Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Bill Supporting Energy Independence and
Savings for Colorado Passes on 2nd Reading

DENVER—Today the full Senate gave initial approval to HB-1160, which would expand homegrown energy opportunities for agricultural producers and rural communities statewide.

Sponsored by Senator Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) and Senator Jim Isgar (D-Hesperus), the bill requires power providers with more than 5,000 customers to credit those customers who produce excess energy in their homes or businesses. Residential customers who generate up to10 kilowatts and commercial or industrial customers who generate up to 25 kilowatts of renewable energy would be able to make up for their retail electricity consumption with the generated electricity.

If a customer generates electricity in excess of his or her monthly consumption, the additional kilowatt-hours must be carried from month-to-month and credited back to the customer's electricity consumption in subsequent months. Within 60 days after the end of each billing year, the power company is required to credit the customer for any excess generation in a manner deemed appropriate by the utility company.

HB-1160 streamlines the inconsistent patchwork of rural electric association (REA) and municipal utilities’ (MUs) rules for connecting and metering individual wind and solar systems. By creating a uniform statewide standard, Coloradans will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of our new energy economy.

The bill will next be considered by the Senate on third and final reading.