Funds from the AERLP may be used to provide loans to individuals, small businesses, units of local government, units of the university system, and nonprofit organizations.
“Small business” is further defined for the purpose of this program as a business that: “(a) is independently owned and operated; (b) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (c) employs 100 or fewer individuals (Administrative Rules of Montana 17.85.105(15))."
Funding from the AERLP may be used to provide loans for the construction of alternative energy systems and capital investments for energy conservation purposes when done in conjunction with an alternative energy system.
Alternative Energy Systems
“Alternative energy systems” are defined in Montana law as “the generation system or equipment used to convert energy sources into usable sources using fuel cells that do not require hydrocarbon fuel, geothermal systems, low-emission wood or biomass, wind, photovoltaics, geothermal, small hydropower plants under 1 megawatt, and other recognized non-fossil forms of energy generation.” (15-32-102, Montana Code Annotated)
Alternative energy systems commonly financed by the AERLP include:
- • Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
- • Solar thermal systems for water or space heating
- • Geothermal systems, including ground source heat pumps
- • Wind generators
- • EPA-certified low-emission pellet stoves or wood stoves
Energy Conservation Measures
“Capital investments for energy conservation purposes when done in conjunction with an alternative energy system” are defined in Montana law as “a capital investment that is used for an energy conservation purpose that is in the same structure as, and is constructed, installed, or otherwise put in service as part of, or at about the same time as, an alternative energy system to reduce the size of energy system needed.” (17.85.103, Administrative Rules of Montana)
Energy conservation measures commonly financed by the AERLP include:
- • Insulation
- • High-efficiency windows
- • Energy-efficient appliances
The proposed project, activity, or equipment must:
- • Be located in Montana
- • Be technically appropriate for Montana’s climate
- • Be proven reliable and be commercially available
- • Generate energy for the sole use of the owner, however, net metering systems are eligible for funding
- • Meet all applicable certifications and standards, such as local building codes and utility interconnection requirements
- • Comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements protecting the quality of resources such as air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and recreational opportunities
DEQ will conduct a technical, environmental and financial review of all applications to determine program eligibility. Feel free to contact program staff with questions.