Governor Schweitzer Announces Energy Efficiency Upgrade Grants for Schools through the Montana Department of Commerce Quick Start Program

June 4, 2009

The Montana Department of Commerce is providing competitive grants for Montana schools to perform energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades. The Quick Start program, approved by the 61st Legislature in the Montana Reinvestment Act (HB 645), implements the federal American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This program is designed to assist schools with conducting energy audits and completing energy efficiency projects that provide long-term, cost-effective benefits to K-12 school facilities.

“Quick Start will provide quick relief and long-term benefits for Montana’s schools,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “Quick Start is designed to assists schools with conducting energy audits and completing energy efficiency projects that provide long-term, cost-effective benefits to K-12 school facilities.”

The Department of Commerce will distribute up to $14,950,000 million in Quick Start funds on a reimbursement basis until September 30, 2009.

To date, the Department of Commerce has awarded approximately $750,000 in grant money for schools to have energy audits performed. Within each school district, on average at least two facilities – and sometimes up to five facilities – are targeted for energy audits. The Department of Commerce anticipates awarding grant money for energy efficiency projects this week as well. The schools that have received grant money for energy audits include:

Choteau Elementary, Choteau

Creston Elementary, Kalispell

Harlem Public Schools, Harlem

Shepherd School, Shepherd

Frontier Elementary, Wolf Point

Lolo Elementary, Lolo

Ronan School, Ronan

Alberton School, Alberton

Corvallis School, Corvallis

Brockton School, Brockton

Box Elder School, Box Elder

Pioneer Elementary, Billings

St. Ignatius School, St. Ignatius

Swan Valley Elementary, Condon

North Harlem Colony Elementary, Harlem

Wolf Creek Elementary, Wolf Creek

Hardin Public Schools, Hardin

Cayuse Prairie School, Kalispell

Carter County Schools, Ekalaka

Elder Grove Elementary, Billings

Columbia Falls School, Columbia Falls

Fair-Mont-Egan Elementary, Kalispell

Troy Public Schools, Troy

Lavina K-12 Schools, Lavina

Olney-Bissell School, Lavina

Rapelje Elementary, Rapelje

Anderson Elementary, Bozeman

Broadus School, Broadus

Poplar School District, Poplar

Nashua K-12 Schools, Nashua

Bigfork High School, Bigfork

Roberts School, Roberts

Columbus Public Schools, Columbus

Laurel Public Schools, Laurel

Gardiner School, Gardiner

Whitefish High, Whitefish

Lincoln K-12, Lincoln

Vida School, Vida

Lodge Grass School, Lodge Grass

Elysian Elementary, Billings

Great Falls Public Schools, Great Falls

Belgrade School, Belgrade

Turner Public Schools, Turner

Marion Elementary, Marion

Target Range Elementary, Missoula

Wyola School District, Wyola

“Quick Start is a valuable service to Montana’s public schools,” said Anthony Preite, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “In awarding grants to public school districts, the Department considers the potential for energy savings in public school facilities based on factors including the age, energy use, function and condition of the building. The Department also makes every attempt to accommodate large, small, urban and rural schools.”

Review of energy audit applications and energy efficiency project applications will continue each week until September 1, 2009.

For more information please contact the Quality Schools Grant Program at 406-841-2800 or visit the website at