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Letter to our shareholders
Charting our future course
Financials: Form 10-K
MGE Energy is an investor-owned public utility holding company headquartered in the state capital of Madison, Wis. MGE Energy is the parent company of Madison Gas and Electric Co. The utility provides natural gas and electric service in south-central and western Wisconsin. Assets total approximately $1.7 billion. In 2015, revenue was approximately $564 million. See the Corporate Profile on the inside back cover.
As we build a community energy company of the future, we will work toward meeting new strategic energy goals and objectives. Innovative technologies, products and services provide opportunities to work with our customers and provide a cleaner energy future for the next generations.
In 2015, we marked 40 years of consistent dividend increases. This performance reflects our steadfast commitment to shareholder value. During the last 40 years, we have grown assets by nearly eight times as we have invested to ensure reliability and take advantage of new technology.
During this 10-year period, MGE invested in building infrastructure such as electric generation and distribution systems to serve our growing service area. Energy reliability always has been core to our mission. We also began researching new technology to develop renewable resources for the future.
MGE expanded natural gas operations and continued its emphasis on energy reliability. Meanwhile, high-tech businesses began to grow as computing options became more mainstream. MGE implemented its own new technology and worked with the community to establish a foothold for technology-based companies in Madison.
MGE began establishing our leadership in renewable energy. Our first wind farm allowed us to launch our green power program. We also installed solar units to better understand how photovoltaic technology performs. MGE Energy invested in one of the cleanest Midwest power plants to serve the community and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
MGE set strategic and ambitious goals under our Energy 2015 framework for a cleaner, reliable future. We established these goals following our first round of Community Energy Conversations. We listened to our customers, set our framework and met our goals.
MGE continues to change and innovate as we work toward building the community energy company of the future. Following a second round of Community Energy Conversations, we announced our Energy 2030 framework that sets goals to increase renewable energy and further decrease carbon emissions.
Year at a Glance
(Thousands, except per share amounts and shares outstanding)
|Total Market Value (Dec. 31)||$ 1,608,612||$ 1,581,224||$ 27,388||1.7|
|Market Price Per Share (Dec. 31)||$ 46.40||$ 45.61||$ 0.79||1.7|
|Book Value Per Share||$ 19.92||$ 19.02||$ 0.90||4.7|
|Average Shares Outstanding||34,668,370||34,668,370||-||0.0|
|Shares Outstanding at Year-End||34,668,370||34,668,370||-||0.0|
|Operating Revenues||$ 564,028||$ 619,852||$ (55,824 )||-9.0|
|Net Income||$ 71,343||$ 80,319||$ (8,976 )||-11.2|
|Basic and Diluted Earnings Per Share||$ 2.06||$ 2.32||$ (0.26 )||-11.2|
|Dividends Declared Per Share||$ 1.16||$ 1.11||$ 0.05||4.5|
|Dividend Payout Ratio||56.3%||47.8%||8.5%||17.8|
|Total Assets||$ 1,730,673||$ 1,694,184||$ 36,489||2.2|
|Total Retail Electric Sales (kWh)
Total Gas Deliveries (therms)
For detailed financial information, see the 2015 MGE Energy Form 10-K.
"We are dedicated to producing long-term value for our shareholders."
Gary J. Wolter,
MGE Energy Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Officer
As the energy world is changing around us, we have established a new framework—Energy 2030—that sets our direction for the next 15 years. Throughout our report, we have details about Energy 2030 including our ambitious goals and objectives. Energy 2030 builds on our previous accomplishments and continues our commitment to provide value to shareholders, customers and the communities we serve.
Long-term value is important to our shareholders. At MGE Energy, we understand the important role dividend growth and stock price appreciation play in our investors' portfolios.
Our company has increased dividends for 40 consecutive years. Only four other combination, investor-owned utilities nationwide share this accomplishment.
Annual dividends paid per share have increased from $0.36 in 1975 to $1.16 in 2015. Our Board of Directors most recently increased the dividend by 4.4%. MGE Energy dividend increases for each of the last four years have been larger than any increase in the prior two decades.
We also have seen steady stock price appreciation. At the closing bell in 2015, our stock price was $46.40—up from $45.61 at the close of 2014. Over the last 10 years, our stock price has outpaced the national indices of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. In the last decade, our stock price has nearly doubled.
The combination of stock price appreciation and reinvested dividends results in shareholder total return. Once again, MGE Energy's total return surpassed other indices. A $1,000 investment in MGE Energy at the end of 2010 grew to $1,900 by the close of 2015 with reinvested dividends.
