MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy (SCE), a grassroots shareholder group, released the results of the community vote on Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) producing a roadmap to eliminate coal and move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 or sooner. A total of 98.8 percent of those who voted wanted MGE to produce the public report. SCE officials said the group offered to meet with MGE representatives to discuss the results but were turned down by MGE’s chief counsel.

The subject of the vote mirrored the resolution that four shareholders submitted to be included in the 2019 MGE proxy statement, which was denied by the company.

MGE did announce a goal of net zero carbon electricity by 2050 at the May 14 shareholder meeting, but SCE’s shareholders are concerned the goal may not be enough to mitigate the impacts from climate change.

“Although climate change is a global problem, the community vote clearly demonstrates our desire for MGE to show local leadership and get off all fossil fuels,” said Don Ferber, one of the shareholders who filed the original resolution.

“We see that MGE is responding to the community voice by increasing its adoption of solar and wind, but it needs to quicken the pace and be an example for other utilities to follow,” added Beth Esser, a Monona shareholder and mother of two young children. “I want my children to know that everyone in their local community, including MGE, is doing everything they can to make their future less a climate disaster.”

MGE also announced it will set up a relationship with UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute to assess how to get to MGE’s net zero carbon from electricity goal.

“It’s great that MGE is using the highly regarded Nelson institute to assess the net zero carbon goal,” said Don Wichert, Madison shareholder and Nelson Institute graduate said. “The process should be open and should also look at achieving 100 percent renewable energy versus net zero, as well as reducing carbon emissions 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 as climate reports are urging.”

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