MREA Members–There are two proactive net metering bills up for hearings this week at the Montana Legislature. We need your help to ensure these bills each get a fair hearing. Please Take Action!
Aggregate Net Metering
Montana’s renewable energy industry and Montana energy consumers are losing out on opportunities to build and invest in locally-controlled, clean energy supplies. HB 394 will allow individual utility customers in attached housing or commercial developments (condos, apartment buildings, malls, etc.) to subscribe to the output of a single solar array, small scale wind turbine or micro hydro generator on the premises. This approach to renewable energy development will remove barriers to decentralized energy production, cut installation costs and keep more of our energy dollars in the state. (Please note: the bill currently applies more broadly but the sponsor will introduce the bill at the hearing with an amendment restric the applicability to multi-unit attached residential or commercial structures.)
Take action on HB 394 by contacting the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications Committee and asking them to vote YES on HB 394. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tom Jacobson (D-Great Falls) and will be heard by the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Wednesday, February 13 at 3:00pm in Room 472 of the Capitol.
Raise the Cap!
Montana’s net metering law enables customers of NorthWestern Energy to install solar panels, small scale wind turbines or micro hydro generators on their property to generate electricity for their own consumption. A multi-million dollar industry made up of more than 50 Montana-based businesses has emerged to meet the growing demand for locally-controlled renewable energy. SB 247 will raise the size cap on net metered generators from 50 to 100 kilowatts (about big enough to generate energy for 10 average households in Montana). SB 247 will also allow customer generators to roll over any excess net meter credits, rather than forfeiting extra kilowatt hours to NorthWestern Energy at the end of the year, and it will allow a customer generator to apply excess credits to separate meters on the same or adjacent property. SB 247 will allow the decentralized energy industry to grow and will increase Montana’s production of clean energy.Take action on SB 247 by contacting the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and asking them to vote YES on SB 247. SB 247 is sponsored by Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman) and will be heard by the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee on Tuesday, February 12 at 3:00pm in Room 317 of the Capitol.