Your monthly utility bills are a bigger portion of your monthly housing budget than you may think. In fact, it takes up about 10% of the average American’s budget each month. Any reduction you can get on your energy bills is a huge benefit.
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Customers of the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative are always looking for ways they can save money on their energy costs. There are a few different ways to do this. Obviously, one is conserving energy. There are also some ways to save money directly through the company itself. To save you the effort, I poked around and did some research to get you this information on how to save money with the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.
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It can be hard to pay a utility bill that fluctuates from month to month, especially if you are on a fixed income. For this very reason, the Southern Maryland Electricity Cooperative has a program called budget billing that is designed to keep the customer’s bill steadily in the same zone every month.
The company will take your yearly spending on energy and average it out to 12 payments for the year. You might pay a little less in the peak times and a little more when you are using less electricity but you will have a consistent bill that is easy to prepare for each month.
You can apply for budget billing either online or via mail and the program will start as soon as you are approved. It should be noted that the company will review your usage after six months and use the information to determine if they should lower or raise your monthly bill. It is much easier to plan for a bill if you know how it is going to cost and this program is a great example of that.
Save money on your monthly SMECO bills!
Save up to 10% each month with free weatherization services! This program is available for renters and homeowners.
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Especially if you live in an older home, you should be aware that you can schedule an evaluation of the energy usage of your home through Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative.
A professional will come and examine every aspect of your home to ascertain where improvements can be made that will increase your home’s energy efficiency. The best part about this company-provided assessment is that it is free!
It could potentially save you a lot of money throughout the year if you take advantage of it. Included in this free service is an array of different energy-saving devices like faucet aerators, LED Bulbs, energy efficient shower heads, a smart power strip. Both the installation and the items themselves are free of charge with your in-home energy check up.
The best way to reduce your monthly energy bills is to reduce the amount of energy you use each day. Some older homes are not properly insulated in order to this which is why the weatherization assistance program exists.
This program is operated by the State of Maryland Department of Housing and is designed to get customers in the area’s homes up to date with weather stripping, window insulation, basement and attic insulation and more.
Get help paying your SMECO bill!
The state of Maryland offers something called the Electric Universal Service Program designed to help customers get help with their monthly bill. The program is designed for low-income families who need assistance keeping their lights on and is funded through a charge called “Electric Universal Service Charge” on customer’s electric bills.
In order to qualify, the SMECO customer must be at 150 percent of the poverty level at the time or below it. Participants are placed on a budget billing plan and a portion of their monthly bill is paid by the Electric Universal Service Program.
Supplemental Targeted Energy Program (STEP) provides an additional grant to low income energy customers who participate in educational workshops and follow through with service referrals. You must participate in the EUSP program to participate in STEP.
Members Helping Members is a SMECO program that helps low-income families pay their energy bills. This is a voluntary program in which other customers can donate money to the fund to be used to help someone in need pay their electric bill later on.
The money is gathered by SMECO and sent to the Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee. The CAC determines who qualifies to receive the funds.
MEAP is Maryland’s equivalent of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). If you qualify, it could save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bills, so visit this site for more information on LIHEAP in Southern Maryland and who it is available to.
All MEAP customers can also participate in the Utility Service Protection Program (UPPP), which prevents your utility company from disconnecting your service during the winter months. Failure to make your MEAP payment can result in removal from UPPP.
Arrearage Retirement Assistance helps Maryland residents with large, past-due electric bills. You could receive up to $2,000 in forgiveness of your past-due bills! You must have a past due bill of $300 or more to qualify. This grant is only available once every seven (7) years, except for a few limited exceptions.
Patriot Connect is another SMECO program that helps veterans and active military personnel transition back to community life. Instead of triggering PTSD or other stress responses with a disconnect bill, Patriot Connect provides eligible customers with a bill extension and referrals to helpful agencies that can assist with the bill.
Don’t miss out on these other cool SMECO programs!
SMECO also provides a $50 rebate to customers who recycle their old, working refrigerators and freezers! You can get an extra $25 per air conditioner and dehumidifier that you recycle at the same time.