In 2015, we reported earnings of $2.06 per share, compared to $2.32 per share in 2014. Earnings were down due to a 27% decrease in gas retail sales resulting from warmer winter weather in 2015 compared to extremely cold weather in 2014. Electric net income also was lower due in part to lower customer demand.
Top: Steady investments and a commitment to continuous improvements help make MGE one of the most reliable utilities in the nation.
Bottom: Dan, Dawn and 1-year-old Joe Sage use a smart thermostat to stay comfortable in their recently remodeled 1940s home. By 2030, Joe will be 17—part of the next generation of energy consumers who will take advantage of evolving technologies and renewable resources for a cleaner future.
We have introduced an ambitious framework for our energy future. Energy 2030 builds on our now completed Energy 2015 framework that we launched 10 years ago.
Under Energy 2015, MGE eliminated coal at its downtown Madison power plant and increased energy from renewable resources by almost 12 times. MGE also reduced carbon emissions by approximately 20% since 2005—even with a growing population in our service area.
Historically for MGE, as for other Midwestern utilities, the majority of our electricity has been generated from coal. Our Energy 2015 framework began our transition away from aging fossil fuel-fired power plants. We do not plan to build new coal facilities to meet future energy needs. Instead, our Energy 2030 framework continues our transition to a more environmentally sustainable energy supply.
With Energy 2030, we have set new long-range goals and objectives to continue moving toward a cleaner energy future. We began by listening to those we serve. Energy 2030 was informed by customer and stakeholder meetings and surveys. We also conducted our own industry research, planning and analysis.
Currently, the utility industry is facing transformative change with new technology for customers—from more affordable solar power units to smart thermostats and appliances. Technology also is transforming our electric grid—allowing us to make it smarter and more advanced.
Our Energy 2030 framework consists of six long-term objectives. They include two significant, strategic goals:
Our Energy 2030 framework will seize the opportunities that new technology and products offer while providing our customers with affordable, reliable energy to serve the 21st century economy.
Guided by Energy 2030, we will invest in new technology and to make our energy supply more sustainable while enhancing the value we provide to our customers and shareholders.
In 2015, we had our best year ever for electric reliability. We achieved the fewest number of outages since we began recording this data in 2002. For every year since 2007, MGE has ranked in the top four utilities nationwide for electric reliability.
Natural gas reliability and safety are critical to our customers. We are there when our customers need us. In a nationwide survey of over 80 utilities, MGE recorded the third fastest response times to customer calls reporting natural gas leaks. We averaged a 17-minute response time, compared to a national average of 28 minutes. The survey, released in 2015, is based on 2014 statistics.
We work hard to measure and continually improve our environmental performance. As a result:
I want to thank three of our officers who retired or transitioned to new ventures during 2015: Kristine Euclide, who served as general counsel; Scott Neitzel, who served as a senior vice president; and Peter Waldron, who served as a vice president. We value the expertise they brought to our organization.
In 2015, we expanded our officer corps with Cari Anne Renlund, who joined as general counsel, and three internal promotions to assistant vice president—Jared Bushek, Tamara Johnson and Don Peterson. Our new officers will help us as we build the community energy company of the future—taking advantage of new technology, making strategic investments and developing new customer products and services to advance our Energy 2030 framework.
Thank you for your confidence in MGE Energy.
Gary J. Wolter
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Above: Our strategic energy plan calls for transitioning toward supplying 30% of retail electricity sales with renewable resources by 2030.
We are continuing our transition to a cleaner energy future and working with our customers to take advantage of evolving technologies.
Above: More than 400 renewable energy sources are connected to MGE's electric grid, such as this solar installation. MGE owns some solar units, while others are owned by customers.
Above: MGE has a history of leading in renewable energy. In 1999, we built the first large wind farm in the eastern half of the United States.
Below: Our Green Power Tomorrow program, also launched in 1999, remains a national leader in customer participation. The Dane County Humane Society is one of the many customers who purchase green energy.
Our vision for the future is a bold framework called Energy 2030, which advances our company's long-standing commitment to cleaner energy, innovative products and services, and customer engagement.
Energy 2030 builds on our now completed Energy 2015 framework. Like our new energy framework, Energy 2015 was informed by customer engagement. Under Energy 2015, MGE:
For our Energy 2030 framework, we once again gathered extensive customer input. We held community meetings, conducted customer surveys, met with numerous stakeholders and completed our own planning and analysis.
