Thursday, March 6, 2008


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

Sponsored by Senator Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont), Senator Jim Isgar (D-Hesperus) and Representative Judy Solano (D-Brighton), the bill allows customers who generate more energy than they use to sell excess power back to the utility company for others to use.

“This bill is about creating jobs in Colorado,” Shaffer said. “By encouraging the development and use of renewable energy in all four corners of the state, we will stimulate the economy and move towards energy independence.”

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 produce renewable energy easily and efficiently.

“This is the culmination of a lot of tremendous work done by a lot of people,” said Solano. “When Governor Ritter signs this bill into law, all Coloradans will finally have a genuine chance to participate in the new energy economy.”

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.

The bill next heads to the Governor for consideration.