Tom Sobeck, PIE&G President & CEO

You may think my column title is an unusual statement from your cooperative, but it is at the core of our mission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is committed to promoting the prosperity of our rural communities. Only when our communities are successful are we, too, successful. As your energy provider, we must deliver safe, reliable, and affordable energy to your homes and businesses. This is a tremendous responsibility. We face the same challenges that many of our members face: rising costs, material shortages, lack of skilled labor, and weather-related events, to name a few. In addition, most expect lights will always be on, and the natural gas will always flow.

PIE&G’s goal is to meet that expectation as economically as possible, today, tomorrow, and for many years to come. That means that the decisions that PIE&G leadership makes today—to invest in our new headquarters facility, the advanced metering infrastructure project, and a massive fiber-to-the-home project—may not be comfortable ones to make, but the long-term impact on future rates, reliability, and the prosperity of our region does outweigh those present-day costs.

PIE&G is no longer just an energy utility. We are now a communications utility too. Our success continues to depend on the success of our members and our region. The introduction of high-speed internet access was an intimidating decision, but high-speed internet will transform our region in ways we will all benefit from. Vital services such as specialized medical care and advanced educational offerings have always been readily available to those living in more urban, populated areas. Having access to high-speed fiber internet services will allow our members the option to remain in the area we’ve grown to appreciate for all its natural beauty, while still receiving quality care and educational services along with all the other opportunities that a world-class fiber optic network will provide.

I am confident that our board of directors’ decisions over the last few years will set your cooperative and our region on a path to prosperity. I look forward to the day we can reflect on our progress and say, “Yes, it was worth it!”