2010 Colorado Legislature clean energy bills

Utility regulation and clean fuels | Financing | Taxation | Jobs | Community-owned systems | Water conservation | Geothermal resources | Other

The 2010 legislative session ended May 12, 2010.

Other years' legislative trackers: 2010 | (2011 and 2012 not available) | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

Resource: How a Bill Becomes Colorado Law, 1-page flow chart prepared by Colorado Legislative Legal Services

Utility regulation and clean fuels

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1001 Rep. Max Tyler, D-Lakewood; Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Sen. Bruce Whitehead, D-Hesperus

Increase in renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) for investor-owned utilities
Boosts the RPS for investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy) to achieve 30 percent renewable generation by 2020. Lowers the requirement for distributed renewable energy generation from the present 4 percent target to 3 percent. Sets a standard minimum rebate of $2 per watt. Requires customers with renewable energy ststems to continue to contribute a fair share to the utility's renewable energy program fund. Requires systems eligible for rebates to be installed by NABCEP-certified workers.

Passed by House
Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
March 22, 2010

HB 10-1098

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder

Increased Transparency in Governance
of Rural Electric Co-ops

Requires rural electric cooperatives to allow public input at board meetings, post board meeting notice and packet 14 days in advance on website; post board meeting minutes on website, post board election policies 6 months in advance of election, give all candidates equal access to member lists, and randomly order candidate names on ballots. Prohibits candidates or employees from handling ballots without a neutral party present, prohibits a co-op from spending money to oppose a candidate.

Passed by House,

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
June 11, 2010

HB 10-1365 Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango; Rep. Judy Solano, D-Brighton; Sen. Bruce Whitehead, D-Hesperus; Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction Clean Air, Clean Jobs
Requires investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy) to convert 50 percent of their coal-fired generation capacity, up to 900 megawatts, to natural gas by Dec. 31, 2017. Plans for conversion must be submitted to the PUC by Aug. 15, 2010, and the PUC must act on the plan by Dec. 31, 2010.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
April 19, 2010

SB 10-180 Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora; Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood Development of a Smart Grid for Colorado
Creates an 11-member task force to gather information and report to the legislature and Colorado Public Utilities Commission on issues related to the implementation of a smart energy grid in Colorado. 

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
June 11, 2010

Financing

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1328 Rep. Joe Miklosi, D-Denver; Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village

New Energy Jobs Creation Act
Creates the Colorado New Energy Improvement District to administer and finance an statewide opt-in loan program for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, with debt repayments made on the home owner’s annual property tax bill over 20 years. Allows the district to issue up to $250 million in tax-exempt bonds. Requires county commissioners to authorize the program for residents. Establishes a nine-member governing board.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
June 11, 2010

SB 10-100

Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Rep. Joe Miklosi, D-Denver

Greater Flexibility for Clean Energy Financing Districts
Current law prohibits local improvement districts for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements (energy LIDs) from crossing county boundaries. This bill allows energy LIDs to cross county boundaries and include properties in multiple counties, whether contiguous or non-contiguous, if county commissioners of the affected counties agree to share district costs.

The bill also expands the definition of renewable energy improvements for energy LIDs to include improvements located at a community location rather than directly on a residential or commercial building. It also exempts county energy LIDs from certain public notice and county treasurer debt authorization requirements.

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter May 5, 2010, in Aspen

HB 10-1182 Rep. Judy Solano, D-Brighton; Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village

Limited expansion of powers of the Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority
Expands the types of loans and financing agreements the Authority may make to facilitate electric power interconnection projects. Specifically authorizes commercial loan agreements for projects that connect clean energy generating facilities to the utility transmission grid.

Passed by House,

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter May 5, 2010

back to top

Taxation

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1267 Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood; Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver

Property Tax Valuation of Residential Solar Electric System
Under current law, third-party owners of solar electric systems must pay business personal property tax on the facilities leased to residential households. This bill defines third-party owned residential facilities as household furnishings, thereby exempting them from property tax. To qualify for the exemption, systems may not be owned by the residential property owner, may not exceed 100 kilowatts, and may not produce income for the homeowner. Rebates, offsets, credits, and reimbursements for renewable energy projects are not considered income under this bill.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter
June 11, 2010

SB 10-19 Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins

Valuation of New Hydroelectric Facilities
This bill, recommended by the Water Resources Review Committee, specifies that for purposes of property taxation, new hydroelectric energy facilities will be valued using the income approach if (1) energy production begins on or after January 1, 2010, and (2) generation capacity is more than 5 megawatts. This means the actual value will be based on the projected gross revenue of such facilities, measured in nominal dollars. Under current law, assessors are allowed to use either the cost approach, the market approach, or the income approach, and traditionally have used the cost approach.

