Colorado Passes Legislation to Advance Decarbonization Goals and Improve Energy Affordability

Source: Werner Slocum, NREL 154967

Governor Jared Polis signed a suite of bills to help Colorado reach its clean energy goals and lower energy costs for consumers. In line with the most recent climate science, Senate Bill 23-016 strengthens Colorado's greenhouse gas reduction target (from 90% to 100% by 2050) and adds interim targets every five years. To support Colorado in achieving these ambitious decarbonization goals, the legislature passed several measures aimed at accelerating the clean energy transition. House Bill 23-1272 establishes new and expanded tax credits for a number of clean energy technologies, including electric vehicles and e-bikes, electric heat pumps, and certain industrial technologies. House Bill 23-1252 will provide grants, awarded by the Colorado Energy Office, to support the adoption of clean geothermal energy heating and cooling systems, while also establishing labor standards for public, state-funded thermal energy projects. House leaders also passed a bipartisan bill to streamline permitting and inspection processes for solar projects (House Bill 23-1234). Finally, in response to rising home heating costs and increased natural gas price volatility, the legislature passed Senate Bill 23-291 to improve oversight over utility ratemaking processes. The bill also directs the Colorado Energy Office to work with an independent third party to analyze the risk of stranded natural gas assets in the state, including the potential impact on utility employees and ratepayers. Together, this comprehensive set of bills will help Colorado make progress towards its clean energy goals, while reducing energy costs, creating good jobs, and improving air quality.