COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op
YOU MAY HAVE UNCLAIMED MONEY! SEE CAPITAL CREDIT INSERT INSIDE.
Tree Clearing Means Better Service
Celebrate Lineworkers Appreciation Day April 8 PIE&G Special Board Meetingâ€”March 26
WATERFURNACE UNITS QUALIFY FOR A 30% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT*
You may not realize it, but your home is sitting on a free and renewable supply of energy. A WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system taps into the stored solar energy in your own backyard to provide savings up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. That’s money in the bank and a smart investment in your family’s comfort. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today to learn how to tap into your buried treasure. YOUR LOCAL WATERFURNACE DEALERS BAD AXE B & D Htg (989) 269-5280 bdheating.com
CLIFFORD Orton Refrig & Htg (989) 761-7691 sanduskygeothermal.com
MT PLEASANT Walton Htg & Clg (989) 772-4822 waltonheating.com
BERRIEN SPRINGS WaterFurnace Michiana (269) 473-5667 gogreenmichgeothermal.com
HART/LUDINGTON Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com
MUSKEGON Adams Htg & Clg (231) 873-2665 adamsheatingcooling.com
BIG RAPIDS Stratz Htg & Clg, Inc. (231) 796-3717 stratzgeocomfort.com
INDIAN RIVER M & M Plmb & Htg (231) 238-7201 mm-plumbing.com
Kiessel Geothermal Htg & Clg (231) 747-7509 kiesselsgeo.com
CARO AllTemp Comfort, Inc. (866) 844-HEAT (4328) geo4less.com
MICHIGAN CENTER Comfort 1/Aire Serv of Southern Michigan (517) 764-1500 comfort1.net/geothermal
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
visit us at waterfurnace.com * 30% through 2019, 26% through 2020 and 22% through 2021 • WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc.
In This Issue March 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 3
Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives
michigancountrylines FEATURED PHOTO FROM
Your photo could be featured here. Learn more on
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-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 are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org countrylines.com
michigancountrylines icy pier on the lake
ON THE COVER Ryan and Brianne Rademacher, members of HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, are the innovators of growing camelina to create a superior cooking oil. Read more about their business and other entrepreneurial members starting on page 6.
18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Follow Us On Instagram!
Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us @michigancountrylines. Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
Photo by Mandy Wheeler
6 & 10 FEATURE Spotlight On Co-op Entrepreneurs
Read about fellow entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue.
14 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Weeknight Dinners
Easy On Time, Big On Flavor By Christin McKamey & Our Readers
Win $150 for stories published!
Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.
Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!
CHANGE OF ADDRESS:
Please 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.
ATTENTION READERS: The publisher of Michigan Country Lines magazine is working with NRECA Market Research Services, a reputable public opinion research company, to conduct a confidential survey for Michigan’s electric cooperatives. If NRECA Market Research Services contacts you by phone or email, please be assured they are not selling anything. The short, confidential survey will help your co-op serve you better. Thank you for your time and help with this survey.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
CHEBOYGAN PRESQUE ISLE
Why Your Co-op Clears Vegetation
John Brown, Chairman
Your co-op leadership team recognizes that reliable electricity is not just a luxury, it’s an expectation. That’s why your electric co-op considers its prime objective to be providing you with a reliable and safe electric distribution system. One of the most common—and crucial—ways to do this is referred to as right-of-way clearing (or vegetation management). A right-of-way refers to a strip of land underneath or around power lines that your electric cooperative has the right and responsibility to maintain and clear. Many members may not be aware that trees can be a major obstacle to good electric service. To improve your service experience, PIE&G has an aggressive, proactive overhead line clearance program that’s proven to significantly reduce outage hours related to tree interference with our distribution system. That’s why PIE&G has devoted over $1 million annually for right-of-way maintenance for the last six years.
What We Do And Why
Board Of Directors Charles Arbour, Treasurer
23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020
Allan Berg, Vice-Chairman
1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020
Sandy Borowicz, Secretary
5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2021 21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020 1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2021
7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2019
15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2019
P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2021
6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2019
President & CEO: Tom Sobeck email@example.com
Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman
Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, 49765
Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565
pieg.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/PIEGCooperative
Most 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.
