Montana will use its Recovery Act SEP funding to undertake projects that will improve the energy efficiency of state buildings while expanding renewable energy use and recycling infrastructure in the state. SEP funds will support energy efficiency improvements to 50 state-owned buildings and will provide for a significant expansion of the State Buildings Energy Conservation Program. The state will also use Recovery Act SEP funds for grants to speed the implementation of new clean energy technologies that have moved into the production phase but are not yet well known or utilized in the state.
In addition, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which oversees the SEP program, will be able to increase the amount it lends in low-interest loans to consumers, businesses, and non-profit organizations to install various renewable energy systems, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass.
Under the SEP, DEQ will also expand the state's recycling infrastructure to help limit the quantity of recyclable materials that end up in landfills. As a result of the state's rural nature with small population centers and long distances between communities, it is often difficult to cost effectively recycle materials. With an expanded recycling infrastructure the state will be able to reduce the need for new materials to be mined and manufactured, which saves energy at all stages of the process.