The act authorizes the Colorado energy office to award grants for retrofitting existing buildings for installation of geothermal systems for heating and cooling under the single-structure geothermal grant that the office administers, and for generating geothermal energy through direct air capture technology under the geothermal electricity generation grant that the office administers.
The act establishes labor standards for thermal energy public projects that a state agency or a state institution of higher education procures.
In Colorado, a gas distribution utility providing gas service to more than 90,000 retail customers is required to file with the public utilities commission (commission) a clean heat plan, which plan demonstrates how the utility will use clean heat resources to meet clean heat targets for reducing carbon dioxide and methane emissions. The act adds thermal energy as an eligible clean heat resource for helping to meet clean heat targets.
A gas utility that the commission regulates is authorized to apply for review and approval of the use of thermal energy networks in the gas utility's service area. A gas utility that the commission regulates and that serves more than 500,000 customers is additionally required to propose pilot thermal energy network projects for the commission's review and approval. The commission shall initiate a proceeding on or before January 1, 2025, to determine if rule-making or legislative changes are needed to facilitate the development of thermal energy in the state.
The act repeals the "Geothermal Heat Suppliers Act", which requires geothermal heat suppliers to obtain operating permits from the commission.
APPROVED by Governor May 11, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)