Solarize 59068 is a short term, group purchasing program designed to lower the cost of solar, increase the adoption of solar on homes and businesses, and expand our community’s knowledge of solar energy. The campaign brings together a large group of solar customers through widespread outreach and education, which allows the installer to work at a special rate.

Anyone in zipcode 59068 who owns their home or business is eligible to participate, regardless of whether your utility is NorthWestern Energy or Beartooth Electric.

Solar is an excellent resource in Montana, even with our shorter winter days. Germany is one of the world’s leaders in solar power, and they receive the same amount of sunshine as Montana.

A solar system generates electricity by converting sunlight into electricity that can be used in your home or business. This reduces the amount of electricity you need to buy from your utility. Your utility keeps track of how much electricity your solar system supplies to the grid as well as how much you purchase, and bills you for the difference. At the end of each month, if your system produced more electricity than your home consumed, a credit is applied to your next bill.

A south-facing roof is the ideal location for solar. However, if your roof isn’t very sunny or sturdy, a ground-mounted system can also be built to provide solar energy to your building. When you schedule your free solar evaluation, our installer will assess your home or business and provide guidance on how solar can work for your property.

Yes, just not as much. Under an overcast sky, panels will generate less electricity than they produce on a clear, sunny day.

Solar systems require very little maintenance. Rain showers generally clean off the pollen and dust that fall on your solar panels. You may have to trim trees to protect your system from falling limbs and to minimize shading. Snow will normally melt off rather quickly, and removal is not necessary or recommended.

Your savings depends on the size of the system, your annual electrical usage, electricity rates, and financing options. When you receive your free site assessment, your installer will tell you how much electricity your system is expected to produce on an annual basis. You can then compare that to how much electricity your household uses to get an idea of how much you would save; it could be as much as 100% of your usage!

Yes. You will receive a monthly bill from your utility company as you always have, but the amount owed will differ depending on your monthly electricity usage and solar production. During the sunnier summer months, you may accrue credits which will be carried over and used in the less productive winter months.

Yes. The Montana Department of Revenue provides a Montana Alternative Energy Systems Tax Credit of $500 per individual and $1,000 per couple.

Yes. The federal government provides an investment tax credit equal to 30% of your system’s total installed cost, net of state incentives. This can be claimed on your tax return and allows you to subtract 30% of your system cost from the amount you owe on your taxes, dollar-for-dollar. This tax credit will decrease in 2020 and is set to expire in 2021. Check out the tax credit here.

Yes.  The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has an Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program which provides low interest loans for solar PV systems. Visit http://deq.mt.gov/Energy/renewableenergy/altenergyloan for more information.

Altana Federal Credit Union is offering the 59068 Solar Loan which allows Solarize participants to borrow up to $10,000. For information on Altana financing options, you can contact Cara Blaylock at 406-651-2328 or at cblaylock@altanafcu.org.

In Montana, 40% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels. By installing solar panels, you are using 100% clean energy to power your home or business and end up buying less energy from the utility. This requires your utility to burn fewer fossil fuels, since they no longer need that electricity to power your building, which creates a cleaner, healthier environment and helps combat climate change.