Community Partnerships

MGE Energy Expert engaging with students at soccer event
We appreciate all the opportunities we have to work together with local stakeholders and our customers in pursuit of shared goals for our community. A few of our activities from 2021 and 2022 follow.

Engaging with the community

MEG employees hand out LED light bulbs

MGE partners with FOCUS ON ENERGY® and many community events to get energy-efficient LED light bulbs into the homes of our most vulnerable customers.

As community and neighborhood events started back up again in 2021 and 2022, MGE was excited to be able to more regularly engage with our customers face-to-face. While we were able to stay connected with customers during the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways, including some limited in-person interaction, there’s something to be said for sharing more time together face-to-face.

In partnership with FOCUS ON ENERGY®, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program, MGE works to get energy-efficient LED light bulbs into the homes of our most vulnerable customers. Lighting accounts for about 20% of the average household’s electric bill. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy and can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Together, we have provided customers with thousands of LED light bulbs as part of free energy kits handed out at various community and neighborhood events in 2021 and 2022 alone. For example, MGE helped pair free light bulbs with free meals as part of the Cook it Forward Free Community Meals Program in 2021. We also partnered with the Salvation Army to hand out light bulbs as part of its annual Backyard Bash community celebration in 2021 and 2022.

This is another example of how MGE works with our community partners to find ways to get resources to the people who need them. By pairing the light bulbs with an event sharing food or other resources, we’re able to help that event make an even bigger impact for those members of the community.

Celebrating culture and heritage

The Madison area’s African community represents more than 30 different African countries, and the community continues to grow. Founded in 1993, the African Association of Madison, Inc., was formed to help foster the advancement of Africans in the greater Madison area, sharing the diverse cultural heritages and traditions of this community. For more than 20 years, Africa Fest has been a summer tradition in Madison, celebrating everything about Africa. The community festival shares the cultural traditions of African immigrants in the Madison area and features traditional musicians, artists, dancers and food.

Africa Fest is organized by the African Association of Madison, Inc., in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison African Studies program, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission and the Madison Arts Commission. MGE is a longtime supporter of Africa Fest.

Helping protect the community

Community members explore MGE equipment at the annual Safety Saturday event

Safety Saturday returned to downtown Madison in 2022 after a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MGE is a longtime partner in this event coordinated by the Madison Fire Department.

After a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Safety Saturday returned to downtown Madison in 2022 for the first time since 2019. The popular event is coordinated by the Madison Fire Department and uses interactive displays and exhibits to educate parents, children and the public on ways to make safe decisions, prevent injuries and encourage the use of safety devices such as seat belts, bike helmets and smoke alarms.

A big part of MGE’s commitment to safety excellence is educating customers about being safe around electricity and natural gas. Several MGE employees staffed the company’s Safety Saturday display, which focused on natural gas and electric safety. MGE is a longtime sponsor of this community event.

Arbor Day tradition

Students and MGE employees after planting a tree for Arbor Day

Shorewood Elementary School students pose for a photo to commemorate the tree-planting event with MGE in celebration of Arbor Day 2022.

MGE celebrates Arbor Day annually with students in our service territory. In 2022, we marked the day with students at Shorewood Hills Elementary School. MGE helped purchase a few trees to be planted on and near school grounds. Students helped plant trees and shrubs and were treated to a tree-climbing and pruning demonstration and helped collect the trimmed branches. MGE has helped plant more than 80 trees around the school since 2005.

Earth Day celebrations

MGE Forestry Supervisor Tim Meisenheimer

MGE Forestry Supervisor Tim Meisenheimer helped students at Badger Rock Middle School plant apple trees in honor of Earth Day 2022.

MGE works with local students every year to celebrate Earth Day. In 2022, we celebrated by exploring energy, art and sustainability with students at multiple Madison schools. At Badger Rock Middle School, which focuses on sustainability year-round, students used MGE’s Pedal Power bicycle, creating enough energy to power a blender and turn on light bulbs. They also painted a mural to highlight the importance of water conservation and planted four apple trees.

Activities like these at area schools are planned around what’s taking place in the classroom. MGE’s ongoing partnership with Badger Rock is a natural fit, in part because of the school’s focus on sustainability and energy conservation.
East Washington Avenue at night
“In addition to our giving through the MGE Foundation, MGE also supports our community through partnerships and collaborations, memberships and sponsorships, and many other activities. With hundreds of local nonprofits, community organizations, institutions, and advocacy and other groups, we have many opportunities to partner for the betterment of our community.”
Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO