January 2022 PIE&G

Page 1

January 2022


COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

College Scholarships Available

Three PIE&G Directors Re-elected 2021 Photo Contest Winner

Celebrating 30 Years Of The Country’s Oldest




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Contents countrylines.com

January 2022 Vol. 42, No. 1



6 TAHQUAMENON FALLS: A WONDER OF THE MIDWEST The resounding grandeur of the state's largest waterfalls can be enjoyed year-round. 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Asian-Inspired: Recreate your takeout favorites with these meals rich in flavor and diversity.

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

14 CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF THE COUNTRY’S OLDEST ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL The Michigan Ice Fest in Munising offers climbers breathtaking terrain and the chance to make lifelong friends.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Casey Clark EDITOR: Christine Dorr


RECIPE EDITOR: Christin McKamey COPY EDITOR: Yvette Pecha CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Emily Haines Lloyd

18 GUEST COLUMN Winter's Daydream: GLE member's dazzling encounter with a deer was only a dream. Or was it?

PUBLISHER: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, 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: Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Tony Anderson, Cherryland Electric Cooperative, vice chairman; Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer; Craig Borr, 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


notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

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

Be featured!

Use #micoopcommunity for a chance to be featured here and on our Instagram account.


Have you ever seen Tahquamenon Falls at night? @dougjulian (Doug Julian)

MI CO-OP COMMUNITY To enter contests, submit reader content & more, visit countrylines.com/community

RECIPE CONTEST Win a $50 bill credit!

Up Next: Spice It Up, due Feb. 1 On The Grill, due March 1 Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

GUEST COLUMN Win $150 for stories published!

Submit your fondest memories and stories at countrylines.com/ community.

MYSTERY PHOTO Win a $50 bill credit!

Enter a drawing to identify the correct location of the photo. See page 18.



pieg.com /PIEGCooperative/

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Charles Arbour, Treasurer 23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2023 Allan Berg, Chairman 8400 Lost Lake Rd., Hawks, MI 49743 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2023 Sandy Borowicz, Secretary 5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2024

New Year With Renewed Commitment To Mission

John Brown, Vice-Chairman 21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2023 Sally Knopf 1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2024 Kurt Krajniak 7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2022 Brentt Lucas 15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2022 Daryl Peterson P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2024 Raymond Wozniak 6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2022 President & CEO: Thomas J. Sobeck tsobeck@pieg.com Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Mairè Chagnon-Hazelman Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 3149 State Street (M-211), Onaway, MI 49765

Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565 PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Tom Sobeck, President & CEO


elcome to 2022! No matter your age or circumstances, the new year always seems to bring new hope and enthusiasm. That’s the case here at your cooperative as well. We continue to implement our Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project and hope to complete it later this year. In addition, we are well into Phase I of PIE&G Connect—our fiber to the home project—and we expect to begin member connections to world-class, highspeed internet access in the coming months. We’re excited to provide our members with the limitless opportunities this essential service will offer. And while there is much enthusiasm for these new initiatives, I want to assure you that we haven’t lost sight of our commitment to our original mission and the cooperative principles that drive our operations. Our achievements to date and our current projects are designed to provide all of our members— both residential and business—with the tools needed to function in today’s modern world and fully participate in the economy. That includes reliable and affordable energy. We will always strive to balance costs with reliability and service quality, and we’ll work to meet those often-competing challenges head-on, despite any obstacles we may encounter. One of those obstacles is the rising cost of wholesale energy. I dedicated my column to this issue in the Nov./Dec. edition of Country Lines. I provide a follow-up in this issue, because we believe in the importance of communication as we face new challenges in providing you with energy and other services, including rising costs. To help us communicate those challenges and keep you informed, we will publish 10 issues of Country Lines this year instead of six. We look forward to the additional opportunities to help you better understand our efforts and the factors that may affect our operations. We wish you all a more informed, healthy, and prosperous new year!

4 JANUARY 2022

Director Election Results P

IE&G held its 84th Annual Membership Meeting on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at Posen High School. The following candidates were elected to three-year terms (2021–2024): Sally Knopf (incumbent, At-Large District), Sandy Borowicz (incumbent, Cheboygan District), and Daryl Peterson (incumbent, Montmorency District). The number of votes that each candidate received is listed below.