4 MARCH 2019
PIE&G’s line clearance standard is to obtain and maintain a ground-tosky clearance of 15–20 feet, free from all obstructions, on each side of the power line. Where our facilities cross private property, an easement gives us the right to use that property to maintain our right-of-way. An easement can be written and recorded, meaning it is signed and on file at the county Register of Deeds office where the service is located. An easement may also be unwritten or “prescriptive,” where the land has been used for utility purposes in a continuous and open manner for the statutory period of 15 years under Michigan law. PIE&G’s line clearing program (also called “Vegetation Management”) consists of two approaches: mechanical clearing and herbicide application.
2019 Mechanical Clearing Plan Mechanical clearing happens all year long. PIE&G’s licensed contractors will trim overgrown trees along 395 miles of overhead line at various locations throughout our nine-county service territory. Members who may be in proximity to areas designated for mechanical clearing will be notified by mail prior to the onset of work in that area. PIE&G will determine if there are trees in your maintained lawn area that should be trimmed or cut. A representative from one of our contracted crews will attempt to contact you in person before the work is started.
2019 Herbicide Application The schedule for herbicide application is set to occur between April and October. PIE&G has hired professional, licensed contractors to treat approximately 341 miles of line throughout its service territory with stateapproved herbicide. PIE&G will notify members whose service is near the designated areas by mail prior to the onset of work. The herbicide is not applied to mowed lawn areas. Herbicide effectively controls tall-growing trees and bushes while promoting low-growing plants such as grasses, wildflowers and shrubs that are beneficial to wildlife. It offers longerterm results in a more cost-effective way and is endorsed by a number of environmental, forestry and wildlife providers as offering benefits to many wildlife species.
Jobsite Cleanup Our contract crews dispose of trimmed branches and limbs in the most economic and practical manner possible. It is customary during regular line clearing activity that crews will remove branches and limbs within maintained or landscaped areas, and leave the wood for use by the property owner. In unmaintained areas, crews will leave wood, branches and limbs for use by the property owner to decompose naturally. PIE&G does not remove stumps after tree removal. During emergency power restoration activities, crews clear trees off and away from our lines in order to make repairs. PIE&G does not return to remove wood, branches and limbs that were removed during outage restoration efforts.
Our Commitment To Safety Safety is a top priority for PIE&G. Although Mother Nature provides an amazing setting for our enjoyment of outdoor activities, it’s best to keep your activities away from overhead power lines. If you see a downed power line due to a fallen tree or branch, stay away and immediately call PIE&G to report it. Never attempt to remove branches or trim trees that are near power lines to avoid potential electrical contact. Any tree in close proximity to a power line can present a safety hazard.
Before and after shots of a line circuit. A newly cleared right-of-way can look extreme at first, but as the growth returns the landscape regains its natural beauty.
Service Line Trimming PIE&G will trim along the service line running from the transformer to your home when a tree is in contact with the power line. We do not remove trees located near service lines. If you plan to have a tree removed from your property, contact us several days in advance so we can schedule a crew to visit, de-energize and drop the line so you can have the tree safely removed. PIE&G will need at least two days prior notice.
Plan Ahead Trees and power lines do not mix, so careful planning is important before you begin any landscape plan or outdoor project. Trees grow quickly so the seedling you plant today may well reach heights exceeding 30-50 feet in a few years. Avoid planting trees beneath overhead utility lines or near your service line. Look around and note what’s overhead, on the ground, and underground before beginning any outdoor work project.
The ground-to-sky approach to line clearance helps to make sure that trees don’t form a canopy over the lines.
For More Information For more information about PIE&G’s line clearance procedures, contact our Member Services Department at 800-423-6634.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
co-op entrepreneurs Michigan Country Lines is proud to feature entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue. Read on to meet pioneers, innovators and leaders who are making their mark on the world.
There is so much more to tell! Visit countrylines.com to read the full version of each entrepreneur’s story.
6 MARCH 2019
Ryan & Brianne Rademacher Bare Essential Oil
HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative Members bareessentialoils.com Husband and wife team Ryan and Brianne Rademacher proudly farm land that’s been in Ryan’s family for three generations, delivering oil straight from the family farm to your table. The idea for their business, Bare Essential Oil, came about when Ryan discovered camelina in April 2017. After researching the seed, Ryan believed he could use camelina to create superior, healthy cooking oil. The Rademachers planted a crop of camelina on their farm that spring and were blessed with a fantastic harvest. The next challenge, however, was processing the camelina into cooking oil. “As luck would have it,” said Brianne, “we found a couple in northern Michigan that grow and press their own canola oil.” The new friends allowed the Rademachers to use the facility to create their very ﬁrst batch of oil. Today, their camelina oil can be purchased through bareessentialoils.com and at select stores throughout Michigan. “We’re very happy with our ﬁnal product,” said Ryan. “It has rich vitamin E content and one of the highest smoke points of any oil. It offers a light, nutty ﬂavor to any culinary creation.” Check out bareessentialoils.com to order, and then use it to make their pumpkin energy ball recipe on page 15.
