November 21, 2014

HB 12-1172: Allowing Public Utilities Commission to Impute Federal Carbon Tax to Electric Utility

On January 20, 2012, Rep. Spencer Swalm introduced HB 12-1172 – Concerning the Rates Charged to Consumers for Electricity, and, in Connection Therewith, Prohibiting the Imputation of Certain Costs Associated with Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The 2004 voter initiative known as “Amendment 37” committed Colorado to a policy of increasing the portion of the state’s electricity generated from renewable sources. Subsequent legislation allows the Colorado public utilities commission (PUC) to impute the cost of a carbon tax imposed at the federal level when calculating an electric utility’s investments and comparing the cost of maintaining existing infrastructure with the cost of replacing existing power plants with more energy-efficient power plants.

The bill conditions the PUC’s imputation of the carbon tax on the actual adoption of a carbon tax as part of federal law. The bill prohibits an investor-owned electric utility from charging residential customers tiered rates according to their monthly consumption. On February 15, the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources committee amended the bill and referred it to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed the Second Reading with amendments and passed the Third Reading in the House.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.