SMECO News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMECO News Briefs


SMECO Wins AWE EcoLeadership Award

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) was presented with an award for EcoLeadership from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) at a recent ceremony.

The first AWE EcoLeadership Award was presented in 2008. To be considered for the award, businesses must complete a comprehensive and rigorous assessment process led by an independent review panel of business professionals and graduate students. Award-winning employers demonstrate commitment to environmental sustainability in the following categories: leadership, waste minimization, energy supply and demand, water conservation, toxic substance and pollution prevention, transportation, measurement, building operations, and engagement and communications.

For the EcoLeadership Award, applicants are evaluated on the level and quality of their environmentally sustainable workplaces. Eco-friendly policies and practices attract talent, increase productivity, reduce costs, improve employee morale and loyalty, and project a strong public image. Some practices that SMECO incorporates into its workplace include the following:

• Making personnel responsible for green initiatives.

• Recycling cans, bottles, paper, printer cartridges, fluorescent lighting, cell phones, and furniture, and purchasing recycled products.

• Donating or recycling computers.

• Publishing electronically and discouraging printing.

• Setting computers and electronics to sleep when inactive and use ENERGY STAR-labeled office equipment and appliances.

• Using energy efficient lighting, occupancy sensors, natural light, and task lighting and employing solar energy for electrical power.

• Using water efficient, low-flow devices.

• Conserving water through low-maintenance landscaping and permeable surfaces for parking areas.

• Promoting biking, teleworking, flex time, and compressed work schedules.

• Providing an on-site fitness center and physical fitness programs.

Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO, said, "We are grateful to receive this award in recognition of SMECO's green initiatives. Our responsibilities to our employees and our community reach beyond the confines of our offices and impact more than the local environment. And, our members appreciate the thoughtful application of sustainability principles: making green choices when possible and when cost-effective." Slater added, "The Alliance for Workplace Excellence provides a standard by which to measure progress, and we appreciate their commitment to improving the workplace."

The Alliance for Workplace Excellence is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 by Montgomery County and Discovery Communications. Over the past 16 years, AWE has been dedicated to empowering employers to build excellence in the workplace as a means of supporting the quality of life for employees, their families, and the community at large.

SMECO Receives Commuter Connections Telework Award

On June 13, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO), headquartered in Hughesville, received the Commuter Connections Employer Recognition Award for its Telework program. To better serve the 160,000 electric customers during storms and power outages, in 2006, SMECO launched a telework program for its Contact Center employees who work around-the-clock shifts interfacing with the public on service issues. SMECO's most dedicated, dependable, and professional employees take part in this program and are supplied with all necessary equipment including laptops, headsets, software and IT support, and internet service.

"We want our employees to do their best and perform at the highest level, and providing flexibility in the workplace helps us achieve those goals," said Austin J. Slater, SMECO president and CEO. "Whether employees are working in the office with a flexible schedule or teleworking from home, they are productive, engaged, and more satisfied," he added. "Workplace flexibility provides SMECO with the opportunity to strengthen its workforce."

In 2013, SMECO also offered a flexible workplace program which allows employees to create a work schedule that best meets their lifestyle needs. Employees can work 40 hours in four ten-hour days, with the fifth day off, or work 80 hours in nine days with the tenth day off. Employees may also adjust start and end times, provided that core hours are worked. As a result of SMECO's telework program, employees have reduced vehicle miles traveled by 12,289 per year and saved nearly 620 gallons of gasoline.

"SMECO is a great example of how commuter benefit options, especially teleworking, help a company serve its customers during inclement weather or emergency situations, regardless of their location in the region. SMECO's telework program makes it possible to get all hands on deck to respond to an emergency situation without overcrowding existing workspace," said Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections. "We are pleased to recognize SMECO for improving the quality of life by offering programs to employees that reduce the cost of commuting, traffic congestion, and carbon emissions."

