECO consistently the Electric Universal Service Program customer satisfaction. From left: Brian received the highest ratings of Rawlings, Calvin Thomas, Kimberly Farrell, (EUSP), you may receive payment similar utilities in ﬁve of the six Diamond Lewis, Shawn Harley, and Fay assistance. EUSP participants are categories. In addition, SMECO Wood. required to be enrolled in a monthly was rated 57 points higher than the budget payment plan. MEAP customers average utility in the East Midsize Segment in the J.D. Power study. have the option to participate in a special SMECO President and Chief Executive Ofﬁcer Austin J. budget payment plan offered through Slater, Jr. was enthusiastic when the results of the study were the Utility Service Protection Program announced. He said, “This is a well-deserved testament to (USPP) that is designed to safeguard the tremendous job SMECO employees do each and every MEAP customers from termination of day. It is with deep pride and the highest level of appreciation service during the winter. that our Board of Directors and I recognize the work and To ﬁnd out if you qualify for a employee dedication that go into this achievement.” MEAP or EUSP grant, apply at your The study ﬁnds that customer satisfaction with utility local Ofﬁce of Home Energy Programs companies in 2008 is up eight points from 2007. According to (OHEP)—locations and phone numbers J.D. Power, the increase is primarily driven by improvements are listed on the back of this newsletter. in two factors: customer service and billing and payment. Be sure to call ahead to obtain an Customers are increasingly using alternative payment appointment to ﬁll out the necessary methods, such as automatic deductions from bank accounts and online payments, paperwork. which yield higher satisfaction scores on average when compared with traditional If your electricity has been turned mailing methods. SMECO has approximately 30 percent of its customer-members off, you may be able to be reconnected receiving and paying their bills online at the utility’s Web site, one of the highest and placed on a MEAP or EUSP budget percentages of online transactions for any electric utility in the payment plan. If you fail to make your nation. monthly payments after being placed on Slater attributes the positive results of the study to the a payment plan, you can be dropped cooperative business model. “Wherever you ﬁnd a company that from the program and your service can is owned by its customers, you’ll ﬁnd a partnership be turned off. that is dedicated to continually improving its level of See back for contact information for customer service.” According to Slater, “that results in a higher level of success for the company.” Ofﬁces of Home Energy Programs. Around Town Visit www.smeco.coop/community/aroundtown for more events. Grand Militia Muster Tree Planting 4th Annual Handcrafted Sponsor: Historic St. Mary’s City Sponsor: The Accokeek Foundation Quilt Auction October 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. October 11, 8-11:30 a.m. Sponsor: Summerseat Farm Historic St. Mary’s City National Colonial Farm, October 18, 240-895-4990 Accokeek 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 301-283-2113 Summerseat Farm, Drive-thru Fried Chicken Dinner Mechanicsville Sponsor: Indian Head Volunteer Fire AARP Driver Safety Course 301-481-9189 Department and Ladies Auxiliary Sponsor: Shady Oaks Conference Center October 6, October 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Colonial Candle-Making Class 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Serenity Drive, Hughesville Sponsor: The Accokeek Foundation Indian Head 301-932-8864 October 18, Firehouse 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 301-753-9400 11th Annual Southern Maryland National Colonial Farm, Accokeek Farm-Life Festival 301-283-2113 Fall Auction Sponsor: The Parlett Family to Beneﬁt Sponsor: Children’s Christmas in April The 41st Annual St. Mary’s County Aid Society October 11, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oyster Festival October 10 October 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sponsor: Lexington Park Rotary doors open 6 p.m., John K. Parlett Farm-Life October 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. auction begins 7 p.m. Museum, Charlotte Hall October 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Jaycees Center, Waldorf 301-290-1621 St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds, 301-645-1561 Leonardtown Ghosts of 301-863-5015 “Laughter in Bloom” Eddie Car- Sotterley Tours roll as Jack Benny Sponsor: Sotterley Texas Hold ‘em Tournament Sponsor: Leonardtown Rotary Club Plantation Sponsor: Indian Head Volunteer October 11, 8 p.m. October 17-18, Fire Department Great Mills High School 7-10:30 p.m. October 24 301-475-3225 Sotterley Plantation, doors open 6 p.m.; Hollywood play begins 8 p.m.-2 a.m. 301-373-2280 Indian Head Firehouse (call for reservations) 301-753-9400 SOS Rate Reset Filed MD Ofﬁce of Home SMECO recently ﬁled a request with the Maryland Public Energy Programs Service Commission to reset its Standard Offer Service (SOS) rate for electricity. If approved, revised rates will be Southern Maryland Tri-County in effect starting October 1, 2008: 12.59 cents per kilowatt- Community Action Committee hour (kWh) in the summer and 11.24 cents per kWh in the 8371 Leonardtown Rd., Rt. 5, Hughesville winter, which reﬂect SMECO’s most current cost of procuring 410-535-1010 Calvert County power from the wholesale markets. In addition to this per- 301-274-4474 Charles County kWh charge, customer-members also pay the monthly Power 301-475-5574 St. Mary’s County Cost Adjustment (PCA), which varies from month to month. 301-870-3770 Metro Line Sometimes the PCA is a charge, sometimes it’s a credit. Because SMECO is a cooperative and owned by our Prince George’s County Department customer-members, we strive to provide safe, reliable of Social Services electricity at the lowest cost possible. We pass through the 805 Brightseat Road, Landover price we pay for electricity to our customer-members without proﬁt or mark-up. 301-909-6300 Pr. George’s County A number of factors have recently impacted the cost SMECO must pay for electricity. The cost of electricity has been driven up as the cost for the fuels that generate it have Sign Up for PowerWise and Save $$$ increased. The price of fuels, such as coal and natural gas, has doubled over the past year as demand continues to grow Many homeowners are needlessly throwing away worldwide. Capacity costs, which are charges paid to ensure money—out the door, through the window, and down the that new electric generating plants and transmission lines are drain. Yet it’s easy to prevent. built, as well as incentives for conservation are offered, have SMECO’s PowerWise program can help you save energy increased by 1500 percent from just over $4 million during dollars. Homes must be at least ﬁve years old to qualify for 2006-2007 to about $60 million for 2008-2009. PowerWise. Maryland consumers are demanding more electricity How does PowerWise work? A technician will visit your faster than transmission infrastructure upgrades can be home, perform a full home energy audit, and ﬁnd problems completed, and much of the electricity used by Maryland that waste energy. You may also receive free items such as customers is generated and transported to us from out of state, low-ﬂow shower heads, water heater insulation, and more. causing increased congestion charges. SMECO will continue The program is divided into three packages based on to try to mitigate costs and risks in a volatile market for the your home’s heating and cooling equipment and appliances. beneﬁt of our members. To sign up for PowerWise, visit SMECO’s Web site at For more details, visit SMECO’s Web site at www.smeco.coop and select the Manage Your Energy tab. www.smeco.coop and read the Proposed Revisions to From there, print out the form and follow the instructions. SMECO’s Electric Service Tariff. For more information, call 301-274-4351. It’s that easy! Start saving—enroll today!