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PIE&G and CoBank Partner for Matching Grant Program

The Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors recently approved annual participation in Co-Bank’s “Sharing Success” program, a $3 million charitable fund designed to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support throughout rural America.  CoBank is a non-profit, cooperative bank that PIE&G uses and is a member of.  Under the program, CoBank matches contributions by its cooperative members to the charitable organizations of their choice on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $5,000.  CoBank requires that the charitable organization is established as a non-profit under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service code. Other potentially eligible organizations include schools, churches, and government organizations, as long as the donation serves a public purpose and is consistent with the program’s purpose and guidelines.  Organizations that are political in nature, that limit their activities based on religious affiliation, or discriminate do not qualify.

Applications for the 2017 Sharing Success Program will be accepted from Monday, July 17 through Friday, September 1.  PIE&G will select the eligible applicant or applicants by September 30 and submit them to CoBank for consideration. CoBank reserves the right to review and determine eligibility of the recipient organizations.

The application form must be completed in its entirety, and is available at www.pieg.com/content/sharing-success. Completed applications should be mailed to:  PIE&G Cobank Sharing Success, PO Box 308, Onaway MI 49765 or emailed to ddemaestri@pieg.com.  A copy of the designated charity’s IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption notification must be included with the application. If the organization is not a 501(c)(3), please submit the organization’s taxpayer identification number (TIN), also referred to as an employer identification number (EIN).  Questions may be directed to Deanna at 800-423-6634 extension 1011.

NRECA Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Because our Cooperative roots run deep...

To honor PIE&G’s partnership and to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the NRECA will plant a commemorative tree at its Arlington headquarters and Lincoln office in soil collected from each of the member cooperatives. 

Recently, PIE&G sent a small soil sample from our cooperative to NRECA so they can plant a tree in our honor – one whose nourishment and growth is supported by PIE&G and other coops across the nation which helped the NRECA grow to become 75 years strong!

 

Planting a 75th anniversary tree

Perform An Annual Safety Inspection On Your Boat And Dock To Prevent Electric Shock

For boating and water safety, there are items you must legally have on your watercraft—life vests, a fire extinguisher, throwable flotation devices, and properly working lights—but make sure the boat and the dock are safe, too. Sadly, there have been incidents of electric shock drownings. It happens when a current, often from a short circuit in the wiring of boats or in a dock, spreads through the water. As a result, those who are in the water will be electrocuted and end up drowning. 

To help prevent accidents, the National Electrical Contractors Association says:

  • All installations should be performed by a professional electrical contractor.
  • All dock receptacles must comply with the National Electrical Code, which mandates a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI measures a circuit’s current and senses any imbalance (such as a discharge into the water), which trips the GFCI and cuts off the power.
  • Test any GFCIs every month. Locate them along the ramp to the dock so they can be easily tested by local fire departments.
  • Metal dock frames should have “bonding jumpers” that connect all metal parts to an on-shore grounding rod. This means any dock part that becomes energized by electrical malfunction will trip the GFCI or circuit breaker.
  • Ask neighbors if their dock electrical systems have been inspected and are up to code.
  • Household wire is not suitable for boats.
  • Do not use wire nuts (these are for solid conductor wire, which should never be on a boat) or splice connectors which can cut wire strands!
  • Fuses are rated to protect the wire, not the stereo. If a fuse blows continuously, something else is wrong.
  • If you rent a dock or boat, notify the owner of safety violations immediately.
  • Have your boat’s system (especially with onboard generators) checked at least annually and when something is added or removed.
  • Ropes, string, masts and rigging also conduct electricity—don’t be the common ground between water and electricity!

See SafeElectricity.org for more tips.

Boat dock safety

PIE&G Communities First Fund Board Awards $15,500 in Scholarships to Area High School Grads

April 27, 2017 (Onaway) Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue to assist area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings. Member contributions to the PIE&G Communities First Fund (“CFF”) provide resources for grants and scholarships to benefit their local communities in PIE&G’s service area.

At their recent meeting, the CFF board of directors awarded fifteen (15) scholarships of $1,000 each to each of the following 2017 high school graduates:

ALMONT                                                            INLAND LAKES          

Sydney Torres                                                    MacKenzie Hemmer

Hayley Torres                                                     Regan Bunker

ALPENA                                                              JOHANNESBURG-LEWISTON

Trevor Roznowski                                              Destiny Pryor

                                                                             Kristin McCormick

ATLANTA                                                             ONAWAY

Brianna Gross                                                     Cameron Horn

Tiffany Juergens                                                 Noel Nash

Enrico Racz-Reene        

CHEBOYGAN                                                      POSEN

Jeffrey Ostman Jr.                                              Izaiah Hincka

                                                                            WOLVERINE

                                                                            Teah Lowe

 

In addition to the above scholarships, the A. Barkley Travis Memorial Scholarship, valued at $500, was awarded Ashley Wirgau of Rogers City.

The PIE&G Communities First Fund is managed by an all volunteer, independent board of directors. Students must meet CFF scholarship program requirements. For more information, go to the 'Communities First' tab on this website and follow the the link to Scholarships.

Thank a Lineworker

As the “first responders” of the electric co-op family, lineworkers perform around-the-clock duties in dangerous conditions and challenging situations to keep power flowing and protect the public’s safety. These brave members of our community go above and beyond to restore power to their neighborhoods and towns, often in the most hazardous environment. That’s why electric co-ops have designated the second Monday in April as National Lineman Appreciation Day. This year, April 10 is the day we honor the hard-working men and women who keep the lights on.

