2016 Colorado Legislature clean energy bills

Quick jump to topics: Renewable Energy | Energy Efficiency | Clean Energy Financing | Federal Clean Power Plan | Colorado Climate Action Plan | Water Conservation | Alternative Transportation Fuels | Transit and Trails | Energy Utilities | Radon | Economic Development

Last updated May 12, 2016

The 2016 legislative session opened Jan. 13, 2016, and adjourned May 11, 2016.

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


Renewable Energy

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 007 Sen. Ellen Roberts Establishing a multiplier in the Renewable Energy Standard for electricity generated from biomass
Creates an incentive for retail electric service providers to use biomass resources to generate electricity by counting each 1 kilowatt-hour generated as 3 kWh to meet the state's Renewable Energy Standard, through 2046. Biomass resources are specified as forest materials harvested from areas with high risk of wildfire.
Introduced 1/13, passed Senate 2/24, Postponed Indefinitely by House Transportation and Energy 3/9
HB 1207 Rep. Paul Rosenthal

Requiring PERA to invest in renewable energy companies
Beginning in 2017, the Public Employees Retirement Association is required to invest 1 percent of its funds in renewable energy companies.

Introduced 2/4, Postponed Indefinitely by House Finance 2/24

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Energy Efficiency

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
    No bills introduced on this topic this session.  

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Clean Energy Financing

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 171 Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, Sen. Mark Scheffel, Sen. Matt Jones, Rep. Max Tyler

Modifying rules governing the New Energy Improvement District / C-PACE program
Amends the New Energy Improvement District legislation, which established the C-PACE commercial property-assessed financing program:

  • Requires the county treasurer to retain a 1 percent collection fee.
  • Allows counties to revoke their authorization for the program, while meeting obligations to borrowers.
  • Assesses an interest fee on delinquent payments.
  • Repeals a prohibition that barred county assessors from using energy improvements to increase a property's assessed value.
  • Repeals the district's authorityto initiate foreclosure in cases of delinquent payments.
Introduced 3/22, passed Senate 4/1, passed House 4/25

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Colorado Climate Action Plan

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 1004 Rep. Faith Winter, Rep. Jeni Arndt

Including measurable goals in Colorado's Climate Action Plan
Requires the Colorado Climate Action Plan to include specific, measurable goals that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase the state's adaptability to climate change, with near-term, mid-term and long-term deadlines for meeting the goals. Also requires that an annual climate report to the Legislature provide updates on progress made toward meeting these goals.

News coverage: House Democrats push forward goals for Colorado climate change plan, Denver Post, Feb. 9, 2016

Introduced 1/13, amended and passed by House 2/9, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee 3/30

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Federal Clean Power Plan

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 046 Sen. John Cooke Responding to the EPA's Clean Power Plan
The EPA's Clean Power Plan rules allows states to apply for a two-year extension in meeting plan requirements. This bill requires the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to apply for the two-year extension, and requires the CAQCC to submit its draft plan to the Legislature for approval prior to submitting it to the EPA.
Introduced 1/19, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy 3/17
SB 157 Sen. John Cooke, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg Suspension of activities to develop a state response to the federal Clean Power Plan
Directs the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to suspend its activities for developing a state plan until the stay approved by the U.S. Supreme Court is lifted and new deadlines for submission of state plans have been set.
Introduced 3/15, passed by Senate 3/29, Postponed Indefinitely by House Transportation and Energy 4/27

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Water Conservation

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 1005 Rep. Daneya Esgar, Rep. Jessie Danielson, Sen. Mike Merrifield Allowing the residential use of rain barrels for outdoor watering
Allows households to use up to two rainbarrels to collect up to 110 gallons of water for outdoor watering on the same property. Requires the Colorado Dept. of Public Health to post information on its website about best practices for storage of non-potable water. Prevents homeowners associations from barring the use of rain barrels.
Introduced 1/13, amended and passed by House 3/4, passed by Senate 4/1, sent to Gov. Hickenlooper for signature 5/5

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Alternative Transportation Fuels

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 1053 Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, Sen. Owen Hill Regulation of retail sales of hydrogen fuel systems
Requires the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety to develop rules governing the retail sales of hydrogen fuel for vehicles by Jan. 1, 2017, with the rules to take effect July 1, 2017. Also amends the state's definition of "fuel products" to include hydrogen.
Introduced 1/13, passed House 1/26, passed Senate 2/22, signed by Gov. Hickenlooper 3/9
HB 1298 Rep. Jovan Melton, Sen. John Cooke Changing permissible vehicle dimensions, including alternative fuel vehicles
Increases the maximum legal gross weight limit for heavy duty alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric, CNG and propane, on interstate and state highways by up to 2,000 pounds.
Introduced 2/26, passed House 3/22, passed Senate 4/19, signed by Gov. Hickenlooper 5/4
HB 1332 Rep. Crisanta Duran, Rep. Bob Rankin, Sen. Ray Scott, Sen. Michael Johnston

Modifications to income tax credits for alternative fuel vehicles
Makes a series of changes to the rules governing the state income tax credit for alternative fuel vehicles, including:

  • Sets a specific dollar amount for tax credits. The current system uses a percentage formula based on vehicle price or EV battery size.
  • Allows vehicle buyers to assign the credit to a financing entity in order to obtain the credit at time of purchase, but allows an administrative fee of $150.
  • Offers a higher tax credit for purchased vehicles and reduces the credit available for leased vehicles.
  • Requires leased AFVs to be leased for at least two years to be eligible for the tax credit.
  • Eliminates eligibility of used vehicles for the credit.
  • Ends the tax credit for diesel-electric hybrids, whether by vehicle purchase or conversion.
  • Requires tracking of vehicle identification numbers (VIN) for vehicles for which the credit is claimed.

The changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Introduced 3/2, amended and passed House 4/25, passed Senate 5/4

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Transit, Trails and Transportation Policy

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 1067 Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, Sen. Kerry Donovan Extending authorization for a regional transportation authority to impose a uniform mill levy
Current law authorizes regional transportation authorities to set a uniform mill levy of up to 5 mills within its territory until Jan. 1, 2019. This bill extends that authority until Jan. 1, 2029.
Introduced 1/13, passed House 2/18, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate Transportation 3/8
SB 011 Sen. Tim Neville, Rep. Patrick Neville

Repealing statutory requirements for use of FASTER revenues for transit
Under current law, $15 million of annual FASTER revenues are required to be used for transit-related projects -- specifically $10 million for CDOT transit projects and $5 million for the State Transit and Rail Fund. This bill repeals that requirement, meaning that FASTER funds could be used only for road safety projects.

News coverage: Senate bill threatens to eliminate Bustang funding, Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Feb. 2, 2016

Introduced 1/13, passed Senate 2/3, Postponed Indefinitely by House Transportation & Energy 2/17
HB 1304 Rep. Max Tyler Community conversations on transportation priorities
Requires the Colorado Department of Transportation to hold at least one community conversation in each transportation planning region of the state prior to Oct. 1, 2016,to take public input transportation funding priorities and their preferred means of raising the revenue needed to fund those priorities.
Introduced 2/29, passed House 4/25, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs 5/4

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Energy Utilities

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 055 Sen. Kevin Grantham, Rep. Dominick Moreno Specifying rules for rural electric co-op board elections
Current law allows rural electric co-ops to contract with an outside firm to conduct its board elections. This law specifies that mail ballots received without the required secrecy sleeve may not be invalidated for that reason, and requires that ballots be available for inspection by candidates after the votes are counted.
Introduced 1/19, passed Senate 2/10, passed House 3/8, signed by Gov. Hickenlooper 3/23
SB 061 Sen. John Cooke, Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg Protecting electric utility ratepayers from costs of compliance with federal carbon emission regulations
Directs the Public Utilities Commission to create a ratepayer protection program so that the increased costs of utility compliance with EPA carbon emissions standards are paid for from the state's Stationary Sources Control Fund rather than by ratepayers.
Introduced 1/19, passed Senate 4/6, Postponed Indefinitely by House Transportation and Energy 4/27
HB 1441 Rep. Max Tyler, Sen. Matt Jones

Requiring the PUC to consider the full cost of greenhouse gas emissions for utility resource planning
Requires the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to consider the costs of greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation when considering a utility's proposal for resource planning, including:

  • The likelihood of new environmental regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Present and future costs of carbon dioxide and methane emissions on a cost-per-ton basis. The PUC is directed to determine the cost annually based on a review of appropriate national and regional carbon markets.
Introduced 4/15, passed House 5/4, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs 5/5
HB 1457 Rep. Alec Garnett, Rep. James Wilson, Sen. Tim Neville, Sen. Leroy Garcia, and many other co-sponsors Clarifying existing sales and use tax for residential energy sources
Codifies the Colorado Department of Revenue's rule exempting residential use of electricity, coal, wood, fuel oil or natural gas from sales and use taxes, and clarifies that the exemption applies to residences billed under individual meters and for residences billed through a master utility meter, regardless of whether the metter is billed at the residential, commercial or other non-residential rate.
Introduced 4/27, passed House 4/29, amended and passed Senate 5/4, House repassed amended version 5/5

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Economic Development

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
SB 81 Sen. Kerry Donovan, Rep. Dave Young Rural Economic Emergency Assistance Grant Program
Creates a program within the Department of Local Affairs for emergency-based grants to rural communities experiencing significant economic events, such as a plant closure or industry-wide layoffs.To be funded by a $2 million transfer from the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund.
Introduced 1/19, Postponed Indefinitely by Senate Appropriations 4/29

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Radon mitigation

Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status
HB 1141 Rep. K Becker, Rep. Don Coram, Sen. Cheri Jahn, Sen. Ellen Roberts Protection of Colorado residents from the hazards of radon
Requires the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a statewide education program to advise homeowners and tenants, real estate professionals and builders about radon gas, including health risks, testing options and mitigation techniques. Also requires the agency to establish a program to assist low-income residents with radon mitigation measures.
Introduced Jan. 21, passed House 3/8, passed Senate 4/6, signed by Gov. Hickenlooper 4/21

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Bill No. Sponsors Title and description Status

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