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter June 8, 2010

SB 10-177

Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne

Promotion of Biomass Energy Development
Places biomass energy facilities under regulation of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and specifies that biomass energy facilities must be valued in the same manner as wind and solar energy facilities, using the income approach, where the value is based on the projected gross revenue of these facilities.

House Co-sponsors: Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon;
Rep. Marsha Looper, R-Calhan

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter June 9, 2010

back to top

Jobs

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1262 Rep. Jerry Frangas, D-Denver

Scholarship Programs for Green Jobs
Establishes the Colorado Green Jobs Scholarship and requires the Colorado Department of Higher Education to award at least $500,000 in scholarships over the next four years.

Killed in House Appropriations Committee,
April 9, 2010

HB 10-1333

Rep. Edward Vigil, D-Alamosa; Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Sen. Linda Newell, D-Littleton

Green Jobs Colorado Training Program
Creates a two-year, $700,000 pilot program to offer grants to workforce development organizations, employers, educators and training providers, youth corps groups, and economic development organizations to provide job training for the wind, solar, renewable energy, and energy efficiency industries. Applicants must fund at least 20 percent of the costs of their training program.

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter
June 11, 2010

back to top

Community-owned systems

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1342 Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder; Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora

Community Solar Gardens
Directs the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adopt new rules by October 1 to apply rebates to solar generation facilities jointly owned by 10 or more utility customers at a shared location, defined as community solar gardens.

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter June 5, 2010

back to top

Water conservation

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1204 Rep. John Soper, D-Thornton; Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton

Inclusion of Conservation Standards in the State Plumbing Code
Adds conservation to the standards that must be addressed in the state plumbing code.

Passed House, passed Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter,
April 5, 2010

HB 10-1358 Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins; Sen. Michael Johnston, D-Denver Water-Smart Homes
Requires builders of new single-family homes to offer buyers water-smart options, including water-efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads, dishwashers and clothes washers, landscaping, and pressure-reduction valves.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter,
June 9, 2010

back to top

Geothermal resources

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 10-174

Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs

Regulating Development of Geothermal Resources
SB10-174 makes 5 key changes to the regulation of geothermal resource development.

Geothermal Resource Leasing Fund. Authorizes federal mineral lease revenues from geothermal development on federal lands to be used to provide grants to state agencies, school districts, and local governments affected by geothermal development and production. Grants are to be awarded by the Department of Local Affairs primarily for planning and services necessitated by geothermal development and production, and secondarily to promote geothermal energy resource development.

Groundwater ownership. Specifies that the property rights to geothermal resources are part of surface ownership unless these rights are "severed" or separated from the land and sold or leased. In cases where geothermal resources are severed, the bill provides the geothermal resource owner the right to reasonably access these resources.

Permits. Clarifies that drilling and well permits must be obtained from the State Engineer in the Division of Water Resources prior to exploring or producing a geothermal resource and clarifies requirements that must be met to receive a permit. The bill also specifies that a well permit from the State Engineer is not required for the direct use of a horizontal, closed-loop geoexchange system that does not use a geothermal fluid.

Property taxation. Specifies that geothermal energy facilities must be valued in the same manner as wind and solar energy facilities, using the income approach, where the value is based on the projected gross revenue of these facilities.

Local government planning. Allows municipalities and counties to designate geothermal development as an activity of state interest under House Bill 74-1041.

Passed by Senate

Passed by House

Signed by Gov. Ritter April 30, 2010

back to top

Other topics

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 10-1331

Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen

Green Building Incentive Pilot Program
Creates a Governor’s Energy Office program to award grants to qualified applicants who are preparing to sell their current homes with poor energy efficiency ratings and purchase highly efficient new homes. Grants will be awarded for applicants to make energy efficiency improvements to their current homes to increase their marketability.
Applicants are required to submit specified documentation related to the energy requirements for both the existing and the new residences to GEO, as well as closing documents for the new residence. Funding for the grants is to come from federal funds received by GEO through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), for a total of $317,000 per year over two years.
Killed in House Appropriations, April 16, 2010
HB 10-1349

Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins; Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo; Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village; Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo

Re-Energize Colorado Program for State Parks
Directs the Governor’s Energy Office to create an inventory and map of state lands that have potential for renewable energy development to benefit electrical energy needs of state parks. Encourages leasing of those lands for renewable energy development; Encourages state parks to fully offset their electrical needs using renewable energy by 2020.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter June 8, 2010

HB 10-1363 Rep. Christine Scanlan, D-Dillon; Sen. Al White, R-Hayden

Incentives to Produce Biogenic Gas
Expands the definition of “clean energy” to include landfill gas if the state increases its renewable energy portfolio standard beyond the current 20 percent.

Passed by House

Passed by Senate

Signed by Gov. Ritter June 9, 2010