Utility With Retail Choice Seeks Authorization To Offer Green Electricity Supply Option To Default Service Customers
June 18, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. filed with the Maryland PSC a
proposed new rider, Rider SOS-G, which is, "intended to provide SMECO members who take
SOS service the option to have SMECO make the power supply for their load one hundred
As proposed, the rider will charge the members the additional cost for meeting that 100% green
requirement above the regular SOS rate in effect. Members who choose the Rider will continue
to pay the base SOS rate and the PPCA rate for their power supply and will be billed the Rider
SOS-G rate as well.
SMECO stated, "The rider is only available to SMECO members taking SOS service. They cannot choose it if
they receive power supply from an alternate supplier. Maryland law provides for electricity
consumers to purchase electricity from either the customer’s electric company via standard offer
service1 the customer’s choice of licensed electricity suppliers. They cannot meet it partially
through SMECO and partially through an alternate supplier. This provision ensures that
requirement is maintained. Alternate suppliers are free to offer green supply to customers and
there is at least one doing so in SMECO’s service territory."
The rider is proposed to be available to members receiving SOS service on rate schedules R, GSND, GSD, LP, T,
T-NSWC, SF, and CCSS.
As proposed, the current applicable Rider SOS-G rate would be $0.00937 per kilowatt-hour.
"As with SMECO’s current SOS, the SOS-G Rider would also be subject to the requirements of
COMAR 20.40.02.01B(7) that prohibit the Cooperative from marketing or promoting its SOS.
SMECO would make the availability of the Rider known to its members only in accord with
COMAR 20.40.02.01C, which allows a utility to provide unbiased information about the
availability and terms of standard offer service," SMECO said
SMECO said that it will use the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to meet the green
requirement. In addition to the amount of RECs required to meet Maryland’s Renewable
Portfolio Standards (RPS), SMECO will purchase additional RECs for the members on the
rider to equal one hundred percent of their energy sales from SMECO while on the Rider.
SMECO will only purchases RECs sourced in a PJM state in order to have the RECs come from
a generation source that is part of the PJM grid and therefore is used by PJM to meet the total
regional load, including SMECO’s.
"Since the members selecting the rider will be paying an additional amount above the SOS cost to
go one hundred percent green, the overall result will be that SMECO in total will exceed its
Maryland RPS requirements. SMECO will not offset the extra purchases for these members with
reductions in the RECs purchased for the non-Rider SOS members. SMECO believes that such
an approach would not be in the spirit of what the members selecting the rider are trying to
achieve: a more green generation portfolio," SMECO said
SMECO will make an annual true-up calculation each year to adjust the rate to cover any over or
under-recovery so that the rider charge passes through the actual cost of the program. SMECO
will also include the administrative costs it incurs in implementing and maintaining the program.
Finally, as with SMECO’s SOS service, there will be no return charged in the rider. Members
will only be charged the pass-through costs of the program.
SMECO stated, "SMECO members have inquired with SMECO about the availability of a green power supply
option. SMECO has been hearing from various corners of its membership the desire for their
cooperative to offer a 'green' SOS option. For example, at SMECO’s 2019 annual meeting,
several SMECO members expressed concern about coal generation in SMECO’s power supply
portfolio and the desire to see SMECO move away from coal. They have contacted SMECO’s
management and members of SMECO’s Board of Directors expressly voicing a preference for a
more green energy portfolio. This rider offers them the opportunity to move SMECO’s portfolio
-- and their personal electricity portfolio -- in that direction without impacting SMECO members
who believe the current requirements are adequate and place more importance on keeping their
bills lower, perhaps for personal budgetary concerns," SMECO said