SMECO was originally created in 1935 to bring electrical supply lines to the residents of, then, rural Southern Maryland as commercial suppliers refused to supply electricity due to lack of customer base. A coop was formed and by 1942 took on its current name of Southern Maryland Electrical Cooperative or SMECO. It has since grown to supply service to 150,000 and is now one of the ten largest electrical cooperatives in the nation. As a cooperative SMECO is not an investor ran business but rather a non-profit coop where the customers become members.
A SMECO “member” is part of the process of electing its board of directors as well as they are eligible to receive capital credit. Capital credit is whatever revenue is left after expenses and is distributed to “members” based on the amount of electricity purchased. The board of directors decides what percentage of capital credits are distributed after evaluating what amount of revenue will be used for new construction or system improvement. Capital credit can be given in check form or applied towards future electrical bills.
SMECO serves in the counties of Prince George, Charles and St. Mary’s.