Nearly 1,800 homes, businesses, schools, fire stations and farms in Montana generate at least a portion of their energy with on-site solar, wind, or hydroelectric generators. These renewable energy producers remain connected to the grid with an arrangement called 'net metering.'
A net metering customer receives a credit on his or her bill from his or her electricity provider for each kilowatt hour of electricity generated on-site and exported to the utility grid. Policies differ by utility; however, most net metering facilities are wired to provide energy to the customer's home or business before exporting any excess to the utility. Most utilities carry forward bill credits from month to month, but never pay the utility customer anything for excess power. Contact your utility for details about its net metering policy.
The graphs below illustrate the relative scope of net metering installations for Montana utilities with net metering customers. In addition to the 15 utilities shown below that have active net metering customers, another 13 rural electric cooperatives in Montana allow net metering but no net metering systems have yet been installed.
- 1,791 Number of net metering systems
- 8.6 MW Total generating capacity of net metering systems
- 15 Montana utilities with net metering customers
- 90% Net metering systems using solar power
About the Data
Interested in learning more about the data used for this project? Visit the data overview page.
MREA has created a series of video and written profiles of renewable energy projects and businesses throughout Montana.
A collection of renewable energy project profiles by the Alternative Energy Resources Organization.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program
The U.S. Department of Energy has extensive information available. You can visit the WINDExchange website to learn more about Montana wind, or you can look up your City Energy profile.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) provides a comprehensive source of information about state and federal tax credits, grants, loans, net metering agreements, etc.
NorthWestern Energy provides details about their net metering agreement & guides to on-site energy production as well as energy conservation tips, details about their energy efficiency rebate program, and tools to calculate energy use.
MONTANA ENERGY OFFICE
The MT Department of Environmental Quality has information about the state's Alternative Energy Revolving Loan program, conservation tax credits, statewide energy statistics, and details about renewable energy resources.