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Utility Connections


Click here to see a list of Montana Electric Co-ops

American Public Power Association

Public power is a collection of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, serving over 40 million people or about 15 percent of the nation's electricity consumers. Public power utilities are operated by local governments to provide communities with reliable, responsive, not-for-profit electric service. Public power utilities are directly accountable to the people they serve through local elected or appointed officials.

Efficiency Plus (E+) Savings Section

NorthWestern Energy funds a number of programs through the Universal Systems Benefits Charge, collected from all Montana electric and natural gas customers as required by law. Check out this page for a list of available programs, as well as lots of information on conserving energy in your home or business. The Renewable Energy Request for Proposal (RFP) is also available for download in both PDF and Word format.

Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain Energy CompanyWant to know where your electricity comes from? Ask Green Mountain, which sells electricity for residential customers featuring renewable resources like wind, water, and geothermal.

Montana Public Service Commission

Visit the Montana Public Service Commission website to find consumer information, press releases, current documents, and "Energy Page", and individual commissioner web pages.

National Energy Affordability and Accessibilty Project

Provides consumer news and information about energy affordability, energy restructuring and deregulation and energy prices. The site features a U.S. "Restructuring Guide at a Glance" and state restructuring profiles, plus details on energy programs available to all residential consumers, including the low income.

Net Metering Policies

Net metering policies serve as an important incentive for consumer investment in renewable energy generation. It also enables green power marketers to capitalize on the demand for green energy products and services. The Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides background on the concept of net metering, a state-by-state summary of net metering programs, the full text of all net metering rules, program participation rates where available, relevant analysis, papers and reports, and more.

NorthWestern Energy Net Metering

The Montana Public Service Commission in Juen 2008 approved a Tariff for Electric Net Metering of customer-owned electric generation that uses renewable resources (solar photovoltaic, wind, and small-scale hydro) as a fuel. Until its recognition by the MPSC, NorthWestern Energy's Net Metering Program was a pilot program only. The Electric Net Metering Tariff references the new Interconnection Standards for Customer-Owned, Net Metered, Grid-Connected Electric Generating Facilities of 50 Kilowatts or Less Peak Generating Capacity. Together with the new Net Meter Request Form, these documents replace the existing Net Meter Interconnection Agreement.

An electric tariff sets forth rates, terms and conditions of transmission service. In the case of Net Metering, there is currently no extra charge for either power delivered by a net meter or the basic change out of a standard meter for a net meter. The function of the documents remains to be the assurance that generating facilities meet NorthWestern Energy's safety and power quality requirements. In particular, the requirements are designed to prevent back feeding of power from the generating facility to the utility grid during power outages and to match NorthWestern Energy's own power characteristics with respect to voltage and frequency.

At this time, customers should discontinue use of the old Net Meter Interconnection Agreement and begin use of the new PDF iconNet Meter Request Form and attached Interconnection Standards and Net Metering Tariff . If the equipment meets the terms and conditions set forth in these documents, NorthWestern Energy customers need only provide the information requested, then sign and return the one page coversheet by mail to NorthWestern Energy in order to receive a net meter. Upon receipt of the form and inspection and approval of the installation by a state or local electrical inspector, NorthWestern Energy will generate a service order for fabrication and installation of the customer's net meter.

Power Switch

Consumers across the United States are discovering that changes are under way in the electric power industry. Perhaps they saw a commercial on television in which a company with an odd, modern-sounding name tried to persuade them to buy its "brand" of electricity. Or perhaps they noticed that articles on hearings before state legislatures and utility commissions have moved from the business section to the front page of their newspaper. To learn more about restructuring and how it may affect the environment, visit the link above.

Ravalli Electric Coop

Located in Corvallis, Montana, REC has assembled an "Energy Usage" page on its website, which lists average monthly kilowatt-hour figures for various appliances.

Rural Utilities Service Electric Program

The electric program of USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) provides leadership and capital to upgrade, expand, maintain, and replace America's vast rural electric infrastructure. Under the authority of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, RUS makes direct loans and loan guarantees to electric utilities to serve customers in rural areas. Through RUS, the federal government is the majority note holder for more than 700 electric systems.

The website includes a page that provides a partial list of links to other web pages developed by government, industry groups, conferences, events, and other interesting web pages promoting renewable energy.

Top 10 Utility Green Power Programs

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has compiled extensive data on utility green power programs and produced "Top Ten" lists of program characteristics and results: total sales of renewable energy to program participants; total number of customer participants; customer participation rates; and the premium charged to support new renewables development.


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