100% Clean Electricity Initiative

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Green Power Program

The Green Power Program would allow NorthWestern Energy customers to support and benefit from a new source of renewable energy in Montana, such as a new wind or solar farm. Local governments, businesses and residents would then have the option to subscribe to pay a special rate and receive a portion of their energy supply from this renewable energy source. By subscribing to the program, customers would pay the costs of the new renewable energy source over time and receive the benefits it produces, including the environmental benefits and the clean energy’s economic value on the market. Learn more in the FAQs to the right.

Read the full term sheet here.

Missoula is committed to addressing the climate change emergency by taking actionable steps that reduce carbon pollution while building a healthy, resilient community. In 2019, Missoula County, the City of Missoula, Climate Smart Missoula and other community partners began the ambitious journey of transitioning our community’s power supply to 100% clean electricity. This effort reflects the values and engagement of Missoula’s citizens, coupled with local government leadership, listening and thoughtful planning. This page serves as our forum to share information and seek input from the community as we work toward 100% clean electricity for Missoula.

Getting Involved

Our team will use this page to ask and answer questions, provide updates, and gather feedback and stories. We hope you'll engage with us here, or at any of our in-person or virtual meetings and workshops. As these steps unfold, we'll reach out using this platform to get community feedback. See the updates in the News Feed below to get caught up on the progress we've made so far.

Green Power Program

The Green Power Program would allow NorthWestern Energy customers to support and benefit from a new source of renewable energy in Montana, such as a new wind or solar farm. Local governments, businesses and residents would then have the option to subscribe to pay a special rate and receive a portion of their energy supply from this renewable energy source. By subscribing to the program, customers would pay the costs of the new renewable energy source over time and receive the benefits it produces, including the environmental benefits and the clean energy’s economic value on the market. Learn more in the FAQs to the right.

Read the full term sheet here.

Missoula is committed to addressing the climate change emergency by taking actionable steps that reduce carbon pollution while building a healthy, resilient community. In 2019, Missoula County, the City of Missoula, Climate Smart Missoula and other community partners began the ambitious journey of transitioning our community’s power supply to 100% clean electricity. This effort reflects the values and engagement of Missoula’s citizens, coupled with local government leadership, listening and thoughtful planning. This page serves as our forum to share information and seek input from the community as we work toward 100% clean electricity for Missoula.

Getting Involved

Our team will use this page to ask and answer questions, provide updates, and gather feedback and stories. We hope you'll engage with us here, or at any of our in-person or virtual meetings and workshops. As these steps unfold, we'll reach out using this platform to get community feedback. See the updates in the News Feed below to get caught up on the progress we've made so far.

  • Green Power Program nears milestone!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The City of Missoula, Missoula County and the City of Bozeman have been working with NorthWestern Energy for the past several years to develop the Green Power Program, formerly known as a renewable rate option or a green tariff. The program is a key strategy to reach our respective 100% clean electricity goals.

    We are approaching an important milestone by requesting elected officials to adopt a term sheet negotiated with NorthWestern Energy. While non-binding, the term sheet serves as the framework for how the program will work going forward. If the term sheet is adopted, the City of Missoula and Missoula County will enter into binding agreements to submit the program to the Public Service Commission for approval.

    Comments are welcome on this page in the Forum tab. You may also provide verbal testimony during the City of Missoula's Climate, Conservation, and Parks Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and during the joint City-County public hearing on Monday, Dec. 11.

    The Missoula County commissioners and the Missoula City Council will held a joint public hearing at on Dec. 11 and adopted the term sheet for the Green Power Program.

    For more information, please refer to the FAQs on this page and read the term sheet here.

  • City, County residents can receive $500 rebate toward new water heaters

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Residents throughout Missoula County are now eligible to receive a $500 rebate for replacing water heaters in their homes with certain energy-efficient alternatives, thanks to a new rebate program Missoula County and the City of Missoula recently launched.

    Residents who buy and install qualifying heat pump water heaters can apply online to receive the rebate by submitting proof of purchase and installation. Heat pump technology is more energy efficient than traditional electric or propane appliances because it extracts heat from an external source instead of generating it. Heat pump technology can be found in clothes dryers, water heaters and mini-split heaters and air conditioners. A list of more than 500 heat pump water heaters that qualify for this rebate are available online.

    The City and County have $40,000 to distribute by 2025 through funding the Montana Department of Environmental Quality provided. $20,000 is reserved for county residents who live outside of city limits, and the remaining $20,000 is reserved for city residents. The project is supported by the nonprofit Climate Smart Missoula and is a part of the Electrify Missoula campaign, which aims to help the City and County reach their goal of 100% clean electricity for the Missoula urban area by 2030. Additional initiatives to support this goal will be announced in the coming months.

    Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no income restriction or limit. Though anyone can apply for a rebate, residents who use propane to heat their water are encouraged to apply, as they will likely see long-term savings on their energy bills.

    To ensure equitable distribution of the rebates, residents may submit a pre-approval form to reserve a rebate for 30 days until they are able to purchase and install the qualifying product. If the applicant’s project is delayed, they may request to extend their rebate reservation at any time before their 30-day window lapses. Residents are eligible to apply without pre-approval, but there is no guarantee that funds will be available. Appliances must be purchased on or after June 1, 2023, to qualify.

