Alternative Energy Sources

The Building Codes Bureau, along with NorthWestern Energy, is committed to providing our customers and the public with easy to access information regarding how to safely install, inspect, and maintain alternate energy sources.  Below are links to several Montana Consumer Guides, which contain a wealth of information.  If you have alternative energy, or are considering installing an alternate energy source on a structure, please take the time to explore these consumer guides, as they can be of great benefit to you.  These consumer guides are also available in hard copy.  To obtain a hard copy please contact us at or (406) 841-2056.

1. The Montana Consumer Guide to Solar Heating Systems

  • Solar Heating Overview
  • Passive Solar Applications
  • Solar Heated Air Systems
  • Tax Credits/Financing

2. The Montana Consumer Guide to Grid-Interactive Solar Photovoltaic Systems

  • Capturing Solar Energy
  • Converting and Directing Power
  • Utilizing Produced Electricity
  • Make a Good PV Choice
  • Consumer Resources

3.  The Montana Consumer Guide to Micro-Hydro Systems

  • Micro-Hydro Overview
  • Head and Flow Components
  • Physical and Mechanical Components
  • Water Rights

4. The Montana Consumer Guide to Small Wind Generation Systems

  • Wind Turbine Basics
  • Wind Speed and Siting
  • Turbine Types and Components
  • Integral Equipment
  • Maintenance, Warranties
  • Consumer Resources


Funding for the printing of the Montana Renewable Energy Consumer Guides has been provided through Universal System Benefits (USB) funds collected from NorthWestern Energy customers.

The views and opinions expressed in the publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of funders or any state agency.

The publications are intended as introductory resources to renewable energy generation. Technologies, grant and tax incentives, and regulatory statutes listed in the guides can and do evolve and change. The Consumer Guides reference contacts and resources that provide up-to-date information on the industry.

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