Financing Options for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Projects

  • Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program

    • The Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP) was established by the 57th Montana Legislature in 2001 with amendments dating from 2005. Its purpose is to provide a financing option to Montana homeowners, small businesses, non-profits and government entities to install alternative energy systems. The program is funded by air quality penalties collected by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). To learn more about the AERLP click here.
  • State Buildings Energy Conservation Program

    • The State Buildings Energy Conservation Program (SBECP) was initiated in 1989 to reduce energy costs in state government and finance energy improvement projects on state owned buildings. The program reduces utility bills and uses the savings to repay the cost of the project and eventually into other state buildings conservation projects. To learn more SBECP about the program click here.
  • Energy Performance Contracting

    • EPC provides an alternative procurement method for design and construction services that reduce facility operating costs through energy conservation improvements. EPC is an attractive financing model that uses cost savings from the project to finance the construction work, sometimes with no upfront cost. Also, all EPC projects must be done using a qualified Energy Service Provider (ESP) whose qualifications have been vetted by the State; this helps ensure the ESP maintains a high standard of technical expertise and has sufficient financial resources to guarantee cost savings for project financing. To learn more about EPC click here.
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

    • What is PACE?
      • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects. PACE financing is repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill, and is processed the same way as other local public benefit assessments (sidewalks, sewers) have been for decades. Depending on local legislation, PACE can be used for commercial, nonprofit and residential properties. As a financing tool, PACE is an alternative to extensive home equity financing or high interest credit cards. PACE can encourage investments in property that owners might not otherwise consider
    • Background of PACE in Montana:
      • Governor Steve Bullock’s June 2016 Energy Blueprint calls for a change in the way Montana supports investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Blueprint included the following directive:
        • Propose enabling legislation in the 2017 legislative session for Montana local governments to operate PACE programs, if they choose (self-chartered local governments in Montana already have the authority). (pg. 20)
      • During the 2017 legislative session DEQ Montana State Energy Office worked with the Governor’s office to draft PACE enabling legislation. Senator Chas Vincent sponsored the PACE bill (SB330); SB330 made it through the Senate, but never made it out of House Committee.
    • Next Steps:
      • The Montana State Energy office will continue stakeholder engagement, both locally and at a national level.
      • We will continue to learn about the program and further develop our understanding of PACE, what it can bring to Montana, and how it could best be implemented here to benefit both residents, and business owners.
      • We will develop a local working group with those that want to see PACE succeed in Montana.