Feb. 2019 Cherryland

Page 1

February 2019


COUNTRY LINES Cherryland Electric Cooperative

TAKE CHARGE Behind The Wheel Of An Electric Vehicle Outside The Spotlight

What Is Blockchain? Local Isn’t Always Better For Clean Energy

Act now to receive a 30% Federal tax credit*

7 Series Ultimate comfort and efficiency

Time is running out to take advantage of a 30% tax credit for geothermal You may not realize it, but right beneath your feet is an almost unlimited reservoir of stored solar energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal system taps into this free and renewable resource to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling, and hot water—with a comfort you have to experience to believe. Right now you can save thousands on installation thanks to a 30% federal tax credit. But hurry, the credit is set to decrease each year through 2021. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn more! Bad Axe B & D Htg (989) 269-5280 bdheating.com

Caro AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328) geo4less.com

Indian River M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 mm-plumbing.com

Muskegon Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com

Berrien Springs WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmich geothermal.com

Clifford Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sanduskygeothermal.com

Michigan Center Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 comfort1.net/geothermal

Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509 kiesselsgeo.com

Big Rapids Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717 stratzgeocomfort.com

Hart/Ludington Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com

Mt Pleasant Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com

Portland ESI Htg & Clg (517) 647-6906 esiheating.com

Sunfield Mark Woodman Plmb & Htg (517) 886-1138 mwphonline.com Traverse City D & W Mechanical (231) 941-1215 dwgeothermal.com Geofurnace Htg & Clg (231) 943-1000 watergeofurnace.com

waterfurnace.com/Credit WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. Š2018 WaterFurnace International Inc. *30% through 2019, 26% through 2020, and 22% through 2021

In This Issue February 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 2

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

countrylines.com facebook.com/ michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

General Manager Mark Kappler HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative

6 FEATURE Take Charge: Behind The Wheel Of An Electric Vehicle 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Try These Unique Twists For The Ultimate Hamburger Christin McKamey & Our Readers Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 The Driving Force: Plug Into Electric Vehicles Read about two co-op members, who are also electric vehicle owners, and learn why they enjoy their EVs. 18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan: The Best Burgers In Our Great Lakes State Peruse the satisfying list from fellow members to find mouthwatering burgers around Michigan.

ON THE COVER Now with the potential to be three times cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts, electric vehicles are fast becoming more popular, less expensive to purchase, and able to drive hundreds of miles between each charge. Learn more about the benefits of electric vehicles on pages 6 and 7. Win $150 for stories published!

Guest Column Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.










Board Of Directors

TERRY LAUTNER President 231-946-4623 tlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop TOM VAN PELT Senior Vice President 231-386-5234 tvanpelt@cherrylandelectric.coop MELINDA LAUTNER Secretary 231-947-2509 mlautner@cherrylandelectric.coop DAVID SCHWEITZER Treasurer 231-883-5860 dschweitzer@cherrylandelectric.coop JOHN OLSON Director 231-938-1228 jolson@cherrylandelectric.coop GABE SCHNEIDER Director 517-449-6453 gschneider@cherrylandelectric.coop JON ZICKERT Director 231-631-1337 jzickert@cherrylandelectric.coop GENERAL MANAGER Tony Anderson CO-OP EDITORS Rachel Johnson Rob Marsh

OFFICE HOURS Monday–Friday 7:30 a.m.– 4 p.m. TELEPHONE NUMBERS 231-486-9200 or 1-800-442-8616 (Mich.) ADDRESS P.O. Box 298, Grawn, MI 49637 WEBSITE cherrylandelectric.coop PAY STATION Cherryland Electric Cooperative office 5930 U.S. 31 South, Grawn MI, 49637 Cherryland Electric Cooperative is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Follow us on Facebook. facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop Follow us on Instagram. @cherrylandec


Cherryland Cares Awards $21,010 To Six Nonprofits

At their fourth-quarter board meeting, the Cherryland Cares Board awarded a total of $21,010 in grants to Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Junior Achievement of Northwest Michigan, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, Reining Liberty Ranch, Samaritan’s Closet, and TART Trails, Inc. In total, Cherryland Cares awarded over $58,610 in grants to area nonprofit agencies in 2018. If you are an area nonprofit agency seeking financial help, first quarter grant applications are due Friday, March 8. For more information, please call Shannon Mattson at 231-486-9234 or email at smattson@cherrylandelectric.coop.

