You are here:

MONTANA RATEPAYER FUNDED PROGRAMS

CURRENT PROGRAMS
Rate Assistance
  • Low Income Discounts (under Universal Systems Benefit Program, (USBP)
    • 25% electric bill discount Nov-April, 15% May-Oct; 30% gas bill discount Nov-April
    • Eligibility: NorthWestern Energy customer, LIHEAP eligible (at or below 60% State Median Income)
  • Other utilities, including 24 rural electric cooperatives, provide discounts or other rate assistance, most require LIHEAP eligibility
Energy Efficiency
  • Free Weatherization Program (FWP) (under USBP)
    • Eligibility: Customer of NorthWestern Energy, at or below 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines
    • Provides audits, air-sealing, hot water conservation, insulation, CFLs, heating equipment tune-up/repair, fuel switching (electric heat to gas) as appropriate
  • Other utilities provide weatherization programs or activities mostly in coordination with state's WAP
Participating Utilities
  • USBP: NorthWestern Energy, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Energy West, 24 rural electric cooperatives
Annual Funding (2015)
  • Rate Assistance: $4.8 million
  • Energy Efficiency: $2.9 million
Households Served (2015)
  • Rate Assistance: 13,262 (does not include cooperatives)
  • Energy Efficiency: 311 weatherized (does not include cooperatives)
Funding Mechanism
  • Rate Assistance and Energy Efficiency: Universal Systems Benefit Charge (USBC) on all electric and natural gas IOU ratepayers and rural electric cooperatives
Administration
  • Montana Public Service Commission in coordination with LIHEAP and WAP (larger utilities)
LEGISLATION
Authorizing
  • Statute established electric USBC
  • Statute established natural gas USBC
Other Important
  • Order 6679e, made electric USBC permanent, set recent funding levels
REPORTS / EVALUATIONS