Judith Kimball & Ilona Stroupe
Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Members presqueisleneedleworks.com
Thumb Electric Cooperative Member dizzydaisywinery.com
Presque Isle Needleworks
Judith Kimball and Ilona Stroupe discovered a mutual fondness for lighthouses and needlework as teenagers. As the years passed and their friendship grew, the duo combined those interests to form Presque Isle Needleworks. “We love lighthouses,” Ilona said. “In 1983, we decided to create a cross-stitch kit of our local lighthouse.” One pattern led to the next and, since then, they have designed at least one new lighthouse pattern each year, later adding two pattern books for stitchers who have their own supplies. Judy and Ilona do all the work in assembling their cross-stitch kits—from cutting the fabric to intricately designing the artwork. In addition to their cross-stitch kits, they expanded the business to include quilt square patterns of lighthouses. Because lighthouse preservation is so important to the owners, a portion of each sale goes directly to support Michigan lighthouses.
Dizzy Daisy Winery & Vineyard
Harold Kociba began growing grapes as a retirement project in 2006. It didn’t take long, however, before Harold realized retirement wasn’t in his future. As a third-generation farmer, Harold attended several seminars through the Michigan Wine Council before deciding to switch from raising cows to growing grapes. That’s when Dizzy Daisy Winery & Vineyard was born. Using the same skills and attributes that saw him through dairy farming, Harold got to work. He learned all he could about wine making—solving crises with weather, soil conditions, early frosts and unpredictable markets. “It’s a challenge, just like growing or raising anything else,” said Harold. “That’s just part of being a farmer—trying to outfox Mother Nature on a daily basis.” Today, Harold and his team at Dizzy Daisy offer more than 75 wines. The team gets creative as new blends come from unpredictable weather or supply shortages—from their dry red Marechal Foch to their most popular Bad Axe Passion, which features a white blend with mango and passion fruit. The winery continues to diversify as they now make and sell hard cider.
Marquette Brewing Cooperative Alger Delta Cooperative Member marquettebrewing.com
Michigan will see its “ﬁrst ever” cooperatively-owned brewery open its doors this summer in Marquette. Final architectural plans for the Marquette Brewing Cooperative (MBC) are currently in the works and, if all goes according to plan, craft beer will soon be ﬂowing at 501 S. Lake Street. “We plan to have 10–12 beers on tap at all times,” said David Gill, president of the Marquette Homebrewers Club and the founder of MBC. “We’ll constantly rotate the selection, so there will always be something new.” Being an owner of a brewery in Marquette has broad appeal. The MBC already has over 280 member-owners, but David hopes to see membership doubled in time for their summer grand opening. Member-owners are entitled to all the beneﬁts of ownership, including voting rights and a share in patronage dividends. “Our member-owners will also have access to workshops, tastings, seminars, and ‘brew-your-own beer’ events,” explained David. Lifetime individual memberships are available for $99 at MarquetteBrewing.com, and a “preferred shares” program is available for those wanting to invest more. “Craft beer is a passion for each of us,” David concluded. “We have a dedicated core of brewers ready to serve the community with a diverse, holistic craft beer experience.” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
Light Your Home For Less With ENERGY STAR LEDs Installing LED light bulbs in your home is a quick and easy way to save energy. Look for the ENERGY STAR label for the best quality and longest product life. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR® LEDs, you can save up to $75 each year.
Did You Know?
• For an LED light bulb to bear the ENERGY STAR label, it must pass rigorous testing to ensure maximum energy savings and performance. • LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper. • The white light for LEDs is typically a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs. • LEDs contain no mercury and can easily be disposed of. • LEDs emit very little energy as wasted heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90 percent and CFLs release 80 percent of their energy as heat.
Choosing The Right LED Bulb Brightness
• Look for lumens, instead of watts, to determine brightness. Replace a 60W bulb with an LED bulb with about 800 lumens for comparable brightness.