Local Students Can Apply For Youth Tour In Washington, D.C.

High school sophomores and juniors from Cherryland’s service territory are invited to join the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour: a once-in-a-lifetime, allexpenses-paid leadership, travel opportunity to Washington, D.C. June 15–20. Applications must be submitted by Thursday, Feb. 28. For more information and to apply, visit CooperativeYouthTour.com.

Cherryland Offers Five Scholarships

Cherryland offers five scholarships—three worth $4,000 ($1,000 for four years) for high school seniors and two for $1,000 each for adult scholarship (post high school). Applications for both scholarships are available on our website or by contacting Cherryland’s office at 231-486-9200. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 5.

Members Can Serve On Cherryland’s Board

Any qualified Cherryland member can be elected to serve a three-year term on the cooperative’s board of directors. Three directors will be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting, including two at-large directors and one Benzie/Manistee/Wexford director. To be nominated in 2019, candidates can file a petition with the cooperative’s administrative assistant starting the first day of March until 4 p.m. on the last business day of March. Nominating petitions are available on our website and at the co-op office in Grawn. For more information regarding board nominations and the election process, review Article III of the co-op’s bylaws on our website.

No Barriers Adventures For Rural Veterans—Apply By Feb. 28

No Barriers is a five-day, all-expenses-paid, expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experience in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking). If you are a disabled veteran, or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form at: countrylines.com/nobarriers

Outside The Spotlight Tony Anderson, General Manager

A few short days ago, I was humbled and honored to receive the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award. It was community recognition for years of work in many areas but mostly with kids in need of adult mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan.

are prepped. Tables are set. The only purpose is to give people on the receiving end a smiling face and a homecooked meal as they deal with life-threatening medical issues within their families. Norte has kids, moms and dads walking and biking all over our community. Adult volunteers encourage kids to leave the video games inside and get moving outdoors. They are creating lifelong healthy habits in hundreds of kids every year.

Reluctantly, I did enjoy the spotlight and soaked in the kind words of so many people I respect and admire. All the while, there was a twinge of misgiving because deep down I knew there were so many deserving people who toil for this “It takes many people willing community outside the spotlight of to work outside the spotlight to any award or public acclaim.

Finally, there are the volunteers who are the closest to my heart. These are the 400-ish men and women who mentor kids from mostly single-family make the lives of others just a homes through Big Brothers Big There are emergency medical Sisters. They help with homework, little bit brighter.� technicians and firemen who respond crafts, games and dozens of other to calls at all hours of the day or night. They leave their activities that so many kids take for granted. Mostly, the families and care for others in times of need. These people biggest thing they do is simply be present in lives that can be wash the blood off their gloved hands, change their clothes, full of disappointment. They not only give their time but, more go back to their daily lives, and wait to do it all over again. importantly, these amazing folks give their hearts as well. Clerical staff at many social service agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services or Child & Family Services handle a myriad of people with all kinds of problems daily. They listen, empathize and search for solutions day after day. How many Cherry Festival volunteers does it take to pull off that amazing week every year? During the best time to be outside in our beautiful region, they put everything aside to entertain our community guests and stimulate an economy we all enjoy every month of the year. Almost daily, people in our community fix meals at Munson Manor Hospitality House. Ingredients are purchased. Meals

If I included every non-profit in town, this column would never end. This list is a tiny sampling of what makes up our great community. We might see them with a back to the camera on a news story or in the fringes of a newspaper picture. We never see their full name, credentials or years of service. They never get a meal, video tribute or news stories dedicated to them individually. I will be forever grateful for the Distinguished Service Award recognition. It will hang on my wall to my dying day. Until that day arrives, I will always remember that one person doesn’t make a community great. It takes many people willing to work outside the spotlight to make the lives of others just a little bit brighter.



TAKE CHARGE Behind The Wheel Of An Electric Vehicle

? Is an EV right for you? Calculate the overall cost of EV ownership, customize it to your personal circumstances, and compare it to conventional vehicles.



ow would you like to bid farewell to the gas station and pocket a portion of the money you used to spend on filling up your tank? While it almost sounds too good to be true, electric vehicles (also known as electric cars or EVs) make it possible. The next time you’re in the market for a new car, consider the benefits of climbing into the driver’s seat of an EV.

and replacing the air filter, spark plugs, and drive belts. Regular service visits are typically limited to rotating the tires and checking brake pads and other components. Less maintenance equals more money in your bank account with less time spent at the service station or auto repair shop.