At its recent meetings, the PIE&G Board of Directors: • Approved the 2022 Utility Plant Construction Work Plan in the amount of $4,817,000. • Approved the quarterly write-off of bad debts in the amount of $19,999.05.

At-Large District: (One Vacancy) Sally Knopf . . . . . . . . . . . . Dallas Hyde. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warren Kowalewsky . . . . . . . Kimberlee Pappas. . . . . . . . . Jesse Streich. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Your Board In Action

543 483 383 353 134

Cheboygan District: (One Vacancy) Sandra Borowicz. . . . . . . 1,378 Luanne Thomas. . . . . . . . . . . 360

• Approved the 2022 Business Operating Plan. • Set the 2022 Annual Meeting for Oct. 28, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Onaway High School. • Approved and authorized CEO to sign the Michigan Country Lines Letter of Commitment, increasing the publication of Country Lines magazine from six issues to 10 annually. • Approved Wolverine Power Cooperative’s ACES Power Membership. • Approved service levels and a fee schedule for fiber services.

Montmorency District: (One Vacancy) Daryl Peterson. . . . . . . . . 1,171 Curtis Render . . . . . . . . . . . . 573

Immediately following the meeting, the board of directors held its election of officers. The results are Chair—Allan Berg; Vice-Chair— John Brown; Secretary—Sandy Borowicz; and Treasurer—Daryl Peterson. Charlene S. from Hillman won the drawing for the $100 bill credit for voting by mail. In other business, members heard reports from the cooperative’s auditor, counsel, and the chief executive officer, Thomas Sobeck.

• Accepted team reports.

NOTICE TO MEMBERS OF DATA PRIVACY POLICY The Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors has adopted a policy governing the collection, use, and disclosure of member account information and usage data. If you would like a copy of the Data Privacy Policy, call our office at (800) 423-6634 or visit our website at www.pieg.com/electric-rates.



idden in the Upper Peninsula happens to be the state’s largest waterfall and the second-largest east of the Mississippi River (with Niagara Falls being number one)—Tahquamenon Falls. With 50,000 gallons of water cascading over the falls, it’s no wonder it hosts over 600,000 visitors annually.


TAHQUAMENON FALLS A Wonder Of The Midwest By Emily Haines Lloyd



For those who love a tongue-twister—it’s pronounced “Taa·kwuh·meh·nuhn,” and it was made famous in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem The Song of Hiawatha. According to Native American lore, the origin of the name is attributed to the water’s amber color, resulting from tannic acid from the cedar and hemlock swamps that feed the river. Aside from the astonishing name, the falls themselves offer mouth-dropping beauty and splendor. Nestled in Tahquamenon Falls State Park amid 50,000 acres covering more than 13 miles, the Upper and Lower Falls of Tahquamenon offer an otherworldly view. And this might be the perfect time to enjoy that view, as the park is not nearly as crowded in the winter as it is in the other seasons. Winter activities at the park include camping (the campsites are open year-round), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing,

lantern-lit trail walks hosted by the park staff, and of course, visiting the falls, which also run year-round. No matter what time of year you go, though, your visit will leave a lasting impression. “When you’re approaching the falls, you first hear the sound—the water flowing and falling,” said Theresa Neal, park interpreter at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. “Once you approach them, you’re then struck by that unique amber color. It’s so unusual and visually striking. You never forget it.” Tahquamenon Falls is divided into two sections. The Upper Falls are surrounded by a quarter-mile trail and just a 94-step climb to the viewing platform. There, you can get a look at that 50-foot drop and feel the spray on your face. Those looking for an additional challenge can snowshoe off trail for a snowy adventure. The Lower Falls are four miles east of the Upper Falls and offer great views and photo ops. The Lower Falls are a one-mile walk from the parking area that takes you through the forest and lands you on the multiple viewing platforms for more spectacular sights. You can also rent rowboats at the concession station to access the island during the summer only.

While the monumental views bring in visitors, Neal thinks there’s something else that draws folks out to the wild. “I see generations of families come out to the falls year after year,” said Neal. “The world can move so fast, but when you’re out here, there’s time to breathe and just be with one another. Making memories is the ultimate way to slow things down.”

“Obviously, the falls are the big draw,” said Neal. “But there’s so much to do and explore. Nine miles of marked snowshoe trails, a groomed cross-country ski trail, lots of photo opportunities, and even a brewery.”


