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Montana

Legislative activities

While the Montana legislature has not yet approved any laws specifically addressing smart grids, the state legislature has passed legislation focusing on net-metering and interconnection standards in 1999. It also established contractual methods for entering into solar easements for solar energy technologies in 1979 and wind easements for wind energy technologies in 1983. [2, 3, 4]


Regulatory activities

Montana Public Service Commission addressed distributed generators by 2002, later adding net metering as an option in 2008. By 2009 time-of-day rates had been established for both residential and business customers. Demand side management was addressed by the Commission through Interruptible service accounts by 2009. [5, 6]

“In a December 2006 Order, the Montana Public Service Commission deferred a decision to adopt PURPA Standard 14 (“Time-Based Metering and Communications”) as enacted in EPACT 2005. The Commission said it will consider whether to adopt the standard for each utility in each utility’s next general rate case. The Commission closed the proceeding via the same Order.” [1]

Distributed generators include qualifying cogeneration, small power production facilities and net metering, priced as published in the tariff or the energy is carried forward for billing purposes.

Time-of-Day rates break the cost for electricity into periods on a seasonal basis and on-peak, or off-peak energy pricing.

Interruptible service accounts allow for equipment to be interrupted based for up to 100 hours as controlled by the company.


Utilities and Rate Schedules

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.
- Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Rates

NorthWestern Energy
- NorthWestern Energy Rates

See the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for information on consumer-owned Cooperatives: http://www.nreca.org/members/MemberDirectory/Pages/default.aspx


State-Level Incentives

Montana offers an alternative energy investment tax credit at the corporate and personal levels.

More information can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=MT


Additional Resources

State Energy Office:
- Department of Environmental Quality Planning, Prevention, and Assistance Division

State Authority Dealing with Energy Regulation:
- Montana Public Service Commission
- Docket Search: http://www.psc.mt.gov/eDocs/eDocuments/

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/index.cfm?re=1&ee=1&spv=0&st=0&srp=1&state=MT


References

[1] Demand Response and Smart Metering Policy Actions Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005: A Summary for State Officials, Prepared by the U.S. Demand Response Coordinating Committee for The National Council on Electricity Policy, Fall 2008. URL: http://www.oe.energy.gov/DocumentsandMedia/NCEP_Demand_Response_1208.pdf
[2] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Montana – Net Metering, 02/10/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=MT05R&re=1&ee=1
[3] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Montana Interconnection Standards, 03/16/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=MT07R&re=1&ee=1
[4] Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, Montana Solar and Wind Easements, 01/07/2010. URL: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=MT03R&re=1&ee=1
[5]Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Natural Gas & Electric Rates. URL: http://www.montana-dakota.com/rates-and-services
[6] NorthWestern Energy, Montana Tariffs and Rate Schedules. URL: http://www.northwesternenergy.com/display.aspx?Page=Montana_Rate_Schedules&Item=104