• The color of an LED bulb is typically shown on a sliding scale between Warm and Cool. This measure is actually a temperature on the Kelvin scale (K), where lower K emits warmer, yellower light, and higher K produces cooler, bluer light.
REBATES NOW AVAILABLE
Visit michigan-energy.org or call 877-296-4319 for additional energy-saving information and incentives.
LIGHT YOUR HOME FOR LESS!
Brighten world THEIR
Replace your home’s five most frequently used light bulbs with ENERGY STAR® LEDs and save up to $75 per year. ENERGY STAR lighting provides: • Significant energy savings • Highest quality and performance • Wide range of colors and brightness • Dimmable lighting and motion sensing capabilities
IN-STORE SAVINGS NOW AVAILABLE AT SELECT RETAILERS! ONLINE: PHONE:
Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.
Most votes on Facebook!
Food And Drink 1. “Thank the farmer God bless the man who sows the wheat, Who finds us milk and fruit and meat; May his purse be heavy, his heart be light, His cattle and corn and all go right; God bless the seeds his hands let fall, for the farmer he must feed us all.”——Poem by Amelia E. Barr; Photo submitted by Karen Stevens, Posen 2. Christmas cookies awaiting Santa’s arrival——Nicole Bartlett, Atlanta 3. She loves her Mickey Mouse pancake!——Suzanne Aidif, Millersburg 4. Dessert in Mexico on a Saturday night. Yummy!——Jessica Sumerix, Alpena 5. Let’s do it!——Sharon Maly, Lewiston
6. His first “Big C” from Clyde’s in St.Ignace——Jill Wells, Cheboygan
Submit Your Favorite “Spring Flowers” Photos!
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.
Enter to win up to a
energy bill credit!
Our March theme is Spring Flowers. Photos can be submitted through March 20 to be featured in our May/June issue.
Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!
To enter the contest visit facebook.com/PIEGCooperative and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at pieg.com/content/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.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
co-op entrepreneurs (continued)
Michigan Country Lines is proud to feature entrepreneurial movers and shakers from co-op territory in this special issue. Read on to meet pioneers, innovators and leaders who are making their mark on the world.
There is so much more to tell! Visit countrylines.com to read the full version of each entrepreneur’s story.
10 MARCH 2019
Kendall Rose The Revel Rose
Cherryland Electric Cooperative Member therevelrose.com Three years ago Kendall Rose moved to northern Michigan as an outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service. When federal budget cuts derailed her career, Kendall realized she could combine her passion for the great outdoors with her skills as an event planner. So, in 2017, The Revel Rose, an environmentally-friendly event planning company, was born. From month of coordination to full-service wedding planning, The Revel Rose handles everything from traditional weddings with 200 guests to destination elopements and intimate weddings. What sets this company apart, however, is Kendall’s vision to weave environmental stewardship (along with her eye for detail) into events by giving clients the chance to plan a minimal waste wedding. “I think it’s important to preserve and protect the places that make Michigan an enjoyable destination,” Kendall said. A minimal waste event means hiring preferred vendors who value “low-waste event planning, products, and processes,” Kendall explained. This includes farm to table caterers who utilize locally grown food and on-site services that recycle or compost the majority of event waste. The response has been terriﬁc. “My clients are my biggest cheerleaders,” Kendall concluded.
Edna & Brad Yonker
Leonda Kessinger Shroyer
Ontonagon County REA Members Facebook.com/NonesuchGallery
Midwest Energy & Communications Member etsy.com/shop/JunqueGypsy
Located in a 1920-era building, Nonesuch Gallery is Ontonagon’s “not to be missed” shop, featuring all things quirky and artistic. Owned and run by artists Edna and Brad Yonker, the gallery features two levels for visitors to browse. Many of the items for sale are
handmade by local artists. Partners in life and work, Edna and Brad have created a masterpiece with their gallery. The main ﬂoor showcases Edna’s award-winning quilt-art and other textiles, plus furniture, home décor and jewelry, along with local coffee, mixes and lotions. Customers can even ﬁnd Michigan-grown blueberry products. The downstairs ﬂoor of Nonesuch features Brad’s handmade guitars, many of which are handcrafted from local wood, alongside an assortment of new and used instruments. Before opening Nonesuch Gallery in 2001, Edna worked as an award-winning hand quilter. Her “Living A Dream” quilt, featured in the documentary “Quilting in the ‘90s” for the Library of Congress Folk Life Center, can be viewed on permanent display at the gallery. “Owning the gallery is so fun because we get to meet so many interesting people,” Edna said. “I love that.” Nonesuch Gallery is located at 638 River Street in Ontonagon.