For more than 40 years, the Commuter Connections program has been providing and promoting alternatives to drive-alone commuting. Applications are accepted each year for the Employer Recognition Awards from companies in the Washington metropolitan region that offer, promote, or support transit benefits, ridesharing, bicycling, walking, and teleworking. Judging is based on the commuter benefits programs in three categories: Marketing, Incentives and Telework. Additional winners of the 2015 awards are Opower Inc. in Arlington, VA, for Incentives, and WeddingWire of Chevy Chase, MD, for Marketing.

Commuter Connections works closely with Washington-area employers to educate and promote alternatives to drive-alone commuting practices of employees. Such alternatives help reduce gasoline consumption, ease traffic congestion and the stress that long commutes place on employees, and contribute to cleaner air through reduced auto emissions. With free assistance from Commuter Connections, employers can offer a wide array of commuting options, from transit subsidies or pre-tax benefits to telework and ridesharing programs. These benefits provide each participant with a better work-life balance and flexibility, which reduces absenteeism and improves morale and productivity.

For more details on the Employer Recognition Awards Program, visit http://www.commuterconnections.org/employers/employer-awards/

Energesco Solutions Awarded Maryland Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation Multifamily Contracts from PEPCO and SMECO

CHANTILLY, Va.—Energesco Solutions LLC, a leading provider of energy and water conservation measures to the commercial and multifamily real estate industry in the Mid-Atlantic region, announces its award of exclusive contracts by utility companies Pepco and SMECO (Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative) to provide energy efficiency and water conservation improvements to multifamily properties in Pepco’s and SMECO’s service areas throughout the state of Maryland. Both contracts were awarded under the Commercial Multifamily Program, a newly announced energy efficiency rebate program designed to support the EmPOWER Maryland initiative.

The Pepco contract extends to multifamily properties throughout Pepco’s 566 square miles of service area in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. The Commercial Multifamily Program, which launched in June 2015, is offered exclusively to multifamily properties in Maryland seeking to implement energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades. Under this newly announced program, multifamily properties will be eligible to receive enhanced rebates for energy efficiency projects, including apartment-level direct install measures, LED light upgrades, and HVAC enhancements.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which marks the third Pepco RFP that Energesco has won in as many years. The award is a testament to Energesco’s in-depth knowledge, capabilities and experience working with multifamily owners and operators to improve the energy efficiency of their assets while enhancing NOI,” said William Bennett, Energesco’s CEO. “As an exclusive subcontractor under the Commercial Multifamily Program, we look forward to continuing to serve the needs of multifamily clients throughout Pepco’s and SMECO’s Maryland territories.”

The SMECO contract extends to all multifamily owners and operators that the customer-owned electric cooperative serves in Prince George’s (southern), Charles, St. Mary’s and the majority of Calvert counties in Maryland. SMECO recently implemented a suite of Conservation/Energy Efficiency programs, including building envelope enhancements, to provide its commercial customers with energy and cost savings opportunities.

William Bennett noted, “This is the second SMECO RFP that Energesco has won, and we look forward to expanding our longtime relationship with SMECO and enhancing the energy efficiency of our multifamily clients’ assets in the eastern and southern areas of Maryland.”

Energy costs represent the single largest controllable cost in a multifamily community, typically accounting for 25 to 35 percent of a property’s expenses. Reducing energy use by 15% in a typical 250-unit master-metered community can increase net operating income and can enhance asset value by an estimated $1 million or more (using a 6% capitalization rate). Prior to the launch of these programs, multifamily owners and operators were generally only eligible to receive energy efficiency rebates for upgrades to common areas. Under the new programs, multifamily owners and operators are now eligible for energy efficiency rebates for upgrades throughout the entire complex.

About Energesco Solutions LLC

Energesco Solutions LLC (Energesco) is an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and water conservation measures, and distributed power generation systems, including combined heat and power (CHP) and renewable power technologies. Energesco’s services include designing and implementing energy and water conservation measures and developing, constructing and operating distributed power generating assets. Energesco assists commercial and institutional clients with energy efficiency measures and renewable power solutions, including developers, investment companies, REITS, retailers, restaurants, hospitals and private schools. Energesco has the technical expertise and capability to manage projects of all sizes from start to finish. For more information on Energesco, please visit http://www.energescosolutions.com/.

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