Fall 2015
Education Trends

MGE Community Energy Conversations

MGE Community Energy Conversations

MGE has collaborated with the Minneapolis-based Great Plains Institute to create a discussion guide that's being used in MGE's Community Energy Conversations, which launched this summer. Building a Community Energy Company for the Future explores some of the complex issues, such as rapidly changing technology, facing MGE and other utilities nationwide.

The nonprofit Great Plains Institute, which focuses on energy and climate change-related issues, assisted MGE with developing the 30-page guide. Each participant in MGE's Community Energy Conversations will receive a copy for review ahead of a scheduled session. The guide is designed to encourage an informed, deliberate exchange of information and feedback during the conversations. MGE also will be promoting widely the informative guide and sharing with customers multiple ways in which they may submit their ideas and opinions in addition to attending the in-person conversations.

A Spanish version of the guide has been created as well as an abbreviated version in Hmong. Justice and Sustainability Associates (JSA), MGE's independent facilitator for the conversations, anticipates hosting sessions in Spanish and Hmong to ensure MGE hears from its diverse customer base. Building a Community Energy Company for the Future is available online at www.mge.com/conversations.

JSA is starting with a series of small group sessions, which will include roughly a dozen participants each. The first sessions engaged customers who expressed an interest in participating after receiving an email from JSA. Earlier this summer, JSA CEO Don Edwards and his staff contacted a random sampling of MGE customers. JSA continues to contact customers and other local stakeholders for participation in these meaningful discussions.

JSA anticipates 50 or more small group sessions through fall 2015 followed by one or more town hall-style meetings. Feedback generated through the Community Energy Conversation process, as well as MGE's ongoing collaborative efforts with the Citizens Utility Board and Clean Wisconsin, will be used to inform MGE's next long-term energy plan and the company's next steps toward building a community energy company for the future.

With dramatic developments in technology presenting both challenges and opportunities for MGE, the company is seeking guidance from stakeholders as we chart our future course in:

  • Innovative and responsive customer services,
  • Reliable and affordable energy services,
  • Future sources and costs of energy,
  • Different ways customers can impact our energy future and costs,
  • MGE's role as your community energy company of the future.
For more information and to register, visit www.mge.com/conversations.