Scratch and Sniff

MGE customers who receive a paper bill also will receive a scratch-and-sniff bill insert every other year. The insert is distributed to help households identify the smell of natural gas used for heating homes and water, cooking and drying. (If you're signed up for paperless billing and would like to receive a scratch and sniff insert, please call MGE at (608) 252-7222.)

Recognize the smell of natural gas

Natural gas is odorless, but an odorant is added for safety. The distinctive sulfur-based odor helps to detect gas leaks. Some people say it smells like rotten eggs. But what does it smell like to you? MGE surveyed people in downtown Madison to see if they could recognize the smell.

MGE partners with local fire departments for safety

In many cases, firefighters and MGE respond to a suspected natural gas leak.

If you ever smell natural gas, don’t wait! Follow these steps for safety:

  • Don't touch anything electrical.
  • Leave the building.
  • Call MGE immediately from a neighbor's house. MGE is available 24/7.
  • Call MGE's emergency response line:
    • (608) 252-1111 for Madison-area calls.
    • (800) 245-1123 for long-distance calls.
  • Call 911.

Be a partner with us in keeping our community safe.

Visit to learn more.