Leonda Kessinger Shroyer spent hours as a child exploring ﬂea markets with her grandparents. This early fascination with vintage memorabilia stayed with her as she later taught English and drama for Decatur Public Schools. “During my 30 years of teaching, I scoured thrift shops for stage props, costumes and classroom items,” Leonda explained. “Once retired, I turned my treasure hunting hobby into a self-supporting business.” Her venture, Junque Gypsy, began 10 years ago as an online shop on Etsy. While some boutiques promote the latest trends, Shroyer sparks nostalgia in customers as she ﬁnds, restores and resells vintage toys, holiday decor, jewelry, handbags and linens. Popular-selling items on her Etsy shop include vintage luggage, and even 1970-era Tupperware, which are “best sellers” since “things aren’t made like they used to be,” Leonda said. Junque Gypsy has caught the eye of curators domestically and internationally. In 2014, the prop master for the television show “Mike and Molly” bought a 1950s folk art ﬁgure for the show. A curator from Switzerland once bought a cake topper for a museum display on baptism customs. Others just love Junque Gypsy’s wares for the memories they evoke. “Basically, I sell nostalgia,” Leonda concluded. “That makes me happy.”
Connie McDermott 4C’s Cookies & More
Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Member 4cscookies.com Connie McDermott’s cookie business is anything but cookie cutter. It all started four years ago when her daughter, Carly, was attending basic training with the Michigan National Guard. “Every week I would make a variety of cookies to send to my daughter,” Connie said. The cookies received rave reviews—not only from Carly, but also from the friends in her unit. When Connie realized others were enjoying the treats, she baked and sent enough to be shared. That’s when she knew she had to pursue cookie baking. For the next six months Connie logged countless hours, ﬁnally perfecting her recipes. “I named my business 4C’s Cookies because my mother-in-law used to refer to our family as the 4 C’s,” Connie explained. “My name is Connie, my husband is Curt, and our daughters are Casey and Carly.” Her determination along with assistance from local resources, including The Starting Block (recipient of a Great Lakes Energy People Fund Grant), has helped her business grow. Today, there are 10 ﬂavors of 4C’s Cookies sold in 16 locations across Michigan. The largest order comes from Bridge Street Market, a Meijer afﬁliate store in Grand Rapids. While she’s very happy with how well the business has done, Connie has even bigger plans. “I’d like to add online sales, ﬁnd a distributor and open a storefront bakery,” she remarked. “My dream is to focus my full-time energy on cookies!” MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES
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.
12 MARCH 2019
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.
LESS EXPENSIVE TO DRIVE 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.
eGALLON COST COMPARISON
What is an eGallon? It is the cost of fueling a vehicle with electricity, compared to a similar vehicle that runs on gasoline.
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 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.
GOING THE DISTANCE 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.
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 a renewable energy portfolio of nearly 20 percent, 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
1 4 0
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 countrylines.com/ev to find specific tax credit amounts for individual vehicles.
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.
Be on the lookout for more EV articles in future issues of Michigan Country Lines.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13
Easy Weeknight Dinners When you’re short on time, these easy meals are big on ﬂavor. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography
Rachel Cultice, Midwest Energy & Communications 1 1 1 4 2 8 1 • 1
pound ground beef tablespoon garlic, minced (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce cups broth (beef, chicken or vegetable) tablespoons dried parsley lasagna noodles, broken into 4 pieces each cup mozzarella cheese, shredded salt and pepper cup ricotta cheese
Brown ground beef in large pot. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Pour the marinara sauce, broth and parsley into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add noodles and mozzarella. Let cook, occasionally stirring about 15 minutes or until noodles are done to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste. Dish the stew into eight bowls and add a scoop of ricotta to the top of each. Serve immediately.
Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos
14 MARCH 2019
15 Minute Creamy Fettuccini Donna Smith, HomeWorks Tri-County
8 ounces fettuccini noodles (or any variation of pasta) 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese ½ cup butter ½ cup milk Optional ingredients: crushed garlic or garlic powder to taste, cooked or grilled chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, broccoli, etc. Cook fettuccini according to package directions. In a large saucepan over low heat, stir together the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, butter and milk. Stir frequently until smooth. Add cooked fettuccini and toss lightly. Double or triple ingredients as desired for larger parties.