When you’re looking at sharing this natural wonder with over half a million people a year, it’s good to look at the best time to visit.

DO NOT DISTURB: Put your phone in airplane mode—service can be sketchy, so save your battery for photos and videos

“I’m always reminding people we’re open sunrise to sunset,” said Neal. “So, I really recommend coming early or later in the day to avoid crowds. And not to be afraid to visit off-season. From December to April, it’s almost like having the park to yourself.”

CASH IS KING: With cell service being dicey, it’s easier for park staff to handle your cash

VISITING IN WARMER MONTHS?: Wear light colored clothing (most insects are attracted to dark colors). And always be sure to wear comfortable, sturdy footwear BUG OFF: If you’re traveling in June and July, it’s a good idea to scare off the mosquitoes, horse flies, and deer flies with bug spray. Maybe splurge and buy a mosquito head net for just a couple of dollars WATER, WATER, WATER: Bring your reusable water bottle. There are plenty of places to fill up MAP UP: Again, with sketchy cell service, make sure you have a paper map, and don’t be afraid to chat up the park rangers for advice and directions /TQFalls





SAFETY TIPS Gasoline, Fueling, and Burn Safety

Carbon Monoxide and Ventilation

• If the tank is overfilled, fuel can overflow onto a hot engine and cause fire or explosion.

• Using a generator indoors CAN KILL YOU IN MINUTES. The exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas you cannot see or smell.

• Do not overfill the fuel tank. Always allow room for fuel expansion. • Never add fuel while the unit is running or hot. • Allow generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel.

• NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly enclosed areas, such as garages.

• Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark, or pilot light.

• ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, and crawl spaces, and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and will not accumulate deadly exhaust gas.

• Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.

• Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation. • It is recommended that you install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to the manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.

Electrocution Hazard and Electrical Shock Hazards • Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can “back feed” onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers. • Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet. Always start or stop the generator only when no electrical loads are connected. • Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator allows for. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment. • Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. • Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow. • The generator must be properly grounded. If the generator is not grounded, you run the risk of electrocution. Check and adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local regulations relating to grounding.

8 JANUARY 2022

Generator Placement and Operation • Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating. • Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting. • Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust, or corrosive vapors. • Inspect the generator regularly. • Always disconnect the spark plug wire and place the wire where it cannot contact the spark plug to prevent accidental starting when setting up, transporting, adjusting, or making repairs to the generator.

Source: American Red Cross, with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Fire And Ice 1. White pine sunrise. Colleen VanHuysen  2. Mackinaw blue ice. Sally Dizon  3. Seagull Point Park on a very cold day. Ellen Putman  4. Settling down for that long winter’s nap. Monique Cook  5. Fire on ice. Cynthia Taylor






Submit Your “Pet Showcase” Photos By Jan. 20!

Submit your best photo and encourage others to vote! The photo receiving the most votes in our photo contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites. Our January theme is Pet Showcase. Photos can be submitted through Jan. 20 to be featured in our March issue.



Enter to win up to a


energy bill credit!

To enter the contest, visit pieg.com/photocontest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2022, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of four $50 credits on your January 2023 bill.


PHOTO CONTEST WINNER Laura Lachowicz is the 2021 winner of PIE&G’s Photo Contest. The winning photo was selected in a drawing of all entries that appeared in Michigan Country Lines in 2021. The photo “The guardian” was published in the July/August issue. Thank you to the many PIE&G members who shared photos. Members are welcome to participate by submitting their photos for our 2022 contest. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


MI CO-OP Recipes

Photos by Robert Bruce Photography || Recipes Submitted by MCL Readers and Tested by Recipe Editor Christin McKamey


Skip the takeout with recipes you can make at home.


SPICED CAULIFLOWER Margie Guyot, Great Lakes Energy

1 2–4 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 • 2 1

medium onion, chopped garlic cloves, chopped jalapeño, seeded and chopped tablespoon turmeric tablespoons coconut or sunflower oil cup water 14-ounce can coconut milk cauliflower head, cut into florets teaspoon sugar salt, to taste medium tomatoes, chopped cup cooked, cubed sweet potatoes, optional • roasted cashews, optional



energy bill credit!

10 JANUARY 2022

Spice It Up due Feb. 1 • On The Grill due March 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. Submit your recipe at micoopkitchen.com, or send it via email (include your full name and co-op) to recipes@countrylines.com.

