The Montana Public Service Commission just completed a rate case hearing, and it was clear that our monopoly utility, NorthWestern Energy, wants all rooftop solar ratepayers to pay additional fees called “demand charges.” This would halt new solar installations and put most solar businesses in Montana out of business. All these good jobs would disappear.
The benefits of rooftop solar need to be recognized and rewarded. These benefits go to both those who have solar panels and those who don’t.
Rooftop solar is clean power. It reduces climate pollution because our utility doesn’t need to purchase power from polluting sources. The extra power created by rooftop solar goes directly into the grid. This additional power helps meet peak energy demand, and the utility doesn’t have to buy expensive power from the out-of-state, spot market. Both solar and non-solar customers save money.
Rooftop solar provides energy for decades at fixed prices we can count on because the fuel, sunshine, is forever free.
All Montanans benefit. So next month, when you send your check to NorthWestern Energy, add a note that you support clean rooftop solar energy.