Under the Dome
State Legislative Update
Inside state energy policy with CCIA's legislative team
May 16, 2017
Dispatches from Colorado's Gold Dome 

Well the dust has finally settled on the 2017 General Assembly and I'm proud to announce that CCIA has had another successful session. We were able to pass our investment tax credit (HB 17-1090) extension and further protect the Advanced Industries grant program. Additionally, the arcane Hospital Provider Fee was re-categorized which should take some pressure on the state budget moving forward.

Unfortunately politics and interest groups managed to kill the funding for our partners at the important Colorado Energy Office.  At this point we are still in the dark about how this will impact their programs and staffing.  We strongly supported the continuation of the energy office despite several unfavorable provisions included in the bill listed below (SB 17-301). 

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). Qualified investors who invest in start ups and early stage companies can get a tax credit up to $50k per company per year.  CCIA Position - Strongly Support.  Governor is expected to sign.
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. CCIA Position - Support. Governor is expected to sign.
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. CCIA Position - Strong Support. Governor is expected to sign.
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. CCIA Position - Support. Postponed Indefinitely.

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. CCIA Position - Support. Governor is expected to sign.
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. CCIA position - Strong Support. Postponed Indefinitely.

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. CCIA position - monitor. Postponed Indefinitely.
HB 17-1323 - PUC Ethics - Add Consumer Protection - creates an ombudsman for PUC ethicsand clarifies criteria for being eligible to serve on the commission. CCIA position - Monitor. Postponed Indefinitely
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. CCIA Position - Support. Postponed Indefinitely.

HB 17-1363 - Exempt New Energy Requirement if Not Subordinate Lien - a clean up bill related to the Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (RPACE) financing program allowing a homeowner to quickly access financing for home energy and water improvements.  CCIA Position - Support. Governor is expected to sign.
SB 17-047 Additional Incentives, Beneficial Use Waste Tires  - decreases the waste tire fee over time and reconfigures the allocations for the fund. CCIA Position - Monitor. Postponed Indefinitely.

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. CCIA Position - Monitor. Postponed Indefinitely.

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. CCIA Position - Monitor. Waiting for the Governor's Signature.

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. CCIA Position - Monitor. Postponed Indefinitely
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. CCIA Position - Strong Support. Signed into law.
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. CCIA Position - Strong Oppose. Postponed Indefinitely.
SB 17-213 - Automated Driving Motor Vehicles - sets the parameters and regulations for autonomous vehicles to operate and to move forward with pilot projects. CCIA Position - Support. Governor is expected to sign.
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. CCIA Position - Support.  Waiting for the Governor to sign.
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. CCIA Position - Monitor. Waiting for the Governor's signature.
SB 17-280 - Extending the Economic Development Commission - extends the authority of the commission to 2025.. CCIA Position - Strong Support. Governor is expected to sign.
SB 17-301 - Extend & Fund the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) & Change Mission - this heavily amended and loaded up bill would have funded the CEO at a reduced amount for four years, added hydro and nuclear to their mission, increased the EV decal fees and allowed Investor Owned Utilities to own natural gas mineral resources for heating.  This bill also repeals many obsolete or unfunded programs dating back the ARRA and the previous administration.  Many other amendments were offered and proposed but ultimately the clock ran out...CCIA Position - Strongly Support.  Died on the Calendar.

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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