Net Metering and Easements

Net metering is a special type of installation that allows surplus electricity generated by the customer’s renewable system to go back on the utility electric system. The customer receives "credit" at retail rates for the electricity put back on the system, and generally has a year to use the credits. A net meter runs backward when the system produces more electricity than the customer is using. Later, the credits can be used by the customer when the renewable system is not producing so much electricity. If there is a surplus at the end of the year, the customer generally loses the credits. 


Net metering is required by law in NorthWestern Energy's and the Montana-Dakota Utilities' service areas. Renewable installations of less than 50 kW capacity are eligible for net-metering on the NorthWestern and MDU systems. All electric co-ops in the state have voluntarily adopted net-metering policies. However, individual policies may differ. Be sure to check with your electricity provider before purchasing renewable energy equipment. 

You can get further information by viewing NorthWestern Energy's interconnection agreement on their website. For information on net metering on the MDU system, contact Karl Tammar, Montana-Dakota Utilities (701-222-7674). Rural electric cooperatives members should contact their cooperative’s office to see if net-metering is available.


Montana law allows the creation of easements to protect solar and wind rights. You will need to negotiate with neighboring property owners for these easements.