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DEQ Programs

The Department of Environmental Quality's Planning, Prevention and Assistance Division has many programs that address energy efficiency in state, federal and local government buildings, schools, water and wastewater treatment facilities and more.

USB Administration

The DEQ offers some special assistance to public buildings and provides some general education to consumers served by Montana-Dakota Utility Company (MDU). This assistance is provided with universal systems benefit (USB) funds collected on electricity charges to customers in the MDU service area.  

Universal system benefit funds come to the state of Montana annually when an investor-owned utility company does not offer USB-type programs itself. MDU is the only investor owned utility company in Montana not offering its own USB program at this time.

In 2010, USB funds were used for:

  • energy audits of publicly owned buildings,
  • partial funding of cost effective lighting or other electrical improvements on publicly owned buildings,
  • planned renewable energy workshops in Wolf Point, Glasgow, Plentywood, Scobey, Culbertson, Circle, and Jordan, and 
  • demonstration of wind technology with the installation of wind turbines at Wolf Point and Forsyth.

Technical and financial assistance to the Montana State University Wind Application Center and the Wind for Schools program will also be provided.

In 2010, DEQ will consider opportunities to support local government energy efficiency projects that come through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. Each EECBG project in the MDU service territory that reduces electricity consumption will be reviewed for possible partial funding with USB funds.

Customers from the MDU service territory are welcome to comment on these uses of USB funds. Comments may be made to DEQ by contacting or by calling 406-841-5200. Customers wanting more information on the program may contact DEQ at the above email or phone number.