Chicken Enchilada Bake
FEATURED GUEST CHEF
Jessica Burns, Thumb Electric
1 Rotisserie chicken 1 can enchilada sauce (mild or hot spice per your preference) 1 package Spanish rice 1 (15-ounce) can black beans 1 (15-ounce) can corn 1 (15-ounce) can Rotel tomatoes, optional • shredded ﬁesta blend cheese, divided • sour cream • Chipotle Tabasco sauce • sliced avocado/guacamole, optional Preheat oven to 350 F. Shred the rotisserie chicken. Cook the Spanish rice according to package directions. Mix the chicken, corn,
Ryan and Brianne Rademacher, owners of Bare Essential Oil, offer these quick, healthy no-bake pumpkin energy balls that taste like cookies but are good for you!
black beans, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and half the cheese. In a 9x13 pan, evenly spread the Spanish rice. Next, add the rotisserie chicken mixture and top with remaining half of the shredded cheese. Bake until bubbly. Serve and garnish with listed condiments.
Ravioli With Roasted Pepper Cream Michele Smith, Ontonagon REA
1 (24—26 ounce) package frozen cheese or meat ravioli 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, cut into bite-size pieces, reserve liquid ½ cup chicken stock 1 cup whipping cream ¾—1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Cook ravioli in boiling water about 7 minutes until ﬂoating and tender. Drain, set aside and keep warm. In a medium saucepan, combine peppers, reserved liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Stir in whipping cream.
Pumpkin Energy Balls Bring back to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring constantly until cheese has melted and sauce has thickened. Place ravioli on four plates, spoon sauce over ravioli and serve.
Delicious Vegetables: due April 1 Festive Desserts: due May 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. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.
Enter to win a
energy bill credit!
¾ 1 ½ 1¼ ¼ 3
cup creamy peanut butter tsp camelina oil cup pumpkin puree cups old-fashioned oats cup chia seeds Tbsp honey
Put the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for 2 hours; this will make them easier to roll. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the mixture into 12—14 balls. Chill for 2 more hours and enjoy! Read the full story about Ryan and Brianne Rademacher and Bare Essential Oil on page 6 and visit micoopkitchen.com to ﬁnd this recipe and others.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 15
Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 12-month period ended 12/31/18.
Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used Your co-op’s fuel mix
Fuel Source Oil
At their recent meetings, the PIE&G Board of Directors: • Authorized quarterly write-offs for uncollectible debt in the amount of $19,999.63
Regional average fuel mix used
Your Board In Action
Renewable Fuels 17.14%
Solid Waste Incineration
NOTE: Biomass above excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas; and wind includes a long-term renewable purchase power contract in Wolverine’s mix.
• Reviewed report by CFO Randy Stempky regarding management of the co-op’s long-term debt portfolio pursuant to Board Policy #201-Debt Portfolio Management. • Accepted team reports of CFO Randy Stempky, Manager of Operations & Engineering Scot Szymoniak, Manager of Information Systems Rick Kieliszewski, Controller Dawn Cyrderman, Director—Communications & Member Services Maire Chagnon-Hazelman and CEO Tom Sobeck. • Previewed agenda items for and set its next Member Regulation meeting for March 26 at 9 a.m. at the cooperative’s Onaway office.
Notice to Members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op A special board meeting is set for March 26, 9 a.m., at the cooperative’s Onaway office.
Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix
The board of directors will consider changes to the cooperative’s rates and tariffs at its meeting on March 26, 2019, to be held at 19831 M68 Highway, Onaway, Michigan. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. and is open to all members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. The session will begin with an opportunity for members to provide direct input to the board of directors. Members are asked to come to the lobby by 8:45 a.m. and request to speak to the board; staff will direct interested members to the meeting room. Time constraints on each member’s comments will be at the discretion of the board president, but members are asked to keep comments to less than five minutes.
Regional Average Fuel Mix
The following items will be discussed: • Reconciliation of the 2018 Power Supply Cost Recovery Factor collections, and • Consideration of revisions to the cooperative’s billing rules. Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh
Type Of Emission/Waste
Oxides of Nitrogen High-level Nuclear Waste
*Regional average information was obtained from MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/18. Presque Isle Electric & Gas purchases 100% of its electricity from Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., which provided this fuel mix and environmental data.