Resolutions adopted by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) explain it best: “Whereas linemen leave their families and put their lives on the line every day to keep the power on; Whereas linemen work 365 days a year under dangerous conditions to build, maintain and repair the electric infrastructure; Whereas there would be no electric co-ops without the brave men and women who comprise our corps of lineworkers.” Lineworkers everywhere deserve this special day of recognition.

These highly-skilled men and women light our homes and businesses every day. They endure harsh weather and long hours, all to make our lives more comfortable. On April 10 (and every day), please take a moment to thank them. Lineworkers are the heart of the co-op nation, proud and strong.

Use #ThankALineman on social media to show your support for the men and women who light our lives.

From PIE&G's March-April 2017 issue of Country Lines Magazine, page 12

Earn $50 for recycling an old inefficient appliance

 An old refrigerator or freezer can cost you hundreds of dollars to operate each year. A new qualifying Energy Star rated refrigerator can reduce your monthly electric bill and you'll earn a $50 rebate for recycling the old one through our Energy Optimization program. To learn more, call 1-877-296-4319 or visit Michigan-energy.org and select PIE&G for details on qualifying products.

Appliance recycling graphic

Congratulations Communities First Fund Winners !

To promote and recognize participation in the PIE&G Communities First Fund, all current and newly enrolled members were automatically entered to win one of three prizes in a random drawing held February 6, 2017. The following lucky members were selected:

1st prize –Kyle Kowalewsky (HP notebook computer) 

2nd prize –John Fritzer (Samsung Tablet)

3rd prize –Jacqueline Calhoun ($50 bill credit)

Thank you to everyone who participates in the Fund and for helping to support our local communities. Your small change adds up to make a big difference in northeast Michigan!

Kyle Kowalewsky

MPSC: Stay safe during power outages caused by windstorms

LANSING, Mich. – In the aftermath of widespread windstorms, many Michiganians have found themselves without electricity as utilities work to restore power. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) are urging utility customers to exercise caution using supplemental home heating sources or when using portable generators.

“Safety is of paramount importance during power outages,” noted MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “MAE’s tips sheets on what to do when electric power is lost, safely using supplemental home heating sources and the safe use of a portable generator provide important life-saving information. It is also of extreme importance to treat all downed wires as ‘live’ and avoid contact.”

Other useful information on how to stay safe before, during and after winter storms or extreme cold is available on the Ready.gov website.

For more information about MAE, please visit www.michigan.gov/energy.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc.

PIE&G Partner CoBank Launches"No Barriers" Program for Veterans With Disabilities

December 12, 2016 (Onaway) – CoBank, a cooperative bank serving rural infrastructure providers throughout the United States, including electric cooperatives like Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op, recently announced a new program for veterans with disabilities.  In partnership with its customers and the nonprofit group “No Barriers USA”, CoBank will sponsor up to 50 veterans from rural areas across the U.S. to participate in outdoor expeditions that challenge them mentally and physically and help them to transform their lives. PIE&G and other eligible CoBank borrowers will be able to nominate veterans from their local communities to participate in the No Barriers Warriors program, with CoBank covering the full cost for each veteran, including travel expenses. Selected veterans will go through the program in 2017.

“Every American owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve in the armed forces and protect our country,” said Brian Burns, PIE&G’s chief executive officer.  “Those who are wounded or injured in the course of duty are even more deserving of our thanks.  At PIE&G, we want to do our part to honor veterans and repay them for their service to the nation.”  Burns noted that over 5 million of the nation’s 22 million veterans are located in rural areas. PIE&G is looking to its members to nominate deserving individuals from their communities who would benefit from the No Barriers experience.

No Barriers was co-founded by Erik Weihenmayer, an internationally renowned mountain climber and the only blind person in history to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.  Weihenmayer has been a regular speaker at CoBank meetings over the past several years and has shared his inspirational message about overcoming barriers and challenges to live a life rich in meaning and purpose with the bank’s customers and employees.

“Through the Warriors program, No Barriers has been working with veterans with disabilities for years,” said Weihenmayer. “We’ve seen the transformation that takes place when veterans are able to overcome the mental and physical challenges involved in one of our expeditions, and then apply the skills they’ve learned to the challenges faced in the day-to-day lives. We’re grateful to CoBank for their partnership and opportunity to serve even more of our nation’s veterans with disabilities.”

Mr. Burns added “We look forward to partnering with CoBank to make this effort a success.”  Nominations of rural veterans with disabilities to participate in the 2017 program are being accepted immediately.  Candidates must have a VA disability rating.  Detailed information about the nomination process and requirements is available on Facebook (Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op), or by calling PIE&G Member Services at 1-800-423-6634.

 

Sign Up and Win 1 of 3 Prizes!

Enroll Today in the Communities First Fund!

All members enrolled before February 6, 2017 (including those already participating) will be automatically entered to win one of three prizes: first prize is an HP notebook computer, second prize  is a Samsung tablet, and third prize is a PIE&G $50 bill credit.  

Call Member Services at 1-800-423-6634 to enroll now, or complete the form here and drop it at our office or mail it with your utility payment to PIE&G, P O Box 308, Onaway, MI  49765. Good Luck!

Challenge rider on a horse

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