Tips for Sustainable Living

Make a habit of putting environmental principles into practice.

Do you wash clothes only in cold water? Perhaps you're committed to shutting off lights when you leave the room? Or maybe you have a low-flow faucet in your sink? Many of us recycle. Maybe you also compost to reduce food waste? These actions all contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Living more sustainably includes making smart choices about energy. If we all use less energy, we can help to reduce carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change. Together, we can create a healthier community with individual, eco-friendly actions. We’ve put together a list of tips and MGE programs to get started.

Lower your energy use

  • Use energy-efficient products. LED lights provide better lighting, last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  • Nest Thermostat HeatUse a smart thermostat. They make adjusting the temperature of your home almost effortless, helping you to save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Take shorter showers. Your water heater will run less. And lowering the temperature on your water heater by a few degrees also will help conserve energy.
  • Take advantage of free energy-saving products and incentives. Focus on Energy, our partner in energy efficiency, provides free energy conservation kits containing items like LED bulbs and low-flow showerheads. Focus on Energy also offers an incentive for upgrading to a smart thermostat.
  • Use more renewable energy. Consider MGE programs like Green Power Tomorrow and Shared Solar. Clean energy is part of MGE's energy mix for all customers. These programs give customers the option of adding more renewable energy to their household's energy mix.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

  • Use less paper. Consider paying your bills online. My Bill Pay is a faster, easier and paperless way to pay your MGE bill.
  • Reuse bottles, cups and utensils. Refill a reusable bottle or mug when you need water or coffee. Use silverware instead of plastic utensils.
  • Recycle. If you do use plastic items, dispose of them in the proper recycling bin. The same goes for aluminum and paper.

Rethink your commute 

  • Electric vehiclesGo electric. If it’s time to replace your existing vehicle, consider an electric vehicle (EV). MGE can help you fuel it with our Charge@Home program. We also offer a network of more than 30 public charging stations throughout our community. All of our public charging stations are powered by green energy.
  • Ride the bus. Public transit helps to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Efficient gas-electric hybrid buses are already a part of the City of Madison's Metro Transit fleet, and all-electric buses are on the way. MGE partnered with Metro to secure funding for three all-electric buses expected in 2020. Metro has a goal to electrify 50% of its fleet by 2035.
  • Carpool. Partner with coworkers who live nearby to ride-share. Carpooling helps to reduce emissions. Transportation accounts for more than 25% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Walk or ride your bike. Walking and cycling are not only green options but healthy ones too!
If we all do more individually, we can collectively reduce our environmental impact. To learn more about saving energy, visit

published: Jan-04-2019