(Boulder, CO) - On May 30th, Governor Jared Polis signed into law seven bills that will advance energy efficiency, boost renewable energy, and slow climate change in Colorado. HB 1231 establishes energy and water efficiency standards for 15 residential and commercial products sold in the state. The bill also puts in place energy and water standards in Colorado on any product for which such standards are rolled back by the Federal government.
“HB 1231 will save energy and water, lower utility bills for consumers and businesses, and cut pollution from power plants. This bill will save Colorado residents more than $1 billion,” said Howard Geller, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).
HB 1260 requires local jurisdictions to adopt a relatively recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) when they update their building codes. This law will ensure that new homes and commercial buildings across the state meet high energy efficiency standards, thereby saving energy and money for occupants, increasing comfort and safety, and reducing pollutant emissions.
“All Coloradans deserve the health, safety, resiliency, efficiency, comfort, and money savings from an updated energy code,” said Christine Brinker, Senior Associate with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project. “HB 1260 helps local governments to adopt and implement best practice energy efficiency standards for years to come.”
SB 236 includes a requirement that electric utilities and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) use a carbon emissions cost of at least $46 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) in all resource planning deliberations and decisions, including energy efficiency plan and program evaluations. SB 236 also includes a requirement that wholesale electric cooperatives submit resource plans to the Colorado PUC for review and approval.
“SB 236 will result in additional energy efficiency and demand response programs passing cost effectiveness screening, thereby increasing energy savings and peak demand reductions resulting from future utility energy programs,” Geller noted. “In addition, it is likely that Tri-State Generation and Transmission and its member rural electric cooperatives will expand the energy efficiency and demand response programs they offer to their customers as a result of PUC review and approval of Tri-State’s resource plans.”
Governor Polis has also announced that he will sign into law on May 31st two bills that will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state. SB 77 requires regulated electric utilities to develop and implement plans for investment in EV charging infrastructure, with PUC review and approval. It also allows utilities to recover the cost and earn a return on these investments. HB 1159 extends state income tax credits for purchase or lease of EVs or plug-in hybrids in Colorado through 2025.
All of the bills described above were actively supported by SWEEP, and some were proposals that SWEEP brought to legislators. SWEEP thanks Governor Polis, the Colorado Energy Office and bill sponsors for their leadership in supporting and advancing these important policies.
Pictured Above (L-R): Rep. Cathy Kipp, Rep. Alex Valdez, Gov. Jared Polis (seated), Sen. Faith Winter, Rep. Kevin Priola