Process the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and turmeric in food processor until it forms into a paste. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions no longer smell raw. Do not brown. Add the water, coconut milk, and cauliflower florets; stir to coat. Bring to a medium boil and simmer for about 5–6 minutes. Stir in sugar and salt to taste. Stir in the chopped tomato and simmer 2–3 minutes more, stirring. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve. Variation: Stir in cooked, cubed sweet potato and sprinkle with roasted cashews. Dish will thicken as it sits. Serves 4. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

ORIENTAL SUPERFOOD SALAD Connie Turner, Great Lakes Energy

1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, ribs and stems removed, and cut into bite-size pieces 1 pound shelled edamame beans (from freezer section) 1 cup “matchstick” carrots 1 small raw beet, cut into matchsticks (can also save beet leaves to add with the kale) 1 cup shredded green cabbage (or mix of red/green) 1 cup fresh blueberries 1 cup pomegranate kernels (from one pomegranate) 1 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins) 1 cup roasted cashew pieces (or walnuts/pecans)

½ ½ 1 ½ • • 1 1

cup roasted sunflower seeds cup sliced or chopped red onions cup sliced fresh strawberries pound barely steamed or raw asparagus tangerine slices, optional apple slices, optional cup Marzetta Simply Dressed Strawberry-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (or favorite dressing) container cherry or grape tomatoes

Mix all ingredients together (except dressing). Add the dressing and tomatoes just before serving, and toss well. This salad keeps well for several days in a tight container in the refrigerator.

JAPANESE CHICKEN Rebecca Lambright, Great Lakes Energy


Connie Hernandez, Great Lakes Energy 8 ounces ground pork (ground turkey or chicken also works) 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided ½ small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ teaspoon grated ginger (or 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger) 2½ cups finely sliced cabbage 2 cups finely sliced baby bok choy ½ cup shredded carrots 2½ ounces sliced shiitake (or other) mushrooms ½ tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

• sliced scallion or green onion, for garnish, optional • fried wonton strips, for garnish, optional Place a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it browns, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, 2–3 minutes. Add the cabbage, bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms. Pour in remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and bok choy are wilted but still crunchy, 3–4 minutes. Garnish with scallions/green onions and wonton strips, and serve hot.

2 pounds uncooked chicken, sliced • flour for coating • garlic salt • seasoned salt • paprika 1 cup sugar ½ cup vinegar 4 tablespoons soy sauce ½ cup water ½ teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 350 F. Dip chicken in flour and fry. While chicken is frying, sprinkle with garlic salt, seasoned salt, and paprika. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, water, and salt. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Place fried chicken in baking dish and pour warm sauce over it. Bake 1½ to 2 hours. Serve over rice or noodles. After chicken is done, pour sauce into cooked rice. Tasty!




PIE&G’s New Bill Layout Redesigned With You in Mind YYNN

Group 7163

Welcome to your new billing statement! billing statement!

Page 1 of 2



Bill Date Account number Description

10/31/2021 1234567890

We have the previous bill format for over 20 years, andpleased new options After usingused the previous bill format for over 15 years, we are to offer available from our billing provider allowed us to make significant In addition to you new options that allow us to make significant improvements. Message Center improvements. In addition to all the billing details you are all of the previous details you areofaccustomed to seeing, we accustomed now provide you to viewing, we now have the opportunity to provide you$100.00 with additional with additional, helpful information. information. Phone (Toll Free): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-423-6634 Online: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pieg.com Pay By Phone 24/7:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-866-999-4571 Gas Emergency 24/7: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-655-8565 Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Auto Pay

Your 2021 Voluntary Communities First Contribution total $5.81. You may use this statement for income tax purposes.


Charged On or After: Nov 21, 2021

Billing Summary


Previous Balance Payments Received - Thank you! Balance Forward

Group 7163

$100.00 -$100.00 $0.00

Current Charges

Page 1 of 2

COOP Provided Electric Service



$100.00 $100.00

Auto Pay Bank Draft on 11/21/2021

Bill Date Account number Description

10/31/2021 1234567890

Phone (Toll Free): . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-423-6634 A Online: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pieg.com Pay Online, By Phone, or on the SmartHub App! Pay By Phone 24/7:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-866-999-4571 Gas Emergency 24/7: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-800-655-8565 B KEEP Please do not staple or paperclip payment. Make checks payable to PIE&G Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday SEND Account Number 1234567890 Phone Number (123) 456-7890 Service Address: M 67 12345

Message Center


Auto Pay

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op P.O. Box 308 Onaway, MI 49765-0308

Bank Draft Auto Pay on or after 11/21/2021 $100.00 Amount Enclosed

Your 2021 Voluntary Communities First Contribution total $5.81. You may use this statement for income tax purposes.