EVs have come a long way (and can now, literally, go a long way!) since they were first introduced to the U.S. consumer market. For example, Chevrolet advertises its 2019 Chevy Bolt EV with a range of 238 miles. Yes, that’s right! The Chevrolet Bolt can now drive 238 miles before needing to be charged. With the Bolt’s MSRP starting at $36,620, electric vehicles are truly becoming the affordable transportation of the future.

You may be surprised to learn that driving a 2019 EV in Michigan can be up to three times cheaper than driving a gas-powered vehicle. This savings is possible because EVs have much lower fuel costs than conventional gasoline vehicles. Considering the average U.S. household spends nearly one-fifth of its total family budget on transportation, savings at the fuel pump can quickly add up. In 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that the average American household spent nearly $2,000 a year on gasoline. Imagine having extra funds to afford that family vacation, complete a home remodeling project, or even just beef up your savings account? The simple step of not draining your bank account each week at the gas pump may help you fast track your financial goals.


What is an eGallon? It is the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity, compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline. Calculate your potential fuel savings by visiting cherrylandelectric.coop/ev-savings.

MICHIGAN Regular gasoline

2 08

Electric eGallon

1 4 0

Source: energy.gov/maps/egallon

LESS MAINTENANCE Gas-powered automobiles require replacing parts that go bad over time. Electric vehicles are different because they do not require as many components to operate. For instance, electric motors only have one moving part while engines in traditional automobiles contain dozens. A perk appreciated by EV drivers is that you can roll past 3,000 miles without having to think about getting an oil change. EVs don’t require oil changes—ever. They also don’t require cooling system flushes, transmission servicing


ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Most EVs can be charged by plugging into a standard 120 V outlet, but many owners opt to install a specialized 240 V charging system in their garage for a faster charge. With no tailpipe emissions, EVs produce zero pollution except for emissions created in producing the electricity used to charge them. With an energy portfolio that is nearly 20 percent renewable and 56 percent carbon-free, Cherryland and its fellow Michigan electric co-ops are the state’s renewable energy leaders. Switching to an EV and charging on co-op power lines is a way to reduce your carbon footprint significantly.

TAX INCENTIVES AVAILABLE While the operating costs of EVs are substantially lower, EVs can be more expensive to purchase than their conventional counterparts—although this up-front cost continues to decline as U.S. demand for electric vehicles rises. The good news is that the federal government offers limited tax credits up to $7,500 to EV buyers that can lower the up-front costs. Visit FuelEconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml to find specific tax credit amounts for individual vehicles. Also, for a limited time, Cherryland is offering a $2,000 rebate for the purchase of an EV, as well as a $500–1,000 rebate for an EV charging station. Visit cherrylandelectric.coop/ev-rebates-incentives to learn more. Check out pages 14–15 to meet two co-op members who are also electric vehicle owners, and learn why they enjoy their EVs. Be on the lookout for more EV articles in future issues of Michigan Country Lines. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES



BLOCKCHAIN By Kaley Lockwood

We are living in an age where the pace of innovation and disruption is getting faster and faster. As a result, keeping up with the latest-and-greatest technologies is becoming increasingly difficult, not to mention expensive. It seems that as soon as we upgrade our smartphone, a new model with a bigger screen and cooler features is released. One word that comes with a lot of hype and confusion is “blockchain.” Because this technology is completely digital, thereby intangible, it’s tough to truly grasp exactly what it is. Electric cooperatives like Cherryland know that with any new technology, it must be viewed from every angle. How would it improve our services? What’s its potential and limitations? Would it truly benefit our members? Let’s take a look at how blockchain works.




Person A wants to send money to Person B.



The transaction is represented online as a “block”.


The block is broadcast to every party in the network.

What is blockchain, exactly?

Simply put, blockchain is a digital, shared ledger that records transactions between buyers and sellers. The transaction records, or blocks, are linked together in a time series, or chain. When a new transaction is completed, a new block is added to the chain. Electric co-ops make numerous transactions, such as billing, contracting with vendors and purchasing power on a daily basis. Even though we have secure, wellfunctioning systems already in place to handle these types of transactions, some see this as a potential application for blockchain and electric utilities.

What makes blockchain unique?

