October 16, 2019

Art & Lifestyle:

Capital Credit Refunds Coming to SMECO Bills

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Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative has been able to save money on its expenses through the year, so it will issue capital credit refunds to customer-members totaling nearly $3.8 million. From that total, a general refund of about $2.2 million will be issued in July. Customer-members who are eligible for the credits will receive them on bills and checks will be issued to former members who are eligible.

In addition, refunds of about $1.6 million will be paid during the year to estates of deceased members and unpaid final bills.

“When SMECO refunds capital credits to customer-members, we’re putting our words into action and making good on a promise,” said Austin J. Slater Jr., SMECO’s president and CEO. “Our customers realize the benefit of being electric cooperative members when they receive a portion of the co-op’s margins. Passing savings on to customers demonstrates the value of the cooperative business model, and that differentiates us from other utilities.”

SMECO’s margins, which are revenue minus expenses, for 2016 came to $12 million. Since SMECO is a cooperative, margins are retained to provide money for new construction and system improvements. “SMECO’s customer-members invest in their co-op every time they pay their bill. They share the responsibility of ownership by financing the cooperative’s operations, but they also share its rewards,” Mr. Slater said.

At the end of each year, margins are allocated to customers’ capital credit accounts. The money is refunded to customer-members in the form of capital credits when the SMECO Board of Directors determines that the co-op’s financial conditions can be met.

The amount of money each member will be credited is based on how much electricity the member bout and the rate at which the account was billed. All customer-members who are eligible will receive a credit on the bill for their primary account. Anyone wishing to contact SMECO to designate a primary account can call 1-888-440-3311. Members who are eligible but inactive will receive a full refund of the balance in their capital credit account if the balance is $100 or less. Capital credits also may be used to pay any amount due if a customer had an unpaid final bill for electric service.

To learn more about SMECO, please visit its Leader member page.

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