Gov Signs Beneficial Electrification, Renewable Energy Bills

DENVER, CO — Governor Polis today signed two bills into law, which will increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality and encourage the use of more renewable energy. 

“Going green, whether through renewable energy or energy efficient technology, is great for our environment and can save individuals and businesses money in the process – what’s not to love?” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, sponsor of SB21-246 and SB21-261. “This was a banner year for clean energy, and the two laws signed by Governor Polis today prove it. Both laws will go a long way toward meeting our climate goals while creating jobs and investing in long-term sustainability.”

“New advances in energy efficient technology mean we can save money while saving the planet,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, sponsor of SB21-246. “The new law signed today will help Coloradans embrace energy efficient technologies like electric water heaters and furnaces, helping us to meet our climate goals, create jobs and improve both our indoor and outdoor air quality.”

SB21-246 directs the Public Utilities Commission to set longer-term energy savings targets for utility beneficial electrification programs and approve plans from investor-owned utilities that would use incentives to promote the use and installation of energy efficient electric equipment. Transitioning to clean electric homes and businesses will improve public health, save energy, create jobs, and help Colorado meet its climate goals by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Under the bill, utilities will develop plans to help their customers replace costly natural gas and propane fueled appliances with high efficiency electric equipment, and utilities must include programs targeted to lower-income households in their plans.

Clean heat from appliances such as electric heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and induction stoves will help Colorado reduce greenhouse gas pollution and has potential to help improve indoor air quality and health and safety in buildings. Improving indoor air quality is especially beneficial to families with children, older Coloradans, or who have household members with respiratory issues. Businesses that sell and install energy efficient technologies will see increased demand and growth through greater adoption of more efficient equipment. 

“If we’re serious about meeting the ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals we set for ourselves, we can’t be limited by arbitrary caps on the amount of clean energy we can produce,” said Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, sponsor of SB21-261. “The new law signed today does away with unnecessary barriers to allow Coloradans to lean into renewable energy and more adequately store and produce clean energy.” 

Currently, homeowners with rooftop solar panels have been limited in the amount of solar energy they can produce to 120% of the previous year. SB21-261 removes limitations on rooftop solar, modernizes net metering, reduces the costs of solar installation, and advances adoption of battery storage technology with the goal of helping Colorado meet our climate goals of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.