What makes blockchain technology so unique is that when a transaction takes place, it’s recorded on a network of computers, also known as nodes. The chain is shared and synchronized among all participating nodes in the blockchain network, making it very difficult to alter the chain without the interference being detected. Another important characteristic of blockchain is that it’s decentralized. As noted before, a blockchain is distributed across the systems of all participating parties, rather than residing within a single institution, like a bank. This particular feature is why some consider the technology disruptive. Someone in Michigan can send money to someone in Japan directly, without needing to go through a third party. This feature makes it transparent and eliminates the need for the trusted third party.


Those in the network approve the transaction is valid, preventing fraud.


What are some real-life examples and applications of blockchain technology?

Currently, blockchain works best when the product being bought or sold is virtual rather than physical. If the transaction involves a material product, whether it be a lightbulb or an airplane, some trusted agent is usually required to certify that the physical transfer actually takes place. Eventually, this technology may even start to intersect with areas of your life when record keeping and processing requires security, efficiency and connectivity. In the coming years, experts see the potential for blockchain technology in the fields of healthcare, supply-chain management, finance and lending, and more. Blockchain could even change the way we prove our identity, as well as issue and maintain birth, wedding and death certificates. Blockchain, like all software, is a means to an end that will provide different solutions to different needs, and determining its impact starts with understanding what the technology is and how it works. Time will tell if blockchain proves useful for electric utilities in the future, but for now, we’re viewing this as a technology trend to watch. Our top priority will always be to provide our members with the safe, reliable and affordable energy they depend on.

The block then can be added to the chain, which provides an indelible and transparent record of transactions.


The money moves from Person A to Person B.



Ultimate Burgers Try one of these unique twists to the classic hamburger. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Bruschetta Burgers With Avocado Spread Morgan Wernette, HomeWorks Tri-County

Bruschetta Topping: 1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced 2–3 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons olive oil 10–15 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips • splash balsamic vinegar, to taste • salt and pepper, to taste • juice from half a lemon, optional Avocado Spread: 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped 1 cup mayo 1 teaspoon garlic powder • dash cayenne pepper Burger: 2 pounds ground beef ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese ½ tablespoon dried basil ½ tablespoon dried oregano 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ cup red onion, diced 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 burger buns 10 FEBRUARY 2019

First, make the bruschetta topping; in a small mixing bowl, toss ingredients and set aside. Next, make the avocado spread; in a small dish, mix ingredients well and set aside. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, garlic, and red onion. Divide the meat into 8 patties. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat and cook the burgers 3–4 minutes on the first side until nicely browned, then flip and cook another 5 minutes or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Spread avocado on bun, add your burger and top with bruschetta. Enjoy with fries or roasted potatoes for a complete dinner that satisfies the whole family.

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

Kickin’ Zion Heat Black Bean & Green Chili Burgers Janet Ruggles, Cherryland 2 ¼ ¼ 2 ½ 1 1½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ –¾ 6 6 6 6

pounds ground chuck cup sweet red bell pepper, diced medium fine cup sweet yellow bell pepper, diced medium fine (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, drained and dried with a paper towel, divided cup cooked black beans, drained well tablespoon Koops Arizona Heat Mustard teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon chili powder, divided tablespoon Emeril’s Kick It Up Green Pepper Sauce (or Green Tabasco Sauce) teaspoon salt cup onion, chopped medium fine tablespoon Chipotle Pepper Adobo Sauce (I use San Marcos brand) cup mayonnaise pre-sliced pieces medium cheddar cheese soft whole grain hamburger buns, split romaine lettuce leaves large tomato slices, ¼ inch thick

In a large bowl, combine ground chuck, red pepper, yellow pepper, 1 can green chiles, black beans, Koops Mustard, 1½ teaspoons chili powder, Emeril’s Green Pepper Sauce, salt, onion, and Chipotle Pepper Adobo Sauce. Mix gently. To form the burgers, use a 1-cup size Rubbermaid plastic top that is 5" in diameter and a 12" x 12" piece of plastic wrap placed in the plastic top as a hamburger mold. Eyeball the meat mixture in a bowl and divide it into six equal balls of meat. Place a ball of meat in the “hamburger mold” and flatten it out to the edges to make a perfectly round patty. After forming each patty, place it on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to grill. To make Kickin’ Zion Heat Sauce; in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, remaining 1 can green chiles and remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder. Stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Grill burgers and add cheese toward the end of grilling; fold the four corners of each slice up to create a smaller, more rounded slice that will fit on the hamburger top. Top each burger with lettuce, tomato and Kickin’ Zion Heat Sauce as desired.

