July 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

SMECO Donates LEDs to Food Bank

SMECO Donates LEDs to Food Bank
SMECO employees Jennifer Raley, left, Stacey Hill, and Natasha Law help Southern Maryland Food Bank employees George Mattingly and Brenda DiCarlo load boxes of LED light bulbs. SMECO donates the LEDs for distribution through local food pantries.

As part of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative‘s participation in EmPOWER Maryland, 32,688 LEDs were donated to help families who need assistance save money by reducing energy use.

EmPOWER Maryland is a program designed to reduce the state’s energy consumption.

Partnering with the Southern Maryland Food Bank, SMECO has found a way for families with limited resources to reduce energy costs, while still encouraging all of its customer-members to participate in efficiency initiatives to save energy and save money.

ENERGY STAR-certified LEDs use 70 to 90 percent less energy than traditional bulbs and last up to 15 times longer. Replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED can save up to $55 in electricity during the bulb’s lifetime.

SMECO employees, from left, Courtney Barry, Natasha Law, Jennifer Raley, and Stacey Hill assist with distribution of LED light bulbs to community assistance agencies.

“Installing energy efficient lights is an easy way to help manage energy costs, but SMECO has multiple resources available to help residential and commercial customers save on their monthly bill,” said Jennifer Raley, an energy and technology programs manager at SMECO. “The co-op’s partnership initiatives with the community — to both deliver and participate in energy saving programs — have had great success. SMECO has more than 45,000 CoolSentry participants who help reduce peak demand on hot summer days. Not only do they help reduce the cost of energy, they receive up to $75 in electric bill credits and they can have a programmable thermostat installed to help save energy year-round.”

As much as half of the energy used in a home goes to heating and cooling, according to ENERGY STAR, and a programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save about $180 every year in energy costs.

“In order to provide our customer-members with cost-effective and reliable methods of reducing energy use, SMECO has created a network of partnerships with local contractors and retailers. We work with builders who have experience with constructing ENERGY STAR-certified new homes, heating, and cooling contractors that install upgraded systems to improve efficiency and comfort, and retailers that sell energy saving products,” Ms. Raley said.

SMECO employees Stacey Hill, Courtney Barry, and Natasha Law assist with loading boxes of LED light bulbs into the End Hunger Calvert County van for distribution through the community assistance network.

ENERGY STAR-certified new homes are designed and built to deliver energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical new homes.

“SMECO has thousands of customer-members who participate in the co-op’s EmPOWER Maryland programs. Those programs include appliance recycling, rebates for high efficiency appliances, and more,” Ms. Raley said.

Customers can find additional information and updates about SMECO’s energy efficiency programs by visiting SMECO’s website or by calling 1-888-440-3311.

“We want customers to learn more about saving energy because that’s an expense they need to manage. And when every dollar counts, they can put those savings to good use for other necessary expenses,” Ms. Raley said.

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

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