How MGE Restores Power

Ensuring electric reliability is one of MGE's top priorities, and MGE consistently ranks among the top utilities in the country for the fewest outages. We realize, however, that when you lose power you want to know how quickly your service will be restored. Rest assured we are working as quickly as we safely can to put your power back on. On an average "blue sky day," MGE has historically restored power within 2 hours or less.

All outage restoration follows a five-step process. In small incidents, these steps are often done by a single crew and can be accomplished very quickly. In major outages, however, several parts of the company become involved.

Step One: Assessment
The first step of restoring service is always investigating the situation to understand what we are dealing with. We need to determine the extent of the damage, what repairs are needed and what resources—crews, trucks and equipment—will be required to fix it. In a large outage after a major storm or other emergency with so many situations to investigate, this assessment period may take 24 hours or more.

Step Two: Planning and Prioritizing
The second step is to plan and prioritize our restoration process. Every situation is different, but we follow a specific set of guidelines to determine the order of what gets fixed first.

MGE follows this order when restoring power:

  1. Situations that could endanger public health and safety such as live, downed wires.
  2. Vital public services—hospitals, police and fire departments, sewer and water facilities—that everyone needs.
  3. Damage to a transmission line or substation that sends power into the distribution system.
  4. Main distribution lines that feed the lines serving your neighborhood.
  5. Overhead or underground lines on an individual street.
  6. Service wire to a single home or business.

Step Three: Assembling and Deploying Resources
Then we assemble the resources—collect equipment, load the trucks, assign the crews and provide instructions—and deploy them into the field.

Step Four: Restoration
Once our crews are in the field, they provide updates to our Distribution Operations Center as they begin the physical restoration process.

Step Five: Evaluation
After every major event we review what was done well and what could have been done better so when the next situation arises, we will improve our restoration process.

See what it takes to replace a power pole. View Pole Replacement video.