Zeus Burgers

Barbara Miller, Great Lakes Energy Sauce: 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon dried oregano • salt to taste Burgers: ½ cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry ½ cup feta cheese 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon pine nuts (may substitute chopped walnuts) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon oregano ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper 1 pound ground beef In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. In another bowl, combine burger ingredients; mix well and make 4 patties. Grill burgers. Serve with sauce on toasted buns.

Breakfast and Brunch: due March 1 Delicious Vegetables: due April 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Considering an electric vehicle? There’s a rebate for that.

When you purchase an electric vehicle, you’re eligible for some awesome incentives!



$500 - $1,000

Federal Tax Credit

Cherryland E V Rebate

Cherryland Charging Station Rebate

WANT TO LEARN MORE? READY TO APPLY? Cherryland does not guarantee that members will qualify for any of the above tax credits or co-op rebates. Please call prior to purchase to ensure eligibility and availability of co-op rebate funds.

Please visit

cherrylandelectric.coop/ev OR CALL (231) 486-9200

Local Better For

Isn’t Always

Clean Energy

By Rachel Johnson, Member Relations Manager

Local food, local business, local politics—we live in a time when “local” is undeniably hip. Unsurprisingly, this same reverence for all things local is occurring within the energy world as well. As a local, community-owned electric cooperative, Cherryland is about as local as it gets. But, when it comes to power supply, we would be foolish if we prioritized local over smart investments in our clean energy future. Cherryland is currently powered by almost 20 percent renewable energy and over 50 percent carbon-free energy, the largest in our region, by far. And, we have no intention of stopping there. However, we are facing increasing pressure to incentivize local, distributed renewable energy (e.g. small, rooftop systems) that benefit private homeowners and businesses over utility-scale renewable energy systems that benefit all utility consumers. While we are extremely proud of our local renewable energy assets, it is also the most expensive energy in our power supply portfolio. By a long shot. We pay twice as much for small-scale, local renewable energy as we do for utility-scale renewable energy spread throughout the state. And, by we, I mean you, our members, pay twice as much.

Does this mean we shouldn’t do local renewable generation? No. But, if we truly want to make an impact, our efforts should be focused on utility-scale renewable development across the state. Any utility that has tried to build utility-scale renewables in the last few years will attest that, when backlash to their projects arises, they are in the fight alone. Let me give you an example. Cherryland was on track to have an even higher renewable energy portfolio through a utility-scale wind project in the Thumb that was met with anti-wind activists who were able to kill it at the local township level. Very little local or environmental support could be mustered to push back despite the incredible achievement it would have been for our portfolio and the planet. This project would have pushed us to 30 percent renewable energy in our portfolio and almost 70 percent carbon-free energy. My point here is not to advocate against local energy generation, but, rather, to caution against losing sight of the goal by focusing too heavily on the location. We are in the middle of a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Decarbonizing our power supply has implications for how we power our homes and businesses today and, likely, how we power our cars, buses, and lawn mowers in the near future.

Price isn’t the only thing at stake here. As we continue to retire older, inefficient generating plants, we must replace them. And those replacements must be at a scale that far exceeds the capacity of a bunch of rooftops or old farms.

If we get this right, future generations will benefit for years to come. If we get it wrong, we’ll spend the next decade haggling over rooftops while our utilities continue to miss opportunities to build a clean, affordable, low-carbon future.

The most effective way to modernize and decarbonize our power supply is with utility-scale renewable energy. It’s cheaper and, quite simply, it’s bigger. One 100MW solar farm could power 17,000 homes and businesses. It could take years (decades, perhaps) to have that same impact with small-scale, local renewables.

The above is an excerpt from Johnson’s column “Clean Energy—Go Big or Go Home?” printed in the November 2018 issue of Traverse City Business News.


The Driving Force

Plug Into Electric Vehicles

Jim MacInnes

CEO, Crystal Mountain Chairperson, Michigan Utilities Consumer Participation Board Electric Vehicle: 2017 Tesla Model S 100D As the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of a ski resort I can tell you that global warming is, simply put, bad for business. Widespread adoption of vehicle electrification represents one of our best opportunities to mitigate these effects while also generating significant savings.

“Michigan’s utilities and cooperatives are well positioned to help lead the charge and benefit from investing in and incentivizing EVs.”

