There is a new program through the Montana Facility Finance Authority that helps eligible nonprofits cover the upfront costs of an energy audit. The Energy Efficiency Program identifies opportunities to save on energy bills for years to come. According to Associate Director Seth Lutter, the National Center for Appropriate Technology provides a professional engineer to perform the audit.

“They look at the entire building that they have,” Lutter said. “They look at the building envelope, the HVAC system, the lighting and really anything that costs money in regards to energy. They go through it all and they say this is what you currently have, your building was built in this time, and these are the items that you have that can be upgraded. If you do these upgrades these are the savings that you will be able to see.”

The maximum grant available is $15,000 and Lutter says rural hospitals would benefit the most from this program.

“All the different smaller hospitals would be able to see this as a huge benefit,” Lutter said. “What we are seeing is through the $15,000 of the grant that allows NCAT to go and actually evaluate the facility; they are coming back with 30 or 40 thousand dollars’ worth of savings on an annual basis for some facilities.”

Lutter says eligible organizations include nonprofit hospitals, senior living facilities, group homes, prerelease facilities and clinics.Interested parties may download an application at MTFACILITYFINANCE.COM or contact MFFA at 406.444.5435 for more information.