January 2023
We hope 2023 is off to a good start for you. While 2022 was a very important year for progress on policy in clean energy at the national and state levels, much of the work of implementing these programs will happen this year. So while we don't expect as much major legislation, we will be busy monitoring progress in rolling out programs and making sure that benefits flow to all Coloradans. We also invite your participation this month in a very important proceeding at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission that is planning energy efficiency programs for the next five years in both the gas and electric sectors.
Sunny regards,
Rebecca Cantwell 
for New Energy Colorado

p.s. Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues and let us know what else you would like to read about by emailing us here

Electric Vehicle Credits Under New Federal Law are Rolling Out

Now that it is 2023, many of the tax credits made possible in the major energy and climate bill passed last year known as the Inflation Reduction Act are now in effect.
Electric Vehicle buyers can receive generous credits of $7,500, in addition to other credits from utilities and state and local governments. But determining if the vehicle you want is eligible is complicated. You can read the guidance from the IRS here. To be eligible, vehicles must:
  • Have undergone final assembly in North America 
  • Not exceed a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of
  • $80,000 for vans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks
  • $55,000 for other vehicles
To see if a specific vehicle meets the assembly requirements:

Rules on used vehicles are much simpler. Used EVs are eligible for a $4,000 federal credit and Xcel Energy offers another $3,000 credit. However, you must buy the vehicle from a dealer to get the federal credit. Read guidance from the IRS on used vehicle purchases here.

For more information about other credits for EVs in the works, see this excellent Colorado Sun story here

Information about other tax credits available from the Inflation Reduction Act can be found on the Colorado Energy Office website here.
Tired of High Utility Bills? Weigh in on Ways to Cut Fossil Fuel Use

A public hearing January 18 provides an important opportunity for Solar CitiSuns to encourage Xcel Energy to do more to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
The hearing on Xcel’s Demand Side Management and Beneficial Electrification plans (Dockets 22A-0309EG and 22A-0315EG) will focus on the utility’s energy savings goals for both gas and electricity, as well as ways to move more energy use from gas to electricity. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission must approve the plans, and the regulators are weighing changes sought by a variety of advocates.

Among the important issues for Solar CitiSuns:

  • Xcel makes no mention of solar thermal in the strategic issues planning docket. While focusing on heat pumps as a way to transition from dirtier gas to cleaner electricity, Xcel should also encourage this oldest form of solar energy, which relies on heating liquid from the sun. Solar thermal systems work better in Colorado than anywhere in the country and are cost-effective now, especially with high gas prices. Solar thermal has been ignored too long in Colorado energy policy. Solar CitiSuns can ask the PUC to require Xcel to offer incentives for these systems.
  • More effort needs to be made to encourage energy use when solar and wind generation are abundant. Ask regulators to set rates to encourage use when renewables are plentiful. And ask for expansion of Demand Response programs and open them to private companies to unleash innovation.
  • More focus needs to be made on energy efficiency measures to reduce home gas use. All of us who have a furnace in Xcel territory know how dramatically gas prices have jumped, just in time for cold weather. But Xcel continues to underestimate the real costs for future gas, plans to keep on passing increases to customers, and is investing far less in gas efficiency programs than in electric programs.

The virtual hearing will be January 18 at noon at this zoom link:
There will be an in-person public hearing from 4-6 pm on January 18 at PUC offices at 1560 Broadway, Suite 250 Denver, CO 80202.

You can sign up to comment here
You can also file written comments, using the docket numbers above here

All the filings are available here: Proceeding Detail (state.co.us)
Planning has started for the 2023 Metro Denver Green Homes Tour on October 7.

If you have a home to suggest or want to get involved in planning the tour, please reach out to Sheila Townsend at sheilactownsend@gmail.com.
This year, we are looking to showcase homes throughout metro Denver. And remember, the homes can be modest dwellings in modest neighborhoods where homeowners have taken big energy and water-saving strides.

You can tour some of the region's most sustainable homes at your leisure by taking our virtual tour any time.
Upcoming Events

January 26 7 p.m. Jeffco CRES
Building a North American Supergrid - A Bold Plan
Information here

January 31 7pm Boulder CRES
The RESTORE Passive House: Build back by building forward
Information here

February 23-26
Colorado Environmental Film Festival- American Mountaineering Center
Information here

Solar Power & Energy Storage: Mountain West

Three Stories We Think You'll Want to Read