|For Immediate Release
Contact: Mitch Brey, RePower Madison
MGE Hand Picks Who Has Input, Excludes the Rest
MADISON, WI — RePower Madison (RPM) is calling on Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) to shed light on next steps of the community engagement process and involve citizens.
After being told to expect further community engagement, most customers of MGE are being kept in the dark on what is happening next. A Community Energy Workshop is scheduled for April 19th, but it is unclear how to participate and what will be discussed.
“This is supposed to be an impartial process. It is not acceptable for MGE to hand pick who attends the Community Energy Workshop. Madison’s future should not be decided behind closed doors,” said Mitch Brey with RPM.
RPM is suggesting the following improvements to the workshop:
- The community spoke clearly in the Community Energy Conversations and the CEC report should not be glossed over. MGE should provide those results to participants and use them as “building blocks” for the workshop discussion, as recommended by JSA.
- Workshop participants should not be selected by MGE alone, and MGE should be transparent by releasing information on who they invite. Customers who cannot attend should be afforded an opportunity to provide input on workshop topics.
- Participants should be provided information from various sources before and at the event.
- The agenda should include discussion of the structure of a potential Community Energy Partnership, as well as the award-winning Minneapolis community energy partnership.
“A community energy company’s highest responsibility should be to their customers. The people in the community should have a strong voice,” said Don Ferber, chair of RPM.
The firm hired by MGE recommends input from the CECs be the starting point for the workshop and that a Community Energy Partnership be formed. Dissatisfaction over the higher mandatory fees was identified as crucial to resolve, since it prompted the Conversations in the first place.
“It would be disappointing to ignore the issue that triggered the Conversations originally. Discussion of customers’ top concerns is a must if this event is to be a success,” said Brey.
RePower Madison wants Madison to be a leader in clean energy with fair & affordable bills.