Date (mm/dd/yy)

$100.00 Meter #

Account #




JANE M DOE 1234 M 67 ONAWAY MI 49765-0000

Meter Reading



Charged On or After: Nov 21, 2021



Billing Summary Previous Balance Payments Received - Thank you! Balance Forward

$100.00 -$100.00 $0.00

Current Charges COOP Provided Electric Service



Total Balance Auto Pay Bank Draft on 11/21/2021

$100.00 $100.00

A: Contact Us A. Amount Due We are happy to assist you The total amount due and regarding your service. the payment due date are Please bytop calling locatedcontact here atusthe of 800-423-6634. Notice the the bill. separate contact number for Natural Gas Emergencies. B. Rate Schedule The rate schedule for or your B: Quick Payment meter account. Rate schedules reading options can be Residential, Small Fast, easy payment and meter Commercial, Commercial reading options your Demand, Streetthrough Lighting, SmartHub on-line account at Large Power. www.pieg.com or through the mobile app. You may also call C. Important our secure Pay By Phone line at Messages any timemessages to submit from payments Priority the or meter readings. cooperative regarding your electric service Messages or bill. C: Important Priority messages from the D. Monthly/Daily Cooperative regarding your bill Energy Use or upcoming events will appear The total amount of energy here. used at your service locaD: Due tionAmount compared to the same month of the previous year This is the amount due for and account. average daily this If youenergy are on a use for or theannual billingcoupon, period.this budget amount will appear here. You E. Contact will also see theUs type of service, WeElectric, are happy assist you i.e. Gastoand eventually with any questions regardInternet. ing your service. Please E: Billing contact usSummary by calling 800-423-6634 during our This summary includes your regular business hours. previous bill activity, your current charges, and the Total F. Quick Payment Balance owed on your account.


Pay Online, By Phone, or on the SmartHub App!

KEEP Please do not staple or paperclip payment. Make checks payable to PIE&G SEND

Account Number 1234567890 Phone Number (123) 456-7890 Service Address: M 67 12345 Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op P.O. Box 308 Onaway, MI 49765-0308


Bank Draft Auto Pay on or after 11/21/2021 $100.00 Amount Enclosed



Date (mm/dd/yy)

Meter #

Account #

33936 54321

3393700012 1234567890

JANE M DOE 1234 M 67 ONAWAY MI 49765-0000


12 JANUARY 2022

Meter Reading

F: Special bill options Fast, easy payments Here youyour will find Budget, through SmartHub Annual accountCoupon online atAmounts, and Auto Pay options.or through www.pieg.com the mobile app.Stub Or call our G: Payment secure payment line Please return this stub when 24/7/365. paying or submitting your meter reading by mail.Charges G. Current

TheMeter monthly kWhdate charges, H: read and service availability and a reading listingis of otheryou monthly Here where will enter charges forreading your account your meter and date of (i.e. security taxes, reading. Oncelight, our AMI system etc.). is providing monthly readings, the meter read date and reading H. Bill Stub boxes will be removed. Please The lower portion of your continue to readbill andtosubmit electric service your readings until the boxes return to the cooperative no appear. Youstub may also by longer mail. The billing submit your readings onincludes the meter total amount line due.or by calling 1-866-999-4571 anytime.

With our new headquarters facility, modernization efforts, and fiber project underway, we’ve redesigned our bills too! The new layout will provide members with more details and helpful information about their energy usage and account activity. There’s room to add messages, and soon, even more details will be available once the new metering technology is operational, which is anticipated by the end of 2022. We’ve outlined the information that appears on your new bill to help you understand and become familiar with the new layout. We have included a copy of these guidelines with your most recent bill.

We Hope You Like the New Bill Design! If you have any questions about information contained in your bill, please reach out to one of our member service representatives by calling 1-800-423-6634.

