Earnings for the three months ended September 30, 2008, benefited from gains on certain local economic development investments. As a result, MGE Energy witnessed a one-time $2.8m pretax gain for the third quarter of 2008.

Earnings from the electric utility decreased $2.7m in the third quarter of 2009, compared to the same quarter of 2008. The decrease is primarily driven by lower retail electric sales of 8.2% during the quarter.

In the third quarter of 2009, a 5% reduction in overall operations and maintenance expense helped offset the decrease in electric revenues, when compared to the prior period. Lower administrative and general costs were contributors to the reduced expenses for the third quarter of this year, the company said.

MGE Energy is a public utility holding company. Its principal subsidiary, Madison Gas and Electric, generates and distributes electricity to approximately 137,000 customers in Dane County, Wisconsin, and purchases and distributes natural gas to approximately 141,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties.