Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)
SMECO is a customer-owned electric cooperative providing electricity to over 144,000 services in southern Prince George’s County, Charles County, St. Mary’s County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County. Co-ops are distinctly different from investor-owned utilities because co-ops are owned by their customers, and these members vote for men and women who sit on the Board of Directors.
Co-ops also issue capital credits to their members. Capital credits are the member’s share of the co-op’s margins, based on how much electricity the member purchased and the rate at which the account was billed. SMECO’s margins—revenue less expenses—are used as working capital for new construction and system improvements. Each year, SMECO determines what percentage of the capital credits can be distributed to the members. Capital credits are then issued by check or credited to the member’s electric bill.
SMECO is a member of the Touchstone Energy Cooperative.
SMECO was formed on Feb. 5, 1937 as the Southern Maryland Tri-County Cooperative Association, facilitated by President Franklin Roosevelt's Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Southern Maryland at the time was not a lucrative enough market to draw private capital to create a commercial electric utility. In the end, this was a blessing for customer-owners. SMECO rates are far lower than those paid by fellow Marylanders in areas serviced by for-profit corporations.
SMECO headquarters is based in Hughesville, Maryland.
- Austin Joseph Slater, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer (2005 Salary: $253,931)
- Ken Capps, Vice President, Engineering and Operations and Chief Operating Officer (2005 Salary: $186,063)
- Sonja M. Cox, Vice President, Financial and Economic Services and Chief Financial Officer
- Mark A. MacDougall, Vice President, External Affairs and General Counsel (2005 Salary: $200,203)
- Frank Mudd, Jr., Vice President, Human Resources (2005 Salary: $137,060)
- Joseph Trentacosta, Vice President, Information and Customer Services and Chief Information Officer (2005 Salary: $158,655)
Note: All salary figures based on the 2005 Annual Financial Report SMECO files with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC).
Board of Directors
- Joseph V. Stone, Jr., Chairperson
- Samuel J. Hammett, Vice Chairperson
- Kenneth L. Dyson, Secretary-Treasurer
- Fern G. Brown, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
Directors by County
- Calvert County
- Samuel J. Hammett
- W. Michael Phipps
- Nancy W. Zinn
- Charles County
- John H. Bloom
- Gilbert O. Bowling
- Fern G. Brown
- Kenneth L. Dyson
- Richard A. Winkler
- Prince George’s County
- Daniel W. Dyer
- James A. Richards
- St. Mary’s County
- Samuel M. Bailey, Jr.
- W. Rayner Blair III
- J. Douglas Frederick
- Francis E. Hewitt
- Joseph V. Stone, Jr.