SMECO, SMCPS Sign Joint Resolution

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (March 24, 2009)—Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) signed a joint resolution on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, to kick-off SMECO's School Energy Pledge Program which will be piloted in four schools. The program is an energy efficiency and fundraising program targeting elementary school students.

"This program creates a win-win situation for families, the school system, and SMECO" said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools. "It is our desire to educate all students about ways to conserve energy, and this will serve as a way for our students to become better stewards of our environment and resources."

The four schools participating in the pilot program are Benjamin Banneker Elementary School, Chesapeake Public Charter School, Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School, and Lexington Park Elementary School. The program will be organized by the school system's Division of Supporting Services through the green school coordinator at each of the participating schools. These teachers are a key component of SMCPS' Energy Conservation Program.

After learning about energy conservation at school, students and their families will sign a pledge to implement energy conservation measures at home. Signed pledges will be returned to school and forwarded to SMECO. Once the signed pledge form is received, a kit containing energy conservation items is mailed to the student for home installation. Families will benefit from the items in their kit through savings on their electric bill. Schools benefit through their students' knowledge about protecting the environment and energy conservation. In addition, participating schools will receive $25 from SMECO for each family's signed pledge form.

"The co-op is looking forward to this partnership with St. Mary's County Public Schools because it will be beneficial for the schools, the students, and their families," said Mr. Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and chief executive officer. "Our customer-members are always our first priority. To realize the full benefit of this program, we encourage all of the students at the participating schools to sign the pledge and implement the energy conservation measures at their homes."

The School Energy Pledge Program will help SMECO meet its EmPower Maryland goal to save 15 percent by 2015. SMECO benefits by reducing power purchasing costs and increasing reliability.

Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS)

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