MGE Electric Upgrade Projects

Español Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is upgrading the electric system in several Madison-area neighborhoods to enhance service reliability and to provide a more efficient delivery of electricity.
This work involves replacing aging facilities and installing new underground electric lines, as well as replacing or removing existing overhead power lines.

Why is this work needed?

MGE utility pole

Storms and wind can cause trees to fall or branches to bend or break into overhead electrical wires. Even small limbs that grow into and touch a high-voltage electric line can cause a short circuit, electrical outage or fire. Installing new underground high-voltage electric lines enhances reliability and reduces the need for tree trimming.
These projects also include the installation of enhanced electric grid monitoring and control technology to help reduce the duration of storm-related outages when they do occur.

How do these projects impact me?

Frequently Asked Questions


  • To reduce the impact to private properties, MGE will coordinate with the municipality to use right-of-way areas where practical to access the lines and equipment being upgraded.
  • When overhead lines are located on private properties, we may request easements from some property owners. MGE contacts those property owners individually.
  • Not all properties require an easement.
  • Learn more about utility easements.

Pole Line Removal

  • MGE’s overhead pole lines consist of MGE electric wires and equipment (1-5 in the diagram). We also are obligated to allow public communications utilities to jointly attach to MGE poles (6 and 7). 
  • A pole cannot be removed until all the facilities on it are also removed, including communications utilities and overhead service lines to homes. 
  • MGE works with communications utilities during electric upgrade projects to provide routes for underground conduit, but we cannot guarantee that they will bury underground facilities and remove their overhead lines. Communications and overhead service lines to homes may remain. 

Overhead Service Lines
These projects do not include the conversion of overhead electric wires to individual meters on customers’ homes. If you’d like to bury your electric service lines to your home, learn about the process and estimated costs.

Planned Outages

  • Electric outages occur throughout an electric upgrade project, but they are expected to be minimal.
  • We will communicate planned outages in advance. 
Tree Pruning
  • Not all properties require tree pruning, but it may be required in some areas to create safe clearances for the new wires and equipment.
  • An ISA Certified Arborist from MGE will contact property owners before any work is performed.
  • As a National Arbor Day Tree Line USA Utility, MGE appreciates our community’s urban forests. This project will enhance service reliability and reduce the need for future tree trimming. Learn about MGE's tree pruning process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What construction method will be used to install new underground cable?

Will my trees be impacted by the directional drilling?

Will my trees need to be trimmed?

How much disturbance can I expect by the construction activity?

Will the pole(s) on my property be removed?

Will my overhead service wires from the pole to my house remain?

Will I experience any power outages during construction?