Under the Dome
State Legislative Update
Inside state energy policy with CCIA's legislative team
April 25, 2017
Dispatches from Colorado's Gold Dome 

We are finally in the home stretch of the session with just over two weeks left to go before Sine Die on May 10. Despite this tight timeframe, there are still over 320 bills in play with undoubtedly more to come. Additionally, the annual budgetary "long bill" has not passed due to the uncertainty of a package of "orbital" funding bills that include important transportation funding, a hospital provider fee fix and more.

I'd also like to mention a few items that are not on the bills listed below. One is the funding and multi-year authorization of the Colorado Energy Office (expect a bill to be dropped any day) and we successfully fought off an amendment to take $75k from the Advanced Industries Grant Fund. While that does not seem like a lot in a $10 million program, it sends a strong message that the fund is critical to Colorado's innovative business community and that CCIA will fight to protect it. 

Bill Updates
CCIA Sponsored Legislation  
HB 17-1090 Advanced Industries Investor Tax Credit - Once again CCIA is teaming up with CBSA to provide targeted incentives to help Colorado's innovative business community.  This bill will extend the current investor tax credit program currently in place till 2018 for 5 years (till 2023) an doubles the annual amount of tax credits available to $1.5 million/year.  Bill will be amended to $750k for tax year 2018 and double that for the next four yesrs.* Qualified investors who invest in start ups and early stage companies can get a tax credit up to $50k per company per year.  Passed the House Business Finance Committee 11-2 and is currently waiting for Appropriations Committee action after the budget process is complete. CCIA Position-Strongly Support.  

Miscellaneous Bills   
HB 17-1116 Continue Low Income Household Energy Assistance Program - extends the current program funded through severance tax money for 5 years to 2023.  Passed the House and is waiting on Senate Appropriation Committee action. CCIA Position - Support
HB 17-1200 - Update Public Benefit Corporation Requirements - a clean up bill r/t existing B-Corp statute allowing for more flexibility and clarity for share holders, how a company can identify itself as a B-Corp and clarifies reporting requirements. Waiting for the Governor's Signature. CCIA Position - Strong Support.
HB 17-1225 - Electric Regional Transmission Organization Hearing - requires the interim Transportation (& Energy) Legislative Review Committee (TLRC) to hold a hearing on Colorado utilities joining a RTO and related renewable energy issues after the session.  Waiting on a Senate Transportation Committee hearing. CCIA Position - Support.

HB 17-1227 - Electric Demand-side Management (DSM) Program Extension - extends the current DSM program for investor owned utilities ten years to 2028 with a 5% peak demand and energy savings reduction goal based off of a 2018 baseline year. Waiting on Sen. Ag., Energy & Natural Resources Committee vote (testimony taken). CCIA Position - Support.
HB 17-1232 - Public Utilities Alternative Fuel Motor Vehicles - allows investor owned utilities to rate base investments in electric vehicle and natural gas infrastructure.  Additionally, provides guidance to the PUC to factor in overall grid benefits, customer equipment choice and consumer protections.  Waiting on a Senate State Affairs hearing on 4.26.17. CCIA position - Strong Support.

HB 17-1299 - TLRC Interim Hearing on Electric Utility Storage - requires a hearing after the session on a variety of utility storage issues and potential policy action items. Waiting on a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing - CCIA position - monitor.
HB 17-1323 - PUC Ethics - Add Consumer Protection - creates an ombudsman for PUC ethicsand clarifies criteria for being eligible to serve on the commission. Passed House Trans. & Energy Committee and is Waiting on Finance Committee Action  - CCIA position - Monitor
HB 17-1339 - Colorado Energy Impact Assistance Act -   authorizes the issuance of low-cost ratepayer-backed bonds, and creates a Colorado energy impact assistance authority to mitigate the impacts of power plant retirements on Colorado workers and communities.  House Transportation & Energy Committee Hearing on 4.26.17.  CCIA Position - Support.

SB 17-047 Additional Incentives, Beneficial Use Waste Tires  - decreases the waste tire fee over time and reconfigures the allocations for the fund. Postponed Indefinitely in the Senate, Agriculture, Energy & Natural Resources Committee. CCIA Position - Monitor

SB 17-089  Allow Electric Utility Customers to Install Energy Storage Equipment - limits the battery storage interconnection and other fees for a small storage system.  Also, limited solar PV and storage to one overall utility meter.  Bill died in the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee. CCIA Position - Monitor.

SB 17-105 - Consumer Right to Know Electric Utility Charges - Codifies certain requirements, including monthly fuel source cost increases (if any), (future?) demand charges, and every six months a fuel source percentage breakdown on an Investor Owned Utility customer bill. Waiting for the Governor's Signature. CCIA Position - Monitor.
SB 17-145 - Electric Utility Distribution Grid Resource Acquisition Plan - directs Investor Owned Utilities to prepare to the PUC, proposals to integrate distributed energy resources into their plans to acquire new infrastructure. 'Distributed energy resources' is defined to include renewable distributed generation facilities - rooftop solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, and other features of an improved and diversified electrical grid architecture. Postponed Indefinitely by the bill sponsor in the Senate Ag., Energy & Natural Resources Committee.  CCIA Position - Monitor.
SB 17-179 - Fee Limits for Solar Energy Device Installations - extends the current $500 cap a county or municipality can charge for a residential solar array and $1,000 for a commercial system that is less than 2 megawatts.  Extends the caps 7 additional years to 2025. Waiting on the Governor's Signature.  CCIA Position - Strong Support.
SB 17- 188 - Repeal Innovative Motor Vehicle Tax Credits - authorizes a statewide ballot initiative to repeal the current alternative fuel vehicle tax credit starting in 2018 and transfers the funds that would have been awarded as credits to the Highway Users Trust Fund (HUTF).  This repeal applies to ALL vehicles in the tax credit program - electric vehicles, propane, natural gas and hydraulic hybrids. Postponed indefinitely. CCIA Position - Strong Oppose.
SB 17-213 - Automated Driving Motor Vehicles - sets the parameters and regulations for autonomous vehicles to operate and to move forward with pilot projects. Waiting for the Governor's Signature. CCIA Position - Support.
SB 17-252 - Utility Cost Saving Contracts for Local Governments - this is a clean up bill r/t existing energy performance contract (ESCO) statute which would allow increased meter accuracy to be an included measure in a performance contract and in particular water meters. Passed the Senate and is waiting on House Local Government Committee Action. CCIA Position - Support.
SB 17-271 - Investor Owned Utility Cost Recovery Transparency - would develop a transparent process by which an investor-owned utility may recover actual costs from a property owner on whose behalf the utility has extended its service by connecting the property owner's property to the utility's service. Waiting on a Senate Second Reading vote.  CCIA Position - Monitor.
SB 17-280 - Extending the Economic Development Commission - extends the authority of the commission to 2025.  Waiting for Senate Appropriations Committee Action. CCIA Position - Support.

If you would like to become active in CCIA's policy committee, or if you have a question about one of the bills listed above, please feel free to contact me at  cvotoupal@hpfirm.com

Chris Votoupal 
Heizer Paul LLP

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