Solar, Energy Efficiency Revitalize Historic Borden’s Hotel

Solar, Energy Efficiency Revitalize Historic Borden’s Hotel

Rooftop Solar
Borden’s Hotel in downtown Whitehall, Montana has a colorful history as a saloon, hotel and dance hall dating back to 1913.  But in the decades following the death of original owner Hilda Borden in 1971, the Whitehall landmark has been mostly vacant and fallen into disrepair. Several business owners tried and failed to make a go of it, stymied in part by the high energy bills of an old, leaky building. A 2009 fire proved to be the turning point for the old hotel.  That fire, which destroyed five neighboring buildings but spared Borden’s Hotel, prompted the nonprofit Jefferson Local Development Corporation (JLDC) to purchase the building with the goal of revitalizing downtown Whitehall. With the help of federal and state historic preservation tax credits, JLDC undertook a major renovation…
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Victory! Montana-Dakota Utilities drops contested solar fee

Policy & Advocacy
HELENA—Homeowners in eastern Montana will no longer face discriminatory fees if they choose to install solar after a Montana utility withdrew its plans earlier this week to levy an extra charge on customers with rooftop solar arrays or small wind generators. Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU), which serves approximately 25,000 electric customers in eastern Montana, filed a proposal at the Montana Public Service Commission in July to raise rates 21 percent for all customers. The rate case had included an additional fee, called a demand charge, for residential solar customers. In a settlement filed on Thursday, MDU withdrew the charge. “The people won here today,” said Jean and Floyd Dahlman, Rosebud County ranchers and long-time MDU customers. “This settlement proves that MDU’s proposed fee on customers who generate their own power was,…
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