Thanks to the team at SNO, Lizzi Kehoe, Outreach and Programs Coordinator and Lizzie Peyton, Director of Community Sustainability for the below piece. 


You may know Big Sky SNO (Sustainability Network Organization) from their community cleanup efforts, ‘trash talking’ at events, or the latest Climate Action Plan Speaker Series. 

In fact, with Earth Day on the horizon and snow melt in the forecast, SNO has a community cleanup collaboration with Gallatin River Task Force and the Big Sky Community Organization May 10th-May 12th. Check out their instagram @bigskysno for more info soon.


Interested in attending an Earth Day event this weekend?


Check out the Gallatin Valley Earth Day Festival 


C-PACE at Madison County Commissioners

C-PACE at Madison County Commissioners: The Big Sky advocates: Lizzie Peyton (SNO), Boz Boswell (YC), Beth Famiglietti (LMLC) , & Erika Grden (Moonlight Basin) advocating for C-PACE with Madison County Commissioners in November 2023. Madison County Commissioners unanimously passed the county becoming a C-PACE District in November 2023 at that meeting


Big Sky Community Climate Action Plan


As discussed in the Big Sky Community Climate Action Plan published by Sustainability Network Organization (SNO), more than half of the Big Sky carbon footprint is the result of heating, cooling, and operating buildings using electricity provided by NorthWestern Energy and propane gas provided by multiple, independent suppliers. This includes most residential and commercial emissions and more than half of the industrial emissions (industrial emissions are calculated from Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone Club emissions). Thus, this sector has enormous potential for positively contributing as Big Sky develops. But you probably have questions on how to get there.


How Can you Finance Eco-Friendly Upgrades to your Building?


Interested in retro-fitting energy efficient appliances or sustainable landscaping for your new build, but stuck on how to finance it all?


C-PACE, or Commercial Property Assessed Capital Enhancement, is a financing option offered through the state of Montana to provide building owners and renters with a way to finance energy and water efficiency improvements as well as renewable energy generation. Known as Last Best Pace, Montana’s C-PACE financing program follows the more than 37 states that have C-PACE enabling legislation and more than $2 billion in projects have been financed. Businesses in Big Sky can now take advantage of this great opportunity.


Environment & Health Benefits with C-PACE


Both environmental and health concerns are benefitted by pursuing measures that can be accomplished through C-PACE financing.


Did you know that around ⅔ of Big Sky’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from buildings and infrastructure?



Not only are there environmental implications of business-as-usual building strategies, but the health impacts of traditional energy use and development are considerable. Energy efficient measures in homes and buildings the support health and safety of communities, as they can ensure good air quality, healthy temperatures and humidity levels (to prevent mold), and noise levels. These measures benefit owners, renters, and patrons of a business, and thus have a positive effect on the entire community.

Carolyn Jones, of the MT Facility Finance Authority, presented with Lizzie Peyton to Madison County Commissioners to propose the county as a C-PACE District in October 2023.

The Cost of C-PACE


With consideration to the benefits above, some cannot afford the direct cost of implementing such measures.

C-PACE financing removes the up-front costs of investing in energy efficiency projects, water conservation projects, and solar or renewable energy upgrades for commercial property owners and projects over $100,000. Because utility savings exceed payment obligations, the investments are cash positive for commercial property owners and tenants both up front, and through the lifetime of the payment. More specifically, payments are represented as a specific line item on one’s regular biannual  property  tax assessment, and the program is tax neutral, with no financial exposure to counties. 



Bridger Brewing in Three Forks formed the Headwaters Utility Association with C-PACE Financing. The water treatment system project will result in $10 million in savings for Bridger Brewing and approximately 300 million gallons in conserved water over the years.


Are you eligible for C-PACE?

Check out the list of questions below. 


If yes, are you ready to begin your journey with Last Best Pace?

Head to and click on “Apply Now.” More program guidelines and specifics are available online. 


Last Best Pace


If you answer “yes” to the following questions, your project may be eligible for C-PACE financing:


  • Are you the legal property owner? 

  • Are you current on your mortgage and tax payments?

  • Do you hold a title to the property subject to a C-PACE assessment? Is said property not in dispute?

  • Do the proposed improvements cost more than $100,000? 

  • Will the proposed improvements boost energy efficiency? Would they be permanently affixed to the property (ex. solar panels, boilers, insulation)?

  • Will the anticipated monetary savings from the improvements likely exceed their costs?



If you find that your project is not eligible for C-PACE financing, here are some other resources that may be helpful:


More information on Sustainability in Big Sky


For more information on how how you can contribute to sustainability in Big Sky, head to for resources, information, and volunteer opportunities.