From all of this input, we developed our Energy 2030 framework. Over the next 15 years, we plan to:
Throughout 2016 and beyond, we will further engage with customers and stakeholders as we explore new ideas and ways to advance Energy 2030.
Technological advancements, such as affordable solar photovoltaics and smart appliances, will give us the opportunity to work with customers and learn how we can serve them with new products and services. We want to use new technology to add value for customers, shareholders and our communities.
Our Energy 2030 framework may evolve as customer preferences, technology, markets and regulatory requirements change over time. With strong customer participation and the continuing rapid development of technology, we hope to meet and, if possible, exceed the goals set in Energy 2030.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to meet our fundamental obligation to serve customers and deliver critical services to our communities as we create a more sustainable future with new technologies, initiatives and investments.
Listening to and partnering with our customers allow us to better understand their priorities and how to meet their needs going forward.
Above: MGE held Community Energy Conversations, facilitated by Justice and Sustainability Associates (JSA), to gather customer input about our collective energy future. JSA CEO Don Edwards designed and led our community-wide effort.
Above: MGE works with customers who own electric vehicles to learn more about vehicle charging and how it impacts the electric distribution grid.
Below: MGE provided housing and space to Madison Fire Department personnel while their downtown station was undergoing renovation.
We are committed to engaging with our customers and stakeholders. We work hard to listen, be responsive and balance the needs and preferences of everyone we serve. As we work toward becoming the community energy company of the future, we are deepening our opportunities for customer engagement.
In 2015, we embarked upon unprecedented customer engagement that included nearly 100 meetings with various customers. These "Community Energy Conversations" were small-group sessions that provided opportunity for input about our collective energy future and helped inform our Energy 2030 framework.
As we move forward with Energy 2030, we will continue to engage and partner with our customers and others to meet our goals and objectives—especially for the innovative products and services that our customers want.
For example, as solar energy installation costs decrease and customer interest in solar continues to rise, MGE plans to integrate more solar energy into the electric grid. MGE is exploring new options for solar energy, such as community solar, that will give customers the opportunity to benefit from renewable energy generated right here at home.
We also will explore more options for customers to manage the way they use energy. These may include home energy automation systems, smart-appliance programs and electric vehicle charging choices. We will work to take advantage of evolving technologies and will work to design new programs that provide value to customers.
For nearly a decade, MGE has encouraged alternatives to gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles. In addition to our extensive network of public charging stations for electric vehicles (EV), we are creating and developing new transportation programs with our customers' help.
In 2015, MGE launched a pilot program for EV owners. Customers can choose to enroll for a service fee. In exchange, MGE will install and own 240-volt EV charging equipment at their homes. The systems, tied to cloud-based software, allow MGE to learn more about EV charging and controlling energy demand. This type of pilot program helps us develop a smarter grid that can better integrate evolving technology.
In addition, we work with local employers to help them implement workplace charging programs. We also help customers who are interested in fueling vehicles with compressed natural gas, which is cleaner than gasoline or diesel fuel.
MGE is an essential partner in keeping our community safe. We work with first responders in training exercises and community-wide safety planning. And, when a downtown fire station was undergoing renovation, we provided housing and space to Madison firefighters.
"MGE's willingness to provide a location for Engine 1 during our recent reconstruction allowed us to provide service to downtown with minimal interruption in response times," said Fire Chief Steven Davis. "MGE is and will always be a critical partner in public safety and our community."
Through training and continuous improvement, we maintain one of the most reliable energy systems in the country.
Above: In 2015, we opened a new training center that includes extensive indoor and outdoor facilities for our electric and gas operations.
Above: At substations, switching automation can quickly shift electric loads when an outage occurs. MGE continually makes improvements for a reliable grid.
Below: We invest to maintain a dependable natural gas system and take proactive measures to ensure system and customer safety.
At MGE, reliability and safety are values we have been committed to for decades. We will remain committed to them as we build the community energy company of the future.
MGE consistently ranks among the top utilities in the country for electric service reliability. MGE has placed in the top four utilities for electric reliability every year since 2007, according to an industry survey.
Most recently, MGE was ranked second in the category of fewest number of outages and fourth in the category of shortest duration of outages in this nationwide survey of more than 100 electric utilities. The survey, released in 2015, is based on 2014 statistics. In Wisconsin, MGE earned the No. 1 spot in both categories of shortest and fewest service interruptions.
We achieve these high marks by continually improving and investing in our systems and training.
It is our responsibility to efficiently, safely and dependably deliver electricity. We make improvements to maintain a strong electric grid and deploy new technology for increased reliability.