We’ve long advocated for EVs and their tremendous environmental and economic potential. Crystal was the first northern Michigan resort to offer complimentary charging stations—we now have five. My first electric vehicle was the Chevy Volt which is now one of our security vehicles. Today, I drive a Tesla and Crystal Mountain is part of its Destination Driving Program. Our EV chargers have attracted new guests to the resort, including at least a half dozen electric vehicles on display during Memorial Day Weekend’s Michigan Beer & Brat Festival. For a start, electric vehicles are way more energy efficient and have a lot fewer moving parts. This makes them mechanically simpler and less subject to breakdown. They have software that can be updated over the internet. So, rather than becoming obsolete, they will improve over time—much like your phone. Michigan’s utilities and cooperatives are well positioned to help lead the charge and benefit from investing in and incentivizing EVs and their charging infrastructure while also saving money for ratepayers. We are extremely proud of our partner in Cherryland Electric Cooperative. Their commitment to a 56 percent carbon-free energy portfolio is vital to a sustainable energy and environmental future.

14 FEBRUARY 2019

Electric vehicles remain a hot topic in 2019, as the purchase and use of EVs has fasttracked in popularity across the country. In rural Michigan, electric co-ops are keeping a close eye on the EV industry and can serve as a good resource if you have questions about purchasing one this year. Meet two co-op members on these pages who drive electric vehicles themselves, and learn how this shift in transportation has made financial and environmental sense for them.

Mark Kappler

General Manager, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Electric Vehicle: 2017 Chevy Bolt I recently made the decision to purchase an electric vehicle for personal use. Before choosing to go electric, my wife and I carefully considered several factors, including what our primary use of the vehicle would be. But once we did the research and weighed the pros and cons, all signs pointed towards the Chevy Bolt. As we analyzed the way we used our existing small car, for short trips to the grocery store, to work and school, to events at Michigan State, etc., we found that the Bolt’s maximum mileage range of 238 miles per charge would more than meet our needs. We worked it out and realized the lower operating costs of the vehicle would result in a cost savings for us. After that, the decision was easy. Probably the biggest misconception regarding electric vehicles is the range anxiety that can come from not understanding how people use their current vehicles. Studies have shown that most people use their vehicles for shorter trips most of the time. My wife and I have a small SUV that we use for long trips and more carrying capacity, but for short trips, which make up the majority of our driving, we use our electric car exclusively. As a new EV-owner, I would encourage any co-op member purchasing a new vehicle to consider an electric vehicle.

“We found that the Bolt’s maximum mileage range of 238 miles per charge would more than meet our needs.”

Do you drive an electric vehicle? Please email editor@countrylines.com with your contact information (name, email, phone number, electric co-op) and a brief testimonial outlining your personal experience driving an EV. Someone from the magazine may call or email you to interview you and possibly feature your story in an upcoming article.


Most Votes On Facebook!

Photo Contest Snow Day 1. “A snowy hike at the dunes!” by Stacy Moniz 2. “Head over heels for the snow!” by Dale Brass 3. “Snowy night on the farm” by Rachel McManus 4. “Snowy day” by Debra Stephens


5. “Frost patterns” by Krin Perreault




Submit Your Favorite “Birds” Photos!

Enter to win a

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.


energy bill credit!

Our February theme is Birds. Photos can be submitted through February 20 to be featured in our April issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest visit facebook.com/cherrylandelectriccoop and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at cherrylandelectric.coop/photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill.


Rising Temps Mean Slower Co-op Trucks Have you ever wondered why big trucks seem to be driving slower as spring comes around? It’s because they are required to by law. Every year, Michigan counties enact “Frost Laws” to help minimize the impact of heavy trucks on Michigan’s roads during the spring cycle of freezing and thawing. That means that vehicles like Cherryland’s line trucks are subject to seasonal weight and speed restrictions (maximum of 35 mph). As we approach spring, be on the lookout for slow-moving trucks, and keep in mind that we aren’t driving slowly to thwart your plans, we’re just obeying the law and doing our part to protect our roads. Learn more about “Frost Laws” and which counties are currently enacting them at micountyroads.org.