Page 2 of 2


Service Address: M 67 12345 Meter #




Services From 09/05/2021

Kilowatt Hours

I: Service information I. Energy Use Graph In the areause youbar willgraph find Angray energy service identification, rate schedule, showing the last 12 months of energy useand at services period, previous yourreadings service and location. present current energy consumption.

J. Important Service J: Energy Use Graph Information

ThisPast graph shows theContact last 12 Due Bills, months energy use for this Info,ofPayment Options, service location. Power Outage Reporting, and Call Before You Dig. K: Current Bill detail: Here you will find itemized bill K. Cooperative information for your current Messaging energy usage. Messages from the L: Energy Use regarding Comparison cooperative products and Thevalue-added information in blue circles serviceyour andcurrent cooperative compares energy use news. to the previous month, and to the same month one year prior. Your Average Daily information is shown in the green circles located here. M: Total Balance by Account Here you will find the Total Balance which is a sum of previous account activity and your current month’s bill. N: Definitions Here you will find definitions to terms used on the bill.

Average Temp




To 10/05/2021

30 Temp 75

1250 60

1000 750




250 15 Oct
















Energy Usage Comparison

Map Location: ON 4000 000 Readings Previous Present 12435 13130

Meter Multiplier 1

kWh Usage 695



** Reading ACTUAL

@ 0.08601 @ -0.00439 @ 0.03305 @ 0.00229

59.78 -3.05 22.97 18.00 1.59 3.78 0.87 -6.00 1.25 99.19 0.81 100.00 100.00

This Month

Last Month

This Month Last Year

Avg Daily Use

Avg Daily Cost

Avg Daily High

695 kWh 30 days

699 kWh 30 days

1080 kWh 30 days

23 kWh



Total Balance for Account # 1234567890



Reading Your Meter If the front of the bill stub has meter reading boxes, please submit a reading each month by the due date. Reading your meter the same day of every month will provide a 30 day billing cycle. You may submit a reading by mail, online, or by phone. Please have your account number(s) ready. Annual meters are read once per year and bills are issued in the summer months.


Billing Terms AVAILABILITY or SERVICE CHARGE covers the cost of having energy available to your meter and provides revenue for servicing utility lines and meters. POWER SUPPLY COST RECOVERY ADJUSTMENT (PSCR) is an adjustment based on our cost of electricity from our supplier. GAS COST RECOVERY (GCR) is the cost of natural gas from our supplier. KILOWATT HOUR (kWh) is a unit of electricity. CENTUM CUBIC FOOT (CCF) is a unit of natural gas in 100 cubic feet. ENERGY OPTIMIZATION (EO) is a state mandated contribution to PRESQUE ISLE ELECTRIC & GAS CO-OP. programs that reduce statewide electric usage. PO BOX 308 1

ONAWAY MI 49765-0308

Our office has a 24 hour depository box for safe, after-hours payment For answers to frequently asked billing questions or for a list of payment stations visit PIEG.com PIE&G is member regulated. Most natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the MPSC. A late payment charge may be applied to delinquent accounts.



Celebrating 30 Years Of The Country’s Oldest




any people travel to gorgeous Munising, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula to experience the beauty of the infamous sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks off the shore of Lake Superior. Whether by boat or kayak, people bring their cameras and smartphones to snap a shot of the remarkable natural wonder.

Then there are those who travel to Munising, Michigan, to capture an experience in an entirely unexpected way. From Feb. 9–13, Michigan Ice Fest will be celebrating its belated 30th anniversary (due to COVID-19) with its weeklong ice climbing event that brings famed ice climbers as well as curious newcomers from all over the country and the world. Ice climbing may seem like something reserved for rugged mountaineers among arctic landscapes in faraway lands, but the Munising ice festival mixes awe-inspiring terrain with a tight-knit community feel that is nothing short of Pure Michigan. “For over 30 years, people have been coming to the festival,” said Bill Thompson, one of the organizers of Michigan Ice Fest. “And every year, there are people who walked away shocked that we have some of the best ice climbing in the lower 48. They come in wary and walk away family.”

