Bipartisan Support for Energy Efficiency Bills

(April 3) – The House gave bipartisan approval this morning to two bills designed to continue Colorado’s position as a national leader in energy efficiency.

The first bill, HB17-1227, was passed on second reading and extends demand-side management programs established in 2007 to increase energy efficiency by establishing goals for investor-owned utilities to achieve a five percent reduction in the utility’s retail system peak demand and retail energy sales. The bill also requires the Public Utilities Commission to set new goals for demand-side management programs to increase energy efficiency even more over the next decade.

“This is a needed extension of standards that have served our state well,” said Rep. Winter, who is a prime sponsor of the bill along with Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Roxborough Park. “In fact there are now 40,000 energy efficiency jobs across the state and dozens and dozens of businesses that are expanding and growing. This is good for consumers as well—customers save an average of $3 for every $1 dollar invested in energy efficiency.”

The second bill, SB17-179, earned final approval from the House with a 61-1 vote and now moves to the governor’s desk. This bill extends legislation originally passed in 2008 to provide a level of certainty on the “soft costs” a solar installer incurs when selling solar equipment around the state. The bill continues the limits on local government fees at $500 for small residential solar arrays and $1,000 for small commercial arrays. The bill also continues state agency fee limits at $500 for residential and $2,000 for nonresidential.

“This bill sets reasonable limits on what a local jurisdiction can charge for a permit and related fees for solar arrays and provides cost certainty to small businesses and the Colorado consumer,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, a prime sponsor of the bill along with Rep. Lang Sias, R-Arvada.

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