HUGHESVILLE, Md.—Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) received approval from the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) on July 23 to reduce its residential Standard Offer Service (SOS) energy charges. SMECO also received approval for its proposal to change how May and October are designated as summer rate and winter rate months.
SMECO will reduce the residential SOS energy charge for summer months from 8.83 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 8.61 cents per kWh, a reduction of 2.5 percent. The new rate will go into effect on August 1, 2014. SMECO received approval to change the summer rate months to May through September and winter rate months to October through April. Residential SOS energy charges for winter months will decrease from 9.62 cents per kWh to 9.25 cents per kWh, a reduction of 3.9 percent. The winter rate will go into effect on October 1, 2014.
The total SOS rate in August will be the combination of the new reduced energy charge and the PCA, which changes monthly. For a residential bill of 1,300 kWh, the average monthly base SOS rate will be $4.00 less. SMECO's SOS rate covers the cost of electric supply only. Costs incurred for maintaining the electric system are covered by distribution service charges and do not affect the SOS rate.
"The average customer-member who uses 1,300 kWh per month will realize a savings of nearly $50 a year on the SOS energy charge," said Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO. He added, "We encourage customers who want to save money on their energy costs to control the amount of energy they use. Rather than setting the thermostat on 72, turn it up to 78 degrees in summer and down to 68 in winter. The co-op does not make a profit on energy charges, but customers can profit by saving energy."
SMECO also received approval to revise commercial rates for general service non-demand, general service demand, and large power customers. General service non-demand customers will be charged base rates of 8.51 cents per kWh for all energy used for summer months and 9.22 cents per kWh for winter months. General service demand customers will be charged base rates of 6.99 cents per kWh for summer, 7.49 cents per kWh for winter, and $4.28 per kilowatt (kW) for demand. Base rates for large power customers will be 7.14 cents per kWh for summer, 7.64 cents per kWh for winter, and $5.40 per kW for demand.