Heat Rate Program

What is the heat rate program?

The heat rate is a special rate available to residential class services for the months of October through April that use an electrical heating system as the primary heat source.  The current heat rate is 5.4 cents per kWh. The maximum load of the heating system on the heat meter cannot exceed 40 kW.

Who is eligible for the heat rate? 

Only the primary living quarters of a residential class service is eligible for the heat rate.  Buildings other than the primary living quarters cannot be included on the heat rate.  Such ineligible buildings would include: barns, shops, sheds, out buildings, garages (both attached and detached), and guest houses.

How does the heat rate program work?

Qualifying heating systems are wired through a separate meter.  Park Electric provides the meter but all other materials, installation and wiring are the responsibility of the homeowner or their electrician.  An electrical permit is required.
To get started, a Heat Meter Request Form must be submitted to Park Electric.  Once approved, complete the heat system installation and wiring.  For correct installation of the heat meter and sub panel, please refer to the diagram on the inside of this brochure.  The line or source side must be wired into the top of the box and the load side into the bottom.  After all wiring is completed, schedule an appointment for Park Electric to install the meter.

What electric heating systems qualify?

Qualifying electric heating systems include:
-Hard wired electric heaters 
-Radiant panels
-Electric boilers
-Electric forced air furnaces
-Air source and ground source heat pumps
Any backup heating needed for heat pump installations cannot be electric heat.  If a backup heating system is required, it must be another fuel source.
Emergency heat strips within the pump unit cannot be wired in the heat meter sub panel.

How long will the heat rate be available?

The electric heat rate is guaranteed to remain in effect so long as Park Electrics power supplier provides an electric heat incentive. The heat rate is only available during the heating season.  In Montana, this season is considered October—April.  Regular residential rates apply during the non-heating season, May through September.


Please contact Park Electric if you are interested in the Heat Rate Program. Approval of the proposed system is necessary prior to installation. To download a Heat Meter Request Form click the following link:

All wiring and materials are the member's responsibility. Park Electric will supply the actual heat meter.  However the meter box must be purchased by the member. You may purchase the meter box through Park Electric or another supplier. All wiring must be completed by the homeowner or their electrician. An electrical permit from the state is required. After all wiring is complete call our office and schedule an appointment for Park Electric to install the meter.


Feel free to call the office at 222-7778. 


Energy cost comparisons

Comparing heating operation costs requires an understanding of BTU’s and fuel conversion measurements. To make it easier, the chart below takes BTU equivalents and converts them to prices per energy unit. Reading across each row, the cost per unit is easily compared between electricity, natural gas and propane.
To compare costs look at each row for the different heating types and efficiencies. In the first row, electricity at 5.4 cents per kWh equates into $1.16 per gallon for an 80% AFUE efficient propane heater and $1.42 per gallon for a 98% efficient furnace.
That means if you can buy propane for $1.16/gallon heating costs are the same as 5.4 cents/kWh of electricity. If the cost of propane is more or the efficiency is less, then heating with electricity is less expensive.

Electricity kWh 100%

Propane Gallon 80%

Propane Gallon 85%

Propane Gallon 98%

Natural Gas Dkt 98%




































Heat Meter Brochure

Note: This page includes downloadable files that are in Adobe PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download Acrobat Reader free of charge from Adobe's web site. This is a safe, fast and easy installation.