Net Metering at the Legislature: Half-time Report

Policy & Advocacy
Over the past few weeks, MREA’s priority legislation to make renewable energy more accessible and affordable to Montana consumers has been killed by the Montana Legislature. Hundreds of Montana businesses and individuals contacted their legislators, urging them to vote for MREA’s priority bills, but the outpouring of support wasn’t enough to overcome the powerful influence of utility lobbyists in Helena. HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Art Wittich (R-Bozeman), was heard on January 19th, with an impressive turnout of fifteen businesses, consumers and organizations lining up in support of raising the cap from 50 kilowatts, an amount decided in 1999 when net metering legislation was first passed in Montana, to 1 megawatt. As John Palm from Bozeman Green Build pointed out, the low cap limits opportunities for large energy users to…
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MREA’s 2015 Policy Priorities: Defend and Expand Opportunities for Distributed Renewable Energy

Policy & Advocacy
Net Metering: Fair Credit for Clean Energy Broadly distributed around Montana are more than 1,000 solar arrays, small wind turbines and micro hydro projects that provide power to homes, businesses, schools, farms and ranches. When the wind is blowing or the sun is shining and these generators produce more energy than the owner is using, the extra electrons flow onto the power grid and are sold by the utility to neighboring customers. Montana law guarantees that renewable energy system owners get full credit on their power bill for each kilowatt-hour of clean energy they provide to the utility. That’s fair. Let’s keep it that way. Why are Utilities Putting up Barriers to Rooftop Solar? Renewable energy is helping Montana families and businesses take charge of their energy costs like never…
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MREA Safety Statement

Safety & Training
The Montana Renewable Energy Association is dedicated to expanding the use of renewable energy across the state of Montana. Greater adoption of renewable energy technologies by the public requires a well-trained workforce; without trained individuals using best practices in the field to produce code-compliant installations, renewable energy systems are bound to perform poorly and/or become a hazard to the property and its occupants. Of equal importance is the need for this workforce to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations for the construction industry. Non-compliance with OSHA safety standards on the jobsite can result in business-ending fines, life-altering injuries, and even death – all of which represent a step backward for the renewable energy industry and the broader adoption of its technologies. For these reasons, in…
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OSHA Partnership

Safety & Training
In January 2008, The Montana Renewable Energy Association and the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration executed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to ensure workplace safety in the growing renewable energy industry in Montana. The MREA is attempting to foster a safer working environment for themselves and their member companies. The purpose of the partnership is to prevent the four major hazards (falls, electrical, caught in/between and struck-by hazards) that account for the majority of fatalities and injuries in the construction industry. This partnership will focus on improving the safety and health programs of the MREA and their Participating Member companies and strive to eliminate hazards in the targeted areas. The OSHA Strategic Partnership Program for Worker Safety and Health (OSPP), adopted on November 13, 1998, is an…
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