Your Board In Action


December Meeting Highlights

• The board approved the co-op’s 2019 operating budget. The operating budget reflects a slight increase in revenue, as the co-op will see the full year impact of the rate increase that went into effect in April 2018. • As part of the co-op’s Revolving Loan Fund, the board approved zero-interest loans to Fieldstone Market & Deli for the purchase of a new deli counter and to Dave’s Garage for a building remodel. • The co-op’s member relations manager announced to the board that Cherryland had met its state-mandated energy waste reduction (EWR) goal for 2018. She also discussed the changes coming to the energy efficiency rebate program coming in 2019.


Don’t be that guy.

Learn more at cherrylandelectric.coop.


MI CO-OP Community

Enjoy a handcrafted, juicy burger while bowling a game or two at Wagon Wheel American Grill in Portland. Visit their website at wagonwheelbowl.com for directions and hours. Photo credit—Wagon Wheel American Grill


78 1

Best Burgers In Our Great Lakes State Check out these recommendations from fellow members to find mouthwatering burgers around Michigan.


J & B’s Bar & Grill ”Our favorite burger place is J & B’s Bar & Grill, 1060 M-32, Johannesburg. We feel that when you order a burger that is medium rare that it should be juicy, not dry, and that is exactly the way you get your burger each and every time at J & B’s. We have never been disappointed by the burgers, no matter how we order our burgers. It is the best burger around.” Michelle Rohr, Presque Isle Electric & Gas


Talley’s Log Cabin ”Hands down, the best burger is served at Talley’s Log Cabin located at 2981 Co Road 612, Lewiston. I’m old enough to remember when Hilda Talley owned, ran and cooked at the bar. Her burgers, along with the famous chili she made, brought people from everywhere to enjoy her food.” Dennis Nelson, Presque Isle Electric & Gas


Wagon Wheel American Grill ”Wagon Wheel American Grill, 7888 E. Grand River Ave., in Portland was voted Best Bowling Center Burger by MLive. Call anyone at HomeWorks, and they will tell you we have the best burgers around.” Terry Schrauben, HomeWorks Tri-County


The Station Grille ”The Station Grille in Muskegon at 910 W. Broadway Ave., has THE BEST BURGERS, bar none!!! No one else can touch them. Our family makes special trips there to get one!” Tina Boarts, Great Lakes Energy


Schuberg’s Bar and Grill ”Schuberg’s Bar and Grill, 109 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, is the best of the best. Look at their menu and your mouth will water! My favorites include the Cowboy Schu, the Mushroom and Swiss Schu, and, of course, the Big Schu. Schuberg’s delivers the small town feel, but lives up to the legend they have made.” Jessica Bergman, Thumb Electric

18 FEBRUARY 2019






Buckhorn Inn ”To anyone headed north of the bridge, I have lived in the U.P. and have eaten out at many of the popular eateries and ‘mom and pop’ restaurants, cafes, and pasty shops from the eastern U.P. to the west. But of the many burger/bar combos I have ‘participated’ in, the Buckhorn Inn, 31324 W. Main Street, Trout Lake, trumps all the others. Accompanied by its comical antique attire and friendly staff, not only is Buckhorn welcoming, but so is the ‘blink of an eye’ town of Trout Lake. In my opinion, the Buckhorn burger is the best of them all! Far and wide.” Nick Palmer, Great Lakes Energy


Pure Country Family Restaurant ”The best burger is at Pure Country Family Restaurant, 601 W. 25th Street, Sault Ste. Marie. Bring your appetite! Amazing homemade food and the George Strait burger, two 6-ounce patties on a homemade bun, is excellent!” William Wolthuis, Midwest Energy & Communications


Clyde’s Drive-in ”Been going to Clyde’s Drive-in, 1425 Riverside Dr., in Sault Ste. Marie for many years! It’s a throwback to the car service restaurants of the past. The burgers are amazing, and the Big C burger is worth it! Clyde’s is right next to the Rotary Island Park, so it’s a great place to grab amazing food and then go watch the boats.” J. Dorr, Presque Isle Electric & Gas

Best of Michigan Up Next——Best Hiking Trails: Help us create a “Best Hiking Trails” bucket list. We will publish this stellar list of Michigan hiking trails to explore in our April issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by February 20.



Hybrid Geothermal


Applications Due Feb. 28 Tour Dates: June 15–20, 2019


From the battleeelds of Gettysburg to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,

Youth Tour will explore the leadership

lessons of our nation’s history and immerse you in the cooperative spirit. Learn more about this FREE leadership travel opportunity, sponsored by the electric cooperatives of Michigan, at CooperativeYouthTour.com.