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Engaging our customers where they are

 

MGE staff answering questions at an event.
As your community energy company, we seek to engage all our customers in a variety of ways. We work to ensure all customers experience us as “their” community energy company. Understanding the barriers our customers may face and meeting them “where they are” is at the core of our mission.

We recognize that customers have varied needs and that the communities we serve are continually growing and becoming more diverse. We work to develop culturally competent initiatives, communications and services for our customers. Our dedication to understanding our customers and meeting their unique needs is reflected in how we engage, support and partner with those we serve.

MGE has two departments, Residential and Community Services and Business Customer Relations, dedicated to community relationships and partnerships within specific customer segments. These departments have employees assigned to specific customer segments, including Latino customers, Hmong customers, neighborhood associations, advocacy organizations, communities of faith, lower-income customers, multifamily customers, agricultural customers, nonprofits, state and local governments, hospitals, minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, major customers and others.

MGE maintains relationships with many different sectors in our community and works in partnership with more than 200 local organizations and community stakeholders to reach customers who may be more difficult to reach directly due to either language or cultural barriers or other reasons. MGE seeks to engage all customer segments by having account managers and Residential and Community Services managers build relationships.

Connecting with our diverse customer base
participating in MGE Día de Fútbol event
MGE is committed to serving and connecting with our richly diverse communities through a myriad of partnerships and engagement strategies. To help us stay connected with our evolving multicultural customer base, MGE’s Residential and Community Services team develops culturally competent digital resources that integrate social media, web content and videos to serve our communities of color. MGE also partners with local groups and organizations to connect with Spanish- and Hmong-speaking customers.

At livinginbalancemadison.com, MGE shares stories and videos from our Residential and Community Services team, community leaders, customers and local businesses about what it means to be sustainable and how MGE is working together with customers to meet shared sustainability goals.

MGE is committed to supporting family-friendly activities that help us engage with our customers directly and create enriching experiences for all those we serve. Residential and Community Services team members staff various community events and host energy workshops to engage and connect with customers about energy and our resources and tools. One example is MGE’s Día de Fútbol in the fall at Madison’s Breese Stevens Field. The partnership among MGE, Forward Madison FC and La Movida Radio provides the community a chance to enjoy free youth soccer clinics and safety and energy-saving information from MGE’s energy experts.

Advancing diversity through future generations
MGE works to advance diversity in the energy industry by partnering with local organizations to provide educational career-oriented programming for area youth. These events, programs and partnerships help to introduce energy-related careers to students with backgrounds underrepresented in the utility industry.

MGE Career Ambassadors
Each summer, several Madison high school students spend six weeks at MGE as part of our Career Ambassador Program, now through its eighth year. The Career Ambassador Program is a pre-college program for local high school students from partnering organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Centro Hispano, 100 Black Men of Madison and Maydm. Students interact with employees from different areas of the company and learn about the utility business and utility-related career opportunities. The students also gain valuable experience in the workforce.
MGE and STEAM

STEAM Camp
Since 2017, STEAM Camp has been a summertime activity at MGE. Dozens of middle school students participate in the weeklong camp typically held at sites across Madison. STEAM Camp engages the students in educational pathways that lead to careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). MGE employees help STEAM Camp participants learn how MGE is growing our use of renewable energy and advancing electric vehicles (EVs). They also learn about STEAM careers in the utility industry. Strang Architects of Madison partners with the Urban League of Greater Madison to bring STEAM Camp to MGE and other local organizations.

College internships
MGE hosts college interns throughout the year in a variety of departments, providing them with valuable skills to advance their careers. Giving local students exposure to careers in energy also benefits MGE. Several past and present MGE employees started their careers with the company as college interns.
College interns at MGE

STEAM Camp participants at MGE

MGE career ambassadors


Community education
MGE connects with students annually through various programs, events and other activities, providing utility-based education to students across our service territory, both inside and outside the classroom. Topic areas range from energy efficiency and sustainability to safety and careers. We also support opportunities for teachers through Wisconsin’s K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP). KEEP was established in 1995 to improve and to increase energy education in Wisconsin. The collaborative effort offers professional development opportunities for certified teachers in the state. Teachers whose schools are located in MGE’s gas and electric service area can receive partial scholarships from MGE to offset the cost of coursework. In 2022, KEEP reached more than 75 educators and more than 60 youth through training, community engagement and networking in MGE’s service territory. An additional 840 students are estimated to have been supported indirectly through KEEP curriculum.

MGE also offers several popular loaned educational resources, including our Pedal Power bicycle, Solar Oven, Watts Up electricity consumption meters and a mini photovoltaic kit. These resources are designed as supplemental classroom aids or are used at community events to engage young people in energy efficiency, conservation and clean energy. They are promoted through our Powerline teacher newsletter, which provides information about MGE’s resources, tools, programs and presentations for area schools.

Arbor Day tradition
MGE celebrates Arbor Day annually with students in our service territory. In 2023, we marked the 20th year of a combined celebration with Shorewood Hills Elementary School and the Village of Shorewood Hills. MGE helped purchase a few trees to be planted on and near school grounds. Students helped plant trees and shrubs and experienced a tree-pruning demonstration. MGE has helped plant more than 80 trees around the school since 2005.

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Earth Day celebration
MGE works with local elementary and middle school students every year to celebrate Earth Day. In 2023, we expanded our reach to include more schools, offering the opportunity to interact with about 500 students. We celebrated by exploring renewable energy and EVs. With our Pedal Power bicycle, students created energy to make hummus. They also painted a landscape-themed mural and planted 14 trees.

A number of MGE employees also commemorate Earth Day by participating in the company’s annual Adopt-a-Highway event. In 2023, about 20 employees collected about 50 bags full of trash from both sides of a one-and-a-half-mile stretch of highway within our service territory.
Earth Day activities.

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