For example, MGE is installing switching automation to reduce the potential for power outages. When loss of electric supply is detected, the automatic switchgear quickly shifts the electric load to an alternate available power supply. This limits our customers' exposure to outages.
We are making the grid smarter by investing in advanced sensors and equipment. These upgrades will provide more real-time information for our new Integrated Distribution Management System. This online system combines different programs into a comprehensive, single tool that provides real-time analysis to prevent and minimize electric outages.
MGE is the first utility in North America to install this integrated system.
We maintain exact requirements for our underground natural gas system. MGE now uses a sophisticated, proactive process to improve safety and efficiency for gas construction projects. Using a robotic camera, we can detect problems that may arise during gas installations. The robotic camera checks other buried facilities in order to avoid any potential damage and possible gas leaks. MGE's new inspection process is an effective way to keep safety in the forefront.
Training is a key component in ensuring reliable service. Our new state-of-the-art training facility centralizes our operations training. Concentrating our training efforts provides a new synergy and efficiency for our technical trainers.
The new facility features classroom and hands-on training areas. Since most of our gas and electric crews work in the elements, we also developed extensive outdoor training areas to practice safe installation and maintenance techniques. These areas include the space and equipment to train on underground gas installations, valves and gas leak detection. For electric operations, the facility provides training ranging from overhead electric lines to underground equipment.
Our training enables employees to do their jobs safely, which in turn helps keep our customers and communities safe and well served.
The Madison area is a hotbed of economic growth, new technology and entrepreneurship. MGE champions smart development for a bright future.
Above: MGE is directly involved in growing our local economy. Pam Christenson, MGE's Economic Development Director, meets with a group of entrepreneurs about development in Madison's Capitol East District.
Above: StartingBlock, an innovative workspace for entrepreneurs, will be located in a new 250,000-square-foot commercial project as shown in this architect's rendering.
Below: Otto Gebhardt, of Gebhardt Development, LLC, has completed two high-rise, mixed-use projects and will begin a third project, which will include StartingBlock.
MGE plays an important role in helping to shape our service area's strong economy. We actively support business development and the entrepreneurial engine that helps keep our economy vibrant and growing.
Our business community is continually expanding with new ideas and innovations that seed new companies right here at home. Startup companies spin off from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and from already-established information technology and biotech companies. MGE helps support this robust entrepreneurial scene.
In 2015, the MGE Foundation provided a $150,000 donation to StartingBlock Madison, a proposed entrepreneurial hub in Madison's growing Capitol East District. StartingBlock will create an environment where new companies can find physical space and support services to grow their businesses. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016.
StartingBlock is part of a renaissance in the Capitol East District—an area once dominated by factories and car lots. Now, it is home to high-rise apartments, restaurants and businesses. More redevelopment is on the horizon. In total, this corridor could see more than $400 million in redevelopment by 2030. This projected business growth will help return the district to a vibrant employment center. This corridor is the type of smart growth that MGE fosters and facilitates.
UW-Madison is a research powerhouse, ranking among the top five U.S. universities for research expenditures for 25 years. It recently launched Discovery to Product (D2P), a new program to bring ideas and research to market. D2P provides the resources to UW faculty, staff and students to turn their ideas into jobs and businesses. The University Research Park has more than 120 tenants, including a large percentage of UW-Madison startups. Our MGE Innovation Center, located in the park, has helped grow more than 70 early-stage companies since 1989.
We extend funding to develop local businesses. MGE and other investment partners formed a venture fund 11 years ago. The Venture Debt Fund targets startup technology companies and is vital in helping launch businesses. Through the fund, we have helped 27 new companies.
Another business program, Shared Savings, helps finance energy-efficient improvements. Shared Savings is a revolving loan program that assists local business owners who want to invest in more efficient equipment and energy upgrades. Over the last 10 years, we have loaned more than $9 million for 87 Shared Savings projects.
Our service area is home to multiple, energy-intensive data centers. Two are expanding to add capacity for new customers. Facility Gateway Corp. recently completed its new corporate campus in Madison. OneNeck IT Solutions data center is undertaking a $5.2 million expansion to its large facility. MGE works with data centers to provide reliable power sources and backup generation that provide the critical 24/7 reliability they need.
MGE also works with successful manufacturers that are expanding in our area. Sub-Zero Group, Inc., the maker of Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchen appliances, announced a $62 million expansion of its manufacturing facility. Also, the biotech company Promega Corp. completed construction of its new $30 million, 100,000-square-foot processing and production facility. The expansion is located in a state-certified site, which helps to streamline expansions. MGE worked with the developer to earn the state certification.