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Michigan Ice Fest

Michigan Ice Fest, which claims to be the oldest ice festival in the country, started with Mark Riesch, an ice climber out of Kalamazoo who returned from a festival in Canada and wanted to recreate something like it in Munising. Riesch passed out a homemade flier inviting folks to join in and managed to wrangle up

8 8 8 Michigan Ice Fest is Feb. 9–13, 2022, Munising, Michigan 8 8 8

a whopping 20 or so people the first year. Among them was Bill Thompson. As a new guard took over the event, it gained interest and grew. In 2019, the event drew over 1,600 climbers from seven different countries, and anyone who has attended Michigan Ice Fest will tell you there is something particularly magical about the Munising event. “Michigan might not seem like the obvious spot for ice climbing,” said Thompson. “But there’s nowhere else where you can climb 160 feet with open waves thundering below you that are biting at your feet. Exciting is an understatement.” This unique atmosphere has led to considerable interest from the climbing community. The event itself has grown over the years, now offering presentations and clinics led by world-class, professional climbers, book signings, and coffee talks in the mornings, as well as lots and lots of climbing. While the pros and hardcore climbers enjoy some of the finest ice climbing in the country,

the festival still puts a lot of focus on the novice climber, offering free gear and instruction as part of the price of admission. Not to mention an opportunity to watch and learn from some of the best ice climbers in the world. “It’s like if you went to a basketball clinic and Michael Jordan was there giving you tips,” said Thompson. “And then later, you see him around town and get to have a beer with him. That’s how casual and inclusive this event is.” The coziness of Munising seems in complete contrast to the adrenalineheavy activity that brings everyone to town, but the city offers that perfect setting for what Anderson describes as an annual family reunion.

climbers feel like they’re a part of the group from day one. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like going home.” While a mammoth ledge of ice might not seem like an obvious homecoming spot, Thompson assures those with even the slightest interest that the event aims to bring people in slowly. “It’s a chance to do something that not many people get to experience,” said Thompson. “As an ice climber, you’re definitely in a minority of folks in the world. But when you hear the axe bite in, and you kick into the ice with the sound of water running behind it—all I can say is you just can’t know how special it is until you try it.”

“It’s a tight community. When you come to the event, it’s like being with family,” said Thompson. “Our pro athletes have climbed all over the world, but feel something different and refreshing at our event. Our new

Visit michiganicefest.com for information on registration fees, event times, clinics, and more, as well as a list of available scholarships, grants, and contests. /MichiganIceFest




PIE&G PSCR Factor Increase Effective Feb. 1


n accordance with P.A. 167, the Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors held a Special Open Meeting of the membership on Sept. 28, 2021. At that meeting, the board approved and set the 2022 Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) factor to a maximum of $0.00762/kWh for bills rendered on or after Feb. 1, 2022. This is an increase from a (negative) $(-0.00439)/kWh factor and represents 1.201 cents per kWh or approximately $8.32 per month for a residential member using 670 kilowatts per month, the average consumption level for monthly residential members. It is important to note that, for the last six of seven years, the PSCR factor was negative, which effectively reduced members’ bills during those years. The February increase is primarily due to increased costs of natural gas used for cleaner generation of electricity.

What is the PSCR Factor? As an electric distribution cooperative, PIE&G purchases electricity from its wholesale supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative. Wolverine, a generation and transmission cooperative, sells power to PIE&G, delivering it via transmission lines to PIE&G’s substations. From the substations, PIE&G distributes electricity directly to its members.

16 JANUARY 2022

Each year, electric utilities compare projected costs of electricity for the next 12 months with long-term projected energy costs to determine the adjustment to customers on the monthly bill. This adjustment to the base energy charge is called the Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR) factor. At the end of the year, utilities are required to reconcile the monies collected for energy with the actual cost of energy. Along with the next year’s forecasted costs, that difference is incorporated into the PSCR factor calculation for the upcoming year. The purpose of the PSCR process is to ensure that a utility only collects the costs incurred to purchase wholesale energy on behalf of its members or customers. This is a legal requirement for all electric utilities in Michigan. Power supply or energy costs are a pass-through cost and do not contain any margins for PIE&G. For specific details of any Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op tariffs or fees, please call 1-800-423-6634 or visit our website at pieg.com.

The February increase is primarily due to increased costs of natural gas used for cleaner generation of electricity.

Scholarships For Graduating Seniors Applications due March 1

Three of PIE&G’s Communities First Fund Scholarship winners: Left: Jonathan Clayton, top right: Shaylee Michael, bottom right: Eyan Hincka.

