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Montana

Montana

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Universal System Benefits Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/21/2012
Program Overview:
State: Montana
Incentive Type: Public Benefits Fund
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Unspecified Technologies
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Thermal Process Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Geothermal Electric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, General Public/Consumer, Utility, Institutional
Types:Efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, low-income energy assistance, R&D
Total Fund:Approximately $9 million annually
Charge:Surcharge rate based on 2.4% of electric utilities' 1995 revenue
Web Site: http://www.deq.mt.gov/Energy/renewable/taxincentrenew.mcpx#69-8-4...
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
MCA 69-8-402
1997
1/1/1999
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
MONT. ADMIN. R. 42.29.101 et seq.
1999, subsequently amended
Summary:

Montana established the Universal System Benefits Program (USBP) in 1997 as part of its restructuring legislation. The USBP supports cost-effective energy conservation, low-income customer weatherization, renewable-energy projects and applications, research and development programs related to energy conservation and renewables, market transformation designed to encourage competitive markets for public purpose programs, and low-income energy assistance.

Beginning January 1, 1999, all electric utilities -- including electric cooperatives -- must contribute revenue generated from a surcharge on customers' electricity use. In 1997, the surcharge was set through electricity restructuring legislation and was based on 2.4% of electric utilities' 1995 revenues. This surcharge is determined by the Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) and by individual electric cooperatives. However, the surcharge rate has not been adjusted since that time, so annual collections have increased slightly as utility loads have increased over time. In 2011, approximately $9.4 million was collected from utilities regulated by the PSC via a non-bypassable surcharge on customers' electricity use. The amount collected annually varies, depending on weather and economic conditions. Utilities may spend all or a portion of the funds on internal programs, or may opt to contract or fund eligible programs externally. Large-scale electricity users with a load exceeding one megawatt (MW) may choose to fund qualifying internal energy programs with monies that otherwise would be remitted to the USBP. The most recent report, covering 2011 collections, is available here.

The USBP was set to expire December 31, 2009, but H.B. 27 removed the expiration date and extended the program indefinitely.


 
Contact:
  Will Rosquist
Montana Public Service Commission
1701 Prospect Avenue
Vista Building
Helena, MT 59620-2601
Phone: (406) 444-6359
Phone 2: (406) 444-6199
Fax: (406) 444-7618
E-Mail: wrosquist@mt.gov
Web Site: http://www.psc.mt.gov/
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.