Under the Dome
State Legislative Update
Inside state energy policy with CCIA's legislative team
February 22, 2017
Dispatches from Colorado's Gold Dome 

We are officially a third of the way through the First Regular Session of the 71st General Assembly. For the cleantech community, the session got off to a slow start but more bills are being introduced and committees are having more hearings as we progress. Recently, two new PUC commissioners passed a Senate confirmation hearing and a CCIA sponsored investor tax credit bill passed its first committee hurdle.

While budget priorities, construction defects, partisan messaging bills and transportation funding get the lion's share of the headlines, many important bills for cleantech have yet to be introduced. In the coming weeks, we expect to see bills on a variety of topics including autonomous vehicles, utility investments in electric vehicle and natural gas infrastructure, the Colorado Energy Office budget, energy efficiency programs and more.  

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) and doubles the annual amount of tax credits available to $1.5 million/year. Qualified investors who invest in start ups and early stage companies can get a tax credit up to $50k per company per year under certain ownership percentage caps.  Passed the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee 9-4 and is scheduled for a hearing in the House Finance Committee on 3/1.  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 Transportation & Energy Committee and is waiting on House Appropriations Committee action. 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. Waiting for a Senate Agriculture, Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing.  CCIA Position - Monitor

SB 17-089 Allow Electric Utility Customers to Install Energy Storage Equipment - limits battery storage interconnection and other fees for a small storage system. Also, limits 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), demand charges, and every six months a fuel source percentage breakdown on an Investor Owned Utility customer bill. Was heavily amended in the Senate Agriculture, Energy & Natural Resources Committee and now awaits Senate floor action.  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. Scheduled for a hearing in Senate Finance on 2/23.  CCIA Position - Strongly 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. Scheduled for a hearing on 2/28 in the Senate Finance Committee.  CCIA Position - Strongly Oppose.

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

Quick Links
AEL Logo
Developed in partnership with Colorado State University's  Center for the New Energy Economy , the AEL Tracker solves this challenge by collecting all advanced energy legislation into one database, assigning each bill to one of ten policy categories and providing a searchable, visual database complete with trend analysis and reporting.
The PUC Portal's online database provides you with everything you need to know about PUCs in all 50 states: makeup, members, structure, and statistics.  It includes information on other kay players in the state's energy sphere and data on the energy mix in each state.

Visit the PUC Portal

14062 Denver West Parkway, Building 52, Suite 300, Golden, CO 80401, 720-274-9798