DENVER, CO– The House Energy and Environment Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Representatives Alex Valdez and Meg Foelich that would promote the use of energy efficient electric equipment.
“Technological advances are constantly producing more energy efficient equipment that can save consumers money on their electric bills,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D- Denver. “Every dollar saved by investing in efficiency measures, is a dollar that can directly help working Coloradans. By incentivising consumers to adopt energy efficient technologies, like electric water heaters and furnaces, we are going to create good jobs, emit less dirty greenhouse gases into our environment, and improve indoor air quality in homes and businesses across the state.”
“Colorado can meet our climate goals, create jobs, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and improve both our indoor and outdoor air quality by embracing energy efficiency equipment,” said Rep. Meg Froelich, D- Englewood. “The bill we advanced today would ask utility companies to create plans that encourage their customers voluntarily to adopt more energy efficient technologies that will save everyone money and help protect Colorado’s beautiful environment for everyone to enjoy.”
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. The legislation explicitly clarifies that beneficial electrification projects be implemented voluntarily without any coercion or discriminatory treatment to customers that decline any incentives that may be offered to them.