The PIE&G Communities First Fund has been awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors since 1999. The scholarship program includes all accredited colleges or universities located in Michigan. The award is $1,000 and is payable upon successful completion of the first semester. The A. Barkley Travis Memorial Scholarship ($500) and the Peterson Vocational School Scholarship ($500) are also available. Eligibility requirements and applications are available online at pieg.com or by contacting PIE&G at (800) 423-6634, extension 1011. Completed applications with all supporting documentation must be received at PIE&G by close of business on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Scholarships will be awarded by June 1.

Ways To Stay Warm And Cozy This Winter When you’re feeling chilly at home, here are five budget-friendly ways you can keep comfortable without turning up the thermostat. 1. Whether you’re experiencing extremely cold winter temps or you “run cold,” an electric blanket can deliver quick warmth like a regular blanket cannot. Electric blankets can include a variety of features, like timers and dual temperature settings. 2. One of the easiest ways to stay cozy at home is to keep your feet warm. Our feet play a critical role in regulating body temperature, so when your feet are warm, your body automatically feels warmer. Try a pair of comfortable wool socks or house slippers to stay toasty.

A favorable humidity level inside your home can also help clear sinuses, soften skin, and improve sleep.

3. On winter days when the sun is shining, take advantage and harness natural warmth from sunlight. Open all curtains, drapes, and blinds in your home to let the sunshine in—you’ll be able to feel the difference.

5. Beyond adding visual appeal to your home, area rugs can also provide extra insulation and a warm surface for your feet on cold winter days. Use large area rugs in rooms where you spend the most time. You’ll enjoy the new colors and textures of the rug, and the additional warmth will help keep your home comfortable.

4. Make your home cozier with a humidifier. Cold air doesn’t hold water vapor like warm air, so by adding humidity inside your home, you can feel a little warmer.

These are just a few ways you can stay warm and cozy this winter without turning up the thermostat. Oh, and don’t forget the hot chocolate! MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17

Guest Column

Winter's Daydream By Dody Bedford, Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member


t was a sunny cold day in January when I put on my cross-country skis to go for a jaunt. The temperature was a perfect 25 degrees, and the sun shone brightly. I glided along effortlessly, crisscrossing paths with the many deer that inhabit our fields. As many times as I have skied and as many deer tracks as I have seen, I have never seen a deer. I stopped to rest under the biggest white pine I’d ever seen. I had a weird sense that I was being watched. I turned back, looking across the clearing, and saw a wonderful surprise; 100 feet away stood the most beautiful doe. Her huge brown eyes and long black lashes entranced me. She stomped her feet and took five steps toward me. I was enthralled. I stood quietly, and she made her way toward me. She was not afraid and appeared as curious about me as I was about her. I stretched my hand out, and she took a sniff. As she became more comfortable, I moved to her side and stroked her neck. As she became more comfortable, she would playfully butt me with her head. After some time, she reached up and snatched my hat right off my head, then turned and ran a little way. She turned to face me, and I could swear she was teasing me to chase her. I set out toward her, and each time I came close, she would throw my hat in the air, let it drop, pick it up, and away she went. As I took a rest, she approached me now with no fear. I tipped my head low, and she placed the hat on my head, then I poured water in my hand, and she drank greedily. She finally headed into the woods at dusk. It was time for me to head home. It must have been only a daydream. I could only smile as I followed a perfect set of deer tracks all the way home.

Win a


energy bill credit!

Dody Bedford is a Great Lakes Energy Cooperative member who enjoys the outdoors, gardening, and fishing. She is a self-taught artist, who paints in oil, sketches, and plays piano and guitar. She likes to spend a portion of every day helping others and volunteering at Rising Hope Equestrian Center.

WIN $150!

Share your fondest memories and stories. Win $150 for stories published. Visit countrylines.com/community to submit.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo to the left by Jan. 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com/community. Nov./Dec. 2021 Winner! Our Mystery Photo winner is Angela Boysen, a Midwest Energy & Communications Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as Port Huron Blue Water Bridge. Photo courtesy of Kaushik Sur. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September, and November/December.


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TIPS TO DITCH THE SPACE HEATER Space heaters are energy hogs, and older models can be extremely dangerous. This winter, ditch the space heater and try these alternative solutions to stay warm and cozy. • Use an electric blanket to keep warm during the night. • Caulk and weather-strip around all windows and doors to prevent heat loss. • Consider adding insulation to your attic and around duct work.

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