AERO is excited about the growing interest in alternative energy generation around the state of Montana, and we hope you are too! Several helpful links and calculators are provided here to help you determine what type of project is best for your situation, and what you can expect from a renewable energy system.
Renewable Energy Links
- Montana Green Power: Renewable energy dealers and installers
- Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
- MREA Directory of Renewable Energy Contractors
- National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
- Build It Solar
- Montana State University-Northern: Bio-energy Testing Center
- Geothermal Energy in Montana: A Consumer’s Guide
Alternative Energy Project Toolbox
- Solar-Estimator is a great tool to learn about the financial and energy benefits of renewable energy for your home or business. You can examine the results for solar hot air, solar hot water, photovoltaics, or wind systems in regards to your location and utility consumption and expenses.
- PVWatts calculates the expected PV production of your exact location to determine your system requirements.
- Findsolar uses your location and monthly utility usage to determine the correct PV system size for you. Their analysis also includes personalized information on insolation, cost, incentives, lifetime savings, and environmental savings.
- Bozeman Green Build Calculator provides an in-depth analysis of the production and financial incentives of a photovoltaic system. This spreadsheet requires the user to input system size, system cost and whether they qualify for the NWE Grant. These inputs can be determined with the Solar-Estimator and through Northwestern Energy E+ Programs.
Solar Hot Air
- Energy4You gives a brief explanation of solar hot air and specifications for a few highlighted systems.
Solar Hot Water
- Free Hot Water provides a simple solar hot water calculator to determine your system specifications and expected savings.
- Infinite Power calculates savings and production from solar hot water, relying on current water heater specifications.
- Energy Efficient Choices will determine the financial and energy incentives of a wind turbine system sized to meet your energy consumption and location.
- Green Heat Initiative provides a user-friendly calculator to estimate how a biomass heating system may be beneficial for your home.
- Home Energy Saver provides potential house upgrades to save you money. This calculator requires detailed information about your home to quantify potential savings and identify necessary upgrades for home energy efficiency.
- Energetech compares energy efficiency of windows by brand and type through an easy-to-use spreadsheet.
Energy Monitoring Systems
- TED provides high-quality monitoring systems for real-time feedback of energy production and consumption for your facilities.
- PlotWatt is an online monitoring dashboard that displays real-time data for both your generated energy and your facility energy consumption. This is a great tool for businesses and homes even if you don’t have a generating energy system. PlotWatt recognizes different appliances and provides an in-depth analysis of your consumption along with ways to reduce your consumption.
Publications & Reports
- Repowering Montana’s Communities workshop materials – 2010
- Repowering Montana’s Communities workshop materials – 2011
- Repowering Montana: A Blueprint for Home Grown Energy Self-Reliance
- Helena Climate Action Plan
- Bozeman Community Climate Action Plan 2011
- 2011 Legislative Session Energy Recap
- SB 226 Fact Sheet from 2011 Legislative Session
- MSU Extension: Exploring Energy Efficiency & Alternatives (E3A)
- Montana Views on Energy Key Findings
Grants, Loans & Rebates
- Find a comprehensive listing of state and federal financial incentives at: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
- Montana Conservation and Renewable Energy Incentives: This is a thorough list of all the loans, grants and tax incentives available for conservation and renewable energy projects in Montana. Incentives cover businesses, farms and residences.
- Montana Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program: Contact: Kathi Montgomery, Montana DEQ (406) 841-5243 The alternative energy revolving loan program offers low-interest loans for up to $40,000 with repayment up to ten years. The loans are for the purpose of installing alternative energy systems, energy conservation measures may also be financed along with the alternative energy project.
- USDA Rural Development Loans and Grants: USDA offers both loans and grants to help finance wind, solar, and other renewable energy improvements for rural homes and businesses.
- Northwestern Energy E+ Programs: Northwestern Energy provides a variety of services to its residential and business electric and gas customers including grants for renewable energy systems, rebates for insulation, programmable thermostats or lighting fixture upgrades, and home energy audits.
Renewable Energy Tools
- Distributed Wind Site Assessment Tool
- Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool
- The American Solar Energy Society: How to Get Started With Solar Energy
- Renewable energy dealers and installers: Montana Green Power
- Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA): MREA is a statewide non-profit that promotes renewable energy development
- National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)