NorthWestern Energy - USB Renewable Energy Fund (Montana)

From Open Energy Information


Last modified on December 17, 2014.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Montana

Name NorthWestern Energy - USB Renewable Energy Fund
Incentive Type Utility Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Eligible Technologies Photovoltaics, Wind, Hydroelectric
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector Utility
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount Residential PV: 2,000/customer

Commercial PV: 0.50/watt
Wind: 2.00/watt

Equipment Requirements Residential PV systems must by 2 kW

Installation Requirements Must use qualified installer

Maximum Incentive Commercial PV: 25,000

Wind: 10,000

Program Administrator NorthWestern Energy

References DSIREDatabase of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency[1]


NorthWestern Energy (NWE), formerly Montana Power Company, periodically provides funding to its customers for renewable energy projects. In 1997, Montana established the Universal System Benefits (USB) program. The USB legislation requires all electric and gas utilities to establish USB funds for low-income energy assistance, weatherization, energy efficiency activities, and development of renewable energy resources. A typical NorthWestern Energy residential customer pays approximately $1 per month in electric USB charges. About $9 million is collected annually by NorthWestern, and about $1.2 million is used for renewable energy projects.

Most renewable energy projects include a public education or demonstration component to increase awareness of renewable energy. Residential solar PV incentives are available at a fixed rate of $2,000 per customer. The smallest residential system size supported is 2 kilowatts (kW). Commercial solar PV incentives are $0.50/watt, with a maximum of $25,000 per customer. The largest commercial system size supported is fifty kW. The incentive for wind is $2/watt to a maximum of $10,000 per customer.

In order for a customer to receive the funds, the work must be completed by a NorthWestern Energy qualified dealer or installer, as directed by NorthWestern Energy's qualification requirements. Off-grid installations inside NWE's service territory are not eligible for USB funds.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name June Pusich-Lester
Department NorthWestern Energy
Address 40 East Broadway
Place Butte, Montana
Zip/Postal Code 59701
Phone (406) 497-2329


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content