Building on the success of the last two years of New Energy Economy legislation, including the doubling of the state’s renewable energy standard, the legislature and Governor Ritter continued to make Colorado a national and global leader in the New Energy Economy with the 2009 legislative session.
For information on the current year’s legislative session, visit the Colorado General Assembly website.
2009 House Legislation
1126 “Encourage Solar Thermal Installations” (Hullinghorst/Schaffer)
Allows local governments to provide the same incentives for solar thermal installations—the type of project that uses solar-heated water as an energy source—as exists for solar electric installations. This bill also adds a corresponding exemption from state sales and use tax for solar thermal, similar to what’s in place for solar PV and wind.
1149 “Solar Home Prewire” (Merrifield/M. Carroll)
Requires homebuilders to offer prospective homebuyers the option of having their home pre-wired for solar or having a system installed, making it easier to finance renewable energy by folding it into your home mortgage.
Creates a loan program to help schools pay for renewable energy projects, as well as hybrid and electric buses, so that more education dollars can be in the classroom instead of on utility bills.
Creates incentives through updated tax credits to buy fuel-efficient vehicles as well as convert vehicles to plug-in electric hybrids or compressed natural gas. The bill updates tax credits to exclude certain hybrid SUVs and other vehicles that don’t meet a mile-per-gallon standard.
1345 “Electric Utilities Integrate Transmission Infrastructure” (Solano/Schwartz)
Directs the public utilities commission (PUC) to study and report to the general assembly on the construction plans of owners and operators of electric transmission facilities in Colorado. The work will help guide how best to ensure new transmission projects can deliver power from renewable sources to the grid.
Compliments the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and helps the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) with bonding. Allows the GEO to utilize the State Treasurer’s Office to issue bonds for renewable energy projects. Is this link going to correct PDF?
2009 Senate Legislation
039 “Conserve Energy Tiered Rates Incentive” (Schwartz/Curry)
Authorizes cooperative electric associations to charge graduated rates for high-consuming customers as an incentive to encourage residential consumers to be more energy efficient. Also allows associations to establish a fund designed to reduce power demands by helping customers improve energy efficiency, energy conservation and weatherization, as well as install renewable energy.
051 “Renewable Energy Finance Act” (Carroll/Levy)
Takes numerous steps to make solar energy systems more affordable for homeowners and improve market conditions for solar energy companies doing business in Colorado. The bill creates financing models that can help homes and businesses spread out the upfront costs of a system over several years, similar to purchasing and financing a car. The bill also provides treasury bonds to participating banks and lenders that will provide more financing options for solar installation.
075 “Low-speed Electric Self-propelled Vehicles” (Schwartz/Marostica)
Applies generally applicable traffic laws to low-speed electric vehicles, essentially integrating these vehicles into existing laws and regulations. This includes authorization of particular road accessibility, setting of equipment standards for sale and operation of the vehicles, and application of vehicle registration fees towards recharging stations.
092 “State Motor Vehicles Use Natural Gas” (Kopp/Marostica)
Requires a significant increase in the use of alternative fuels by state-owned motor vehicles, focusing particularly on compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel.
098 “Tax Exempt Blended Diesel Products” (Schwartz/Vigil)
Simplifies the tax rebate structure to make blended biodiesel a more financially appealing alternative to traditional diesel.
124 “Extend Ag Energy-Related Projects” (Isgar/Roberts)
Extends funding to the Colorado Agricultural Value-Added Development Board to promote agricultural renewable energy-related projects and research, such as those involving biofuels development or wind and solar energy.
171 “New Energy Jobs Program” (Schwartz/Todd and Vigil)
Develops job training programs and helps companies train employees for participation in Colorado’s New Energy Economy.
177 “New Solar Facility Property Tax Valuation” (Schwartz/Vigil)
This bill standardizes the method for property value assessment of solar energy facilities and wind energy facilities. This will mean longer term economic benefit to the local community over the life of a large-scale solar system.
297 “Expedite Federal Stimulus Act Projects” (Sandoval/Judd)
This bill allows the GEO to use Clean Energy Fund dollars for revolving loan programs, thus giving additional life to recovery dollars which can revolve back to the state for use in additional renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects.