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HB21-1105

Low-income Utility Payment Assistance Contributions

Concerning utility customers' financial contributions for low-income utility assistance.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Energy
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill removes the low-income energy assistance program administered by Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) from the grant program reserve funded by tier 2 severance tax operational fund money.Section 2 clarifies that the definition of a "low-income utility customer", with regard to the public utilities commission's (PUC) consideration of a preference or advantage that a gas or electric utility grants a low-income utility customer, means a utility customer who meets the Colorado department of human services' income eligibility criteria.Sections 3 and 4 make modifications to the legislative commission on low-income energy assistance, wherein section 3 expands the commission's scope to include water utility assistance and section 4 reduces the composition of the commission from 11 members to 7 members. Section 4 also requires the commission to:

  • Advise the Colorado energy office (office) on grants awarded from the federal department of energy regarding the office's weatherization assistance program;
  • Advise water utilities that provide their customers with utility assistance and efficiency programs; and
  • Review EOC's annual budget that it submits to the PUC regarding the use of funding for utility bill payment assistance.

Sections 5, 6, and 8 to 10 concern the creation of an energy assistance system benefit charge, which is a mandatory monthly charge that investor-owned electric and gas utilities are required to collect from their customers. The initial amount of the charge per customer is $1 for electric service provided and $1 for natural gas service provided, but the PUC may adopt rules to modify the amount of the charge, so long as the charge is at least $1 per service provided. Investor-owned utilities are required to remit the charges collected to EOC to help finance the direct utility bill payment assistance and energy retrofit programs that EOC administers for low-income households.Sections 7 and 11 concern voluntary, opt-in charges that a water utility may offer its customers to help finance the water utility bill payment assistance program that EOC administers. Alternatively, a water utility may implement its own water utility bