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Net Metering

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Residential
Savings Category 
Solar Photovoltaics
Wind (All)
Hydroelectric
Wind (Small)
Hydroelectric (Small)
Program Info
Sector Name 
State
State 
Montana
Program Type 
Net Metering
Summary 
Montana's net-metering law, enacted in July 1999, applies to all customers of investor-owned utilities. Systems up to 50 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that generate electricity using solar, wind or hydropower are eligible. No limit on enrollment or statewide installed capacity is specified. Utilities may not require customer-generators to comply with any additional standards or requirements beyond those established by the National Electric Code, National Electrical Safety Code, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Net excess generation (NEG) is credited to the customer's next monthly bill. The customer may choose to start the net metering period at the beginning of January, April, July or October to match seasonal farming cycles. At the beginning of the year -- either in January, April, July or October, depending on the customer's choice -- any remaining unused kilowatt-hour (kWh) credits accumulated during the previous year are granted to the utility.

Montana's electric cooperative utilities developed a draft net-metering agreement in 2001; this agreement has been adopted by most of the state's cooperatives. Contact your electric cooperative to find out if net metering is available.

The Legislature passed a joint resolution in April 2015 to conduct a study on the costs and benefits of net metering, noting it is necessary to determine such impacts before moving forward with changes to the state net metering program. The resolution does not set a time frame for the study.