One of the most important steps towards harnessing new energy opportunities in the Flathead is understanding the current context in which energy decisions are made.
Re-Powering the Flathead compiled data on existing energy use in the Flathead to understand where we currently use energy, where that energy comes from, and the implications of status quo consumption patterns. A baseline can also help provide a benchmark against which to measure progress to increase energy efficiency and to diversify energy supply.
In 2009, nearly 17 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy were consumed in Flathead County.
A majority of that energy came from sources that are neither produced nor controlled locally:
A majority of energy use occurs in buildings and facilities, however the transportation sector is the single biggest end-use of energy when residential, commercial, and industrial facilities are treated separately:
Re-Powering the Flathead also worked to compile information about the status of infrastructure, energy programs, and success stories (insert link) already in place or underway. All of the data and analysis assembled for the Flathead Picture were shared and refined with stakeholders as a foundation for the discussion of energy related challenges and opportunities.
For more information, data, and references see Chapter 3: The Flathead Picture.