    In addition to the $500 rebate, participants are eligible to receive an additional $75 if they complete a satisfaction survey three months after receiving their rebate. While the federal Inflation Reduction Act is set to provide rebates to homeowners and renters, these likely won’t be available until late 2023 or early 2024. This local program is intended to help residents begin to transition to electric home appliances. Products that are eligible for this rebate are also eligible for a 30% tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act. Information on this rebate, and the accompanying tax credit, are available on at electrifymissoula.org. Additionally, residents who are also customers of Missoula Electric Co-op may be eligible for an additional rebate through the utility. For more information, visit their website.

  • Electrify Missoula Launched

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    While we work to increase the amount of clean energy in our community, we are also working to ensure that more of our homes and businesses are powered by electricity rather than natural gas. To help our community electrify their homes and businesses, we've partnered with Climate Smart Missoula and the City of Missoula to launch our new campaign, Electrify Missoula. Explore the website to learn how you can remove fossil fuels from your home or business.

    a logo that reads "Electrify Missoula"

  • Discussion of Public Comments on Draft Implementation Plan and Next Steps

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    In February 2021, the County and City released a Draft Implementation Plan developed jointly with NorthWestern Energy for input from the public. Members of the public submitted 55 comments on the Draft Implementation Plan, which are available here. Many thanks to all who submitted comments!

    Click here for a document city/county staff prepared that discusses the main themes of the public comments and identifies next steps.

  • Comments Invited on Draft Implementation Plan

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    In June 2020, the City of Missoula and Missoula County entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with NorthWestern Energy in which the three parties committed to working together toward Missoula’s 100% clean electricity goal. Since then, the city and county have been working jointly with NorthWestern Energy, and with input from a number of subject matter experts, to develop the Implementation Plan the MOU requires. Today we’re glad to release the draft plan for input from the public. Click here to download the draft plan.

    The draft Implementation Plan contains six work plans on a variety of topics, including utility-scale renewable energy, community-scale solar, energy efficiency, and pilot rate structures that have potential to facilitate the transition to a clean, modern electric grid. We see great value in all of these projects. However, the City and County also recognize that this Implementation Plan will not, on its own, achieve our 100% clean electricity goal. We remain committed to that goal and will actively seek additional partners and opportunities to achieve it.

    Please review the draft Implementation Plan. Looking ahead, there will be an additional opportunity for public comment when the Implementation Plan is scheduled for consideration at a public meeting of the City Council and Board of County Commissioners. Those details will be posted on this page when they’re available.

  • City of Missoula, Missoula County, NorthWestern Energy Memorandum of Understanding - Adopted June 22, 2020

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    NorthWestern Energy supplies 95% of the electricity consumed in the Missoula urban area, and we have been in conversation with NorthWestern since adopting our 100% Clean Electricity Resolution about the possibility of working together in pursuit of our goal. As a first step, we drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City, the County and NorthWestern. The Missoula City Council and Board of County Commissioners considered the the MOU at a joint virtual meeting on June 2, 2020, and both adopted it unanimously. You can view the MOU here.

    This MOU serves an important purpose, but we want to be clear that it’s just one step on the road to 100%. See below for more on what this MOU is, and what it isn’t.

    What it is. The MOU is a framework that articulates the commitment between the City of Missoula, Missoula County and NorthWestern Energy to work together toward Missoula’s 100% clean electricity goal, and creates a high-level structure to do so. It outlines the goals of the partnership and topics that we’ll work on together, and commits us to next steps and a timeline to do that work. It is an exciting step, but very big picture and high level. It is like a handshake to start a working relationship, but in writing, and social distancing friendly! We’re excited to do this publicly so the community can witness the commitment of the three entities to work together in pursuit of our 100% clean electricity goal.

    What it isn’t, and what to look forward to. The MOU doesn’t contain the exciting project, program and policy details that we would all probably like to dive straight into. Fear not! The MOU commits us to developing an implementation plan that will contain those details. We’re excited to get there too, and will jump right in after the MOU is signed. We’ll keep you updated on those happenings here.

  • Missoula's Story and Our Process

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Origins of 100% Clean Electricity for Missoula

    The foundation of Missoula’s 100% Clean Electricity Initiative lies in our 2015 Community Climate Smart Action Plan, which established a goal of carbon neutrality for the Missoula urban area and outlined the vision, goals and strategies to build environmental, economic, and social resilience and sustainability in our community. The plan was based on extensive public and private cross-sector input and expertise derived from a series of community conversations and “summits” the City of Missoula and Climate Smart Missoula convened. Renewable energy was a critical focus area of that plan with a stated vision of “A Missoula area that is powered by renewable energy and where community members are engaged with and have control over affordable energy systems.”

    Over the years, Missoula leaders and citizens made progress on renewable energy campaigns, such as Solarize Missoula and the SolSmart Silver designation for both the City and County. While those were exciting steps, we always knew that a broader change in our energy system would be necessary to reach carbon neutrality. Updated climate projections, including the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment and the 2018 Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reinforced the urgency of making that change.

    To meet this challenge, local government staff joined with Climate Smart Missoula, local experts and citizens to develop a 100% Clean Electricity Options Report in 2018. The Options Report was the foundation for Missoula’s 100% Clean Electricity Resolution, which the Missoula City Council and the Missoula Board of County Commissioners jointly and unanimously adopted in 2019. The 100% Clean Electricity Resolution establishes the goal of powering our community by 100% clean electricity by 2030, along with an interim goal of 80% clean electricity by 2025.

Page last updated: 17 Apr 2024, 11:23 AM