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!