George Philbrook - 50 Years of Service Memorialized
In 1894, the town of Middleborough asked 24-year-old George Philbrook to manage the new water-wheel power plant on Wareham Street later adding the gas plant on Vine Street. "Manufactured" gas from coal was the main source of lighting at that time. Mr. Edison's electricity was a risky technology that powered only downtown street lights on moonless nights.
For the next 50 years, even while working as a fireman and eventually fire chief, Mr. Philbrook grew the operation that provides energy for all of the conveniences we take for granted today: electric lights and refrigerators, radio and television, hot water and eventually natural gas for central heating. When others called for selling the operation again and again, Mr. Philbrook believed in this town's ability to meet residents' needs and make use of electricity and gas for the greater benefit - to support a vibrant and growing modern community.
For his belief and perseverance, we owe a debt of gratitude to a devoted public servant - a father of town power and progress.
George A. Philbrook
Dedicated October 7, 2012
View the Plaque with Photo (PDF).
Larger Than You Might Think
As of 2023 maintaining:
- 262 miles of overhead electric distribution service (on poles)
- 104 miles of underground electric cable:
- 109 miles of natural gas underground distribution mains (pipes)
Reaching a peak use of:
- 69.4 megawatts in electric consumption in August 2022.
- 5,862 thousand cubic feet (MCF) natural gas consumption per hour in February, 2013
3 Transformers Serve Our Electric Customers
The Stephen Horbal electric substation has three transformers with a total capacity to deliver 85 megawatts at peak use. Our electric customers currently use about 60 megawatts at the peak so we are prepared to grow well into the future thanks to the latest $4.3 million station upgrade completed in 2008.
American Flags Downtown
MGED installs the flags that you see on Middleborough's downtown light posts for every patriotic holiday during the year. The flags were supplied by the Office of Economic and Community Development with grant funding from the state.
Strong Financial Footing
Revenues for 2022 totaled:
- $42,478,944.00 in electric operating revenues and $13,177,217.00 in natural gas operating revenues totaling $55,656,161.00
- Payment in-lieu-of-taxes to the town of Middleborough totaled $777,185.00 in 2022 separate from usage and other payments
Sources of revenue include:
- Residential accounts - 46%
- Municipal accounts - 6%
- Commercial and Industrial accounts - 48%
Our Trucks Serving You Are Pretty Young
The average age of the service trucks serving our gas and electric customers is 5 years old. Bucket trucks and ditch-digging service trucks take a beating in New England and we rack up the mileage quickly in our 101 square mile service area. By keeping our equipment and trucks fairly new, we keep breakdowns to a minimum and service up and running.
Our Direct Connection for Saving on Natural Gas
MGED has a direct connection to a regional natural gas supply - the Algonquin take station in South Middleborough. By investing in this highly technical equipment in 1969, MGED ensured a constant supply from southern transmission companies, gaining respect equal to larger distribution companies and securing better rates with fewer middlemen.
Our 2nd Transmission Line Connection Saves You From Blackouts
MGED owns and operates substation connections to two separate transmission lines, serving the southeastern Massachusetts area. Most local distribution systems connect to one - the nearest transmission line bringing them power from the regional transmission grid. But we have two nearby and invested in the second connection in 1989 to ensure a reliable supply of power even during regional problems. The second connection has saved us from outages affecting towns around us many times since then.
Established and operated by the town of Middleborough since 1893, serving:
- Electric and natural gas customers in the town of Middleborough
- Electric customers in the town of Lakeville
- Over 16,000 electric accounts
- Over 6,000 natural gas accounts
- A 101 square mile service area
Employing 65 full-time staff members, most of whom have roots right here in our community.
We Have Our Own Liquified Natural Gas Tank
MGED owns and operates a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) holding tank, containing 26,000 gallons - the smallest tank in the state, most hold a million gallons or more. The tank allows us to produce a peak supply of natural gas at a rate of 90 MCF per hour and saves us from purchasing extra supplies of natural gas on the coldest days when prices are higher.
Our Historic Home Is Open to the Public
You can visit our administrative offices in the Philander Washburn house - a celebrated home in Middleborough's historic district. It was built in the style of Greek Revival in 1832 by the son of a revolutionary war general. It is filled with authentic period details and serves as an example of the Department's commitment to preserving history for this community.