16 MARCH 2019
Notices of changes or additions to the cooperative’s rates or service rules shall be sent to all members, as required by P.A. 167, by first class mail or by publication in Michigan Country Lines at least 30 days prior to their effective date. Participation: Any interested member may attend and participate. Persons needing any accommodation to participate should contact Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op at 800-423-6634 a week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing or other assistance. Comments may also be made before the meeting date by calling CEO Thomas Sobeck at 800-423-6634, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look Out For Scams By Meghaan Evans, NRECA | Edited by M. Chagnon-Hazelman
Unfortunately, in today’s world, scams are inevitable. Scammers can threaten you with everything from legal action involving the IRS to turning off power to your home. Utility scams often involve an individual or group posing as an employee of your electric cooperative. The scammer may use threatening language to frighten you into offering your credit card or bank account information. Don’t fall victim to these types of scams. Understand the threats posed and your best course of action: • If someone calls your home or cell phone demanding that you pay your electric bill immediately, gather as much information as you can from the caller, hang-up the phone and contact the local authorities. Scammers often use threats and urgency to pressure you into giving them your bank account number or loading a pre-paid credit or debit card. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) will never call to ask you about your personal finance information over the phone. If you have any doubts, contact PIE&G’s Member Services department in person or by phone at 1-800-423-6634. • If someone comes to your home claiming to be a PIE&G employee to collect money or to inspect your property, tell them to wait outside. Lock the door and call PIE&G to verify if they are, in fact, an employee. If they are not, call local authorities for assistance and do not let the individual into your home.
Vacation Over And Back In Michigan? Don’t forget to contact PIE&G to let us know you are back from your winter vacation. Please call to provide a current meter reading on your electric and/or natural gas account and ask us to change your address back to your current residence. Our Member Services representatives are available at 800-423-6634 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
There are other types of scams consumers should watch out for: Government agencies, like the IRS, will never call to inform you that you have unpaid taxes or other liens against you. You will always receive this type of information in the mail. If someone calls claiming to be the IRS, hang-up immediately. • If you receive an email from an unknown sender, or an email filled with spelling errors and typos, or an email threatening legal action unless a sum of money is paid, do not click on any links provided in the email, and do not respond to the email. Simply delete the email, or send it to your spam folder by blocking it as “junk”. • If someone calls your home claiming to have discovered a virus on your computer, hang-up. This type of scammer wants to access personal information that may be stored on your computer, or they hope to convince you to pay them for “fixing” a nonexistent computer problem. PIE&G wants to make sure you avoid any and all types of scams that could put you or your financial information in jeopardy. If you would like more information about how to protect yourself from scammers, go online to FTC.gov and click on “Tips and Advice” for consumers.
PIE&G Office Closed For Good Friday
PIE&G will be closed on Friday, April 19, in observance of Good Friday. Access your account 24/7 at pieg.com or using the free SmartHub app for your tablet or smartphone. You may also pay or report readings anytime by calling 1-866-999-4571. Payments by check only (no cash) may be made in the drop box and will be posted on the next open business day.
MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 17
MI CO-OP Community
Guess this photo and enter to win a
energy bill credit!
Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by March 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the January issue is Brenda Nowak, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as Aloha State Park dock overlooking Mullet Lake. The dock has been a part of the Village of Aloha, State Park area, since at least 1912—as evidenced by photos from the book “Aloha & Aloha, Now and Then” written by the Aloha Historical Society. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.
18 MARCH 2019
Follow Michigan Country Lines On Instagram Follow us on our new Instagram account @michigancountrylines, where we celebrate the energy of rural Michigan. Marvel at Michigan’s majestic beauty, learn about new places to visit and experience rural Michigan life through the eyes of your fellow co-op members.
Your Photos With Us
Help us capture the energy of rural Michigan. Tag your photos with #micoopcommunity and they could be featured on our Instagram account. Your photo could even be chosen to print as the featured photo in our magazine. Get to snapping, we can’t wait to see what you share!
CALL US TODAY FOR A FREE HOME VISIT
NOW AVAILABLE AT Learn More SELECT STORES 989-356-2113 wellconnectsaves.com wellconnectsaves.com
THANK YOU Lineworkers serve on the frontlines of our energy needs; and on April 8, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op will honor the men and women who work in challenging and often dangerous conditions to keep the lights on. We are proud to recognize all electric lineworkers for the services they perform around the clock in difficult conditions to keep power flowing and protect the publicâ€™s safety. So, during the month of April, if you see a lineworker, please pause to say thank you to the power behind your power.