August 17, 2018

HB 12-1315: Reorganizing the Governor’s Energy Office and Making Several Changes to its Policies

On February 22, 2012, Rep. Jon Becker and Sen. Pat Steadman introduced HB 12-1315 – Concerning the Reorganization of the Governor’s Energy Office, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill changes the name of the Governor’s Energy Office to the Colorado Office of Energy Development. As part of the reorganization of the office, the bill changes the mission of the office to:

  • Promoting all Colorado energy;
  • Promoting economic development in Colorado through energy-market advances that create jobs;
  • Encouraging Colorado-based clean and innovative energy solutions that include traditional and renewable energy sources;
  • Increasing energy security;
  • Lowering long-term consumer costs; and
  • Protecting the environment.

The bill aligns the duties of the office with the new mission of the office. The bill requires the office to obtain legislative approval prior to changing office policies related to its strategic plan, the definition of “renewable energy,” energy transmission, or any policy that could negatively impact the use of traditional energy sources.

The bill creates the renewable energy fund and specifies that the fund be used by the office to work with communities, utilities, private and public organizations, and individuals to promote:

  • The renewable energy standard;
  • Renewable energy such as wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectricity, thermal gasification, and geothermal;
  • Energy efficiency technologies;
  • Cleaner technologies by utilizing traditional Colorado-sourced energy; and
  • New energy technologies.

The bill changes the name of the Clean Energy Fund to the Innovative Energy Fund, aligns the purposes of that fund with the new mission of the office, limits the expenditures from the fund for those projects related to the severance of minerals subject to taxation under state law, and transfers moneys to the innovative energy fund from the perpetual base account of the severance tax trust fund.The bill repeals:

  • The wind for schools grant program;
  • The Colorado clean energy development authority; and
  • The green truck grant program.

The bill ends the office’s role as a consultant to the ReEnergize Colorado program and the geothermal resource leasing fund.

The bill changes the name of the Clean Energy Improvement Debt Reserve Fund to the Energy Improvement Debt Reserve Fund and includes improvements to the efficiency of traditional energy fixtures as part of the definition of “renewable energy improvement” for purposes of local improvement districts.

The bill ends the authority of the office to use up to 5% of the moneys in the Colorado office of energy development low-income energy assistance fund for planning, overseeing, and evaluating the program to improve the energy efficiency of low-income households.

Finally, the bill terminates the office on July 1, 2018, unless extended through the sunset review process. On March 28 the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. On April 5, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill and referred it to the full House for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed a Second Reading in the House.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

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