Montana’s economy, environment, and communities require a fundamental shift in the way we generate and use energy. The finite supply of cheap fossil fuels on which our entire economy is built will eventually run out. Meanwhile, the earth’s atmosphere is being catastrophically altered by the combustion of those fuels and the emissions of greenhouse gases, with dangerous consequences for our state’s farmers and ranchers, water supplies, and the natural ecosystems we depend upon and enjoy.
Thankfully, there’s a better way to go that will result in healthier and more prosperous communities, cleaner air and water, and less money wasted on energy.
In order to ease our transition to the inevitable era without cheap coal, oil, and natural gas, and in order to cut our dependence on these dangerous, polluting fuels, we simply must get back to meeting our needs with our income. Balancing our energy budget requires using much less energy, and producing what we do use close to home from clean, renewable sources: wind, sun, flowing water, sustainably managed crops, and heat from the earth’s core.
Through on-the-ground projects, public education, and policy change, AERO is dedicated to promoting energy solutions that strengthen self-reliance, conserve natural resources, and build local economic vitality.
What is AERO doing to promote energy solutions in Montana?
- Showcasing what works: Through an annual series of energy tours, AERO highlights energy conservation practices, energy efficiency upgrades, rooftop solar systems and backyard wind turbines that make sense for home owners, small businesses, local governments, farmers, and ranchers.
- Guiding community energy projects: AERO is a resource for city and county governments, neighborhood associations, community groups, and other organizations who want to find ways to cut their energy costs and build their community’s resilience and energy self-sufficiency.
- Advocating for clean energy policy: AERO stands up for energy conservation, efficiency, and clean, renewable energy at the Montana Legislature, Public Service Commission, and in our local governments. In recent years we helped establish stronger energy codes for new buildings statewide, and helped propel Helena’s Climate Action Plan to completion and adoption.
- Articulating a vision for our future: In 2007 a group of AERO members published Repowering Montana: A Blueprint for Homegrown Energy Self-Reliance. The Blueprint is a vision statement that describes how Montana can transition to an economy built on energy conservation and decentralized renewable energy supplies. This is an approach that will protect our clean air and water while building new prosperity.
- Hosting seminars and workshops: AERO conducts trainings and classes designed to help Montanans easily and affordably save energy in their homes.
- Telling it like it is: AERO works with advocates of clean energy to make the case over the airwaves and in our news outlets for transitioning our economy to energy solutions that will work for the long haul.