SMECO Earns Safety Accreditation for 10th Time - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMECO Earns Safety Accreditation for 10th Time

Electric Co-op Achieves Nearly Perfect Score of 99%

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) has earned the Certificate of Excellence for Safety from the Rural Electric Safety Accreditation Program (RESAP) for the 10th consecutive time.

SMECO achieved an overall score of 99%. No other electric cooperative in the United States has ever achieved a higher score in this comprehensive six-step accreditation program.

RESAP's accreditation process includes a rigorous peer review and audit program and an on-site inspection of the cooperative's system by a team of trained observers. This review covers the system's safety policies, procedures, facilities and equipment. SMECO's review was conducted March 27-30, 2006.

"Earning the RESAP Certificate of Excellence for the 10th time and with an almost perfect score is quite an achievement. This re-accreditation recognizes the emphasis that SMECO places on the well-being of its customer-members and its employees," said Lloyd Sholes, Assistant Vice President of Safety and Training Services for the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).

"We are especially proud of Jim Grow, our job training and safety manager, his staff and all of our employees for working so diligently to earn this national re-accreditation and recognition," said A. Joseph Slater, SMECO president and chief executive officer. "When it comes to working safely, SMECO is second to no other electricity provider – co-op or public utility – in the United States."

Sholes noted that SMECO's field observation score was 99%, which accounted for 50% of the final grade; the cooperative's application score was 97% (30% of the total grade); and the random document score was 100% for a final grade of 99%.

The field observation team that evaluated SMECO included Sholes, Jim Wright, Vice President of Training, Education and Safety for Georgia Electric Membership Cooperatives and Jim Huggard, VMDAEC safety and training services instructor.

RESAP is a service of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and strives to promote the highest standards of safety among electric co-ops nationwide.

Headquartered in Hughesville, Md., SMECO is a customer-owned electric cooperative that provides electricity to over 139,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of Calvert, Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary's. It was incorporated in 1937 and also operates regional offices in Prince Frederick, White Plains and Leonardtown, Md. For more information, visit

SMECO is a member of the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC). Founded in 1944, VMDAEC, based in Glen Allen, Va., provides training, communications, legislative and other services to the 16 member-owned electric cooperatives that service the three Mid-Atlantic States. For more information, visit

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