Retired Director of University Research Park, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MGEE Director since 2010
President of QTI Management Services, Inc., a human resources and staffing company
MGEE Director since 2008
Retired Chairman of J. H. Findorff & Son, Inc., commercial and industrial general contractors
MGEE Director since 1999
Retired President of RMM Enterprises Inc. Attorney, analyst and broker
MGEE Director since 1996
Grainger Professor and Executive Director of Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management at the School of Business, UW-Madison
MGEE Director since 1998
Certified Public Accountant and tax consultant with James L. Possin CPA, LLC. Former partner at Grant Thornton LLP
MGEE Director since 2009
Executive Vice President and a Director of ProActive Solutions USA LLC, a cleaning and sanitizing products manufacturer
MGEE Director since 2008
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MGE Energy, Inc., and Madison Gas and Electric Co.
MGEE Director since 2000
Note: Ages as of Dec. 31, 2015.
For detailed information on board members, see the MGE Energy Proxy Statement.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Years of Service, 31
Senior Vice President – Energy Operations
Years of Service, 33
Senior Vice President – Marketing and Communications
Years of Service, 30
Senior Vice President – Energy Supply and Planning
Years of Service, 20
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer
Years of Service, 31
Vice President and General Counsel
Years of Service, 1
Assistant Vice President – Energy Planning
Years of Service, 33
Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Years of Service, 5
Assistant Vice President and Controller
Years of Service, 22
Assistant Vice President – Strategic Products and Services
Years of Service, 33
Assistant Vice President – Gas Operations
Years of Service, 35
Note: Ages and years of service as of Dec. 31, 2015.
* Officers of MGE Energy and MGE. All others are MGE officers.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Marriott Madison West
1313 John Q. Hammons Drive
We welcome inquiries from shareholders. Please notify us promptly if:
MGE Energy's Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan allows investors to:
More financial information is available upon request or on our website including the Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan.
MGE Energy is a corporate sponsor of the NAIC, which is a nonprofit, volunteer-based group providing investment information, education and support to help create successful lifetime investors. Web address: betterinvesting.org
MGEE Common Stock
|Record Dates||Payment Dates|
|March 1||March 15|
|June 1||June 15|
|Sept. 1||Sept. 15|
|Dec. 1||Dec. 15|
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday
MGE Energy Shareholder Services PO Box 1231, Madison WI 53701-1231
133 S. Blair St., Madison WI 53788-0001
Registered shareholders can access their account information online. Visit MGE Energy's website to log on through the secure My Shareholder Account link.
Contact Shareholder Services for a security code to help you set up private access to your account.
Go to the home page at mgeenergy.com and click the My Shareholder Account link.
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You may choose to receive email alerts when annual meeting invitations, proxy materials, the annual report and newsletters are available on our website. Registered shareholders can sign up by visiting mgeenergy.com/paperless. If your MGEE shares are held in a brokerage account, contact your broker.
MGE Energy Shareholder Services (left to right) Ken Frassetto, Kari Foster, Jerilyn Geishirt and Joan Stuessy.
MGE Energy is the parent company of Madison Gas and Electric Co. (MGE) and its divisions, which serve natural gas and electric customers in south-central and western Wisconsin.
MGE Transco Investment owns interest in the American Transmission Co. through its members, MGE and MGE Energy.
MGE Power owns assets in the West Campus Cogeneration Facility at Madison, Wis., and the Elm Road Generating Station at Oak Creek, Wis.
MAGAEL holds title to properties acquired for future utility plant expansion.
Central Wisconsin Development Corp. promotes business growth in MGE's service area.
North Mendota Energy & Technology Park owns property and serves as the development entity for the property.
MGE Services provides construction and other services. Its subsidiary NGV Fueling Services, LLC, installs, owns and maintains equipment used to fuel natural gaspowered vehicles.
Generation and Distribution
316 square miles
Cross Plains, Fitchburg, Madison, Maple Bluff, McFarland, Middleton, Monona and Shorewood Hills
Blount Station, West Campus Cogeneration Facility, combustion turbines and solar units at Madison, Columbia Energy Center at Portage, natural gas combustion turbine at Marinette, MGE wind farm in Kewaunee County, Top of Iowa Wind Farm in northcentral Iowa and Elm Road Generating Station at Oak Creek
Purchase and Distribution
1,682 square miles
Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Iowa, Juneau, Monroe and Vernon