Results of our NorthWestern Energy survey

January 6, 2015

Categories: Clean Energy, Plains Speaking

SunnyRenewableEnergySticker_2014-01-16Over four weeks in January-February 2015, we informally polled the opinions of Montana energy consumers. A total of 368 Montanans from across the state responded to our short six-question survey, which was promoted via Facebook. What did we learn? See the survey results below.

While this was not a scientific poll, it shows that Montanans overwhelmingly support the right to choose to generate on-site renewable energy — rooftop solar, small-scale wind, energy efficiencies — and embrace policies that make “net metering” a possibility for more people.

It’s time for NorthWestern Energy to see the light! The preeminent utilities across the country are changing their business models to address these breakthrough technologies and embrace renewable energy. NorthWestern Energy needs to recognize what their customers want and be innovative– or Montana will be left behind.


Question 1. With rooftop solar becoming less costly (down over 50% from 2008 to 2013), would you be interested in installing a solar system on your home if you could afford to do so?


Q2. Do you think utility customers should have the choice to generate some or all of their own power with a small solar or wind system? This policy is referred to as “net metering.”





Q3. In the 201 5 legislature, bills were proposed that would make renewable energy more affordable and accessible to more people, like community solar systems and “aggregate net metering” for farmers and ranchers with many electrical meters. However, NorthWestern Energy strongly opposed and defeated these bills.

Do you agree or disagree with NorthWestern Energy’s active opposition to this legislation?


Q4. Would you support legislation to make wind and solar energy more affordable and accessible for renters, for homes with shaded rooftops, or for any other utility customer?


Q5. Did you know? NorthWestern Energy is a regulated public utility: the company has a guaranteed profit margin and is able to recoup any capital investments or lost revenues from the “rate base” of customers.


Q6. Do you trust NorthWestern Energy to make energy decisions that are in the best interest of customers, rather than shareholders?



Want to reduce your energy costs?  Want to learn more about clean and renewable energy?
Northern Plains advocates for clean, renewable energy based on the belief that a common-sense energy policy can keep energy costs down and bring broader prosperity to our rural Montana communities while protecting our land. Learn more about our efforts to promote clean energy in Montana.

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Billings, Montana 59101
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