Making solar energy dreams a reality in Montana

Posted at 4:00 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 18:50:01-04

HELENA – When you think solar energy, sunny locations like Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California come to mind. But Montana fares pretty well compared to more southerly spots.

“In Helena, we have  an average peak sunlight day of 4.7 hours.  That compares pretty much exactly to Houston, Texas,” says Solar Montana owner Jack Isbell.

Mark and Kathy Judeman know this from firsthand experience. The couple say that living on solar energy has been a goal of theirs for years. But with careful planning, it’s a dream they’ve finally turned into a reality.

But before installing solar panels, the Judemann’s took steps to make their home more energy-efficient.

And they use apps that help them to know which appliances are hogging the most energy.

While solar panels are pricey upfront, they pay for themselves in the long run. Solar Montana owner Jack Isbell says that the technology has become increasingly affordable in recent years.

And although Mark and Kathy Judemann say that they have noticed a huge reduction in their monthly energy bill, that’s not their favorite thing about living on solar energy.

They just get satisfaction from doing what’s right for their community.