A Message to Our Customers

To Our Valued Customers:

This message addresses an incident that occurred that impacted parts of our electric distribution system.

At approximately 9:40 p.m. on January 27, 2023, a vehicle struck an electrical pole on the 3200 block of Monroe Street in the city of Madison, damaging Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE) infrastructure and resulting in a power outage. Some customers suffered property damage due to voltage variations caused by the vehicle crash. Crews responded to restore power safely as quickly as possible.   

We understand and appreciate the significant frustration and impacts associated with this unfortunate incident. Please know we work hard to prevent such events. Unfortunately, the outage and voltage variations were beyond our control due to the impacts of the vehicle crash on our distribution system. 

The events described in this communication reflect the information we have to date. We are continuing to investigate this event.

A vehicle crashing into a utility pole is not unusual—this vehicle crash created a rare and unlikely sequence of impacts to our system. The crash caused both an electrical outage and voltage variations, along with associated impacts, which is a rare combination to occur on our system. The outage and surge were not the result of something that MGE did or that we failed to do. But for the vehicle crash, none of this would have occurred. 

While rare and unlikely, these events still can happen on the most well-designed and well-protected systems, such as MGE's. The impact to the pole caused a fault current event on the distribution system. Within fractions of a second, the fault current caused a line to fail. This failure resulted in over-energizing another line, causing a surge. Customers may have experienced the impact of these events in a myriad of ways.  

Whether and to what extent customers may have experienced property damage due to the events caused by the vehicle crash depends on a large number of variables. These variables include customer surge protection equipment, specific appliances, and other factors.

As members of this community, we take our commitment to safe, reliable service and to industry best practices very seriously. Safe, reliable power is MGE's top priority every hour of every day. That said, there are things that happen outside of our control that can have unfortunate impacts to our valued customers. 

We understand this may be a busy and difficult time for you. We appreciate your patience with our investigation and with the unfolding insurance process. Our recommendation to customers has been to reach out to their homeowners insurance providers to try to get some of their costs covered for this unforeseen event. This communication may be provided to your homeowners insurance company if you suffered property loss resulting from this incident and plan to file a claim.

Insurance companies may process claims on their customers' behalf. We are available to work directly with your insurance agent on this matter if it is helpful in processing your claim. If you need further information to file a claim, please contact us at (608) 252-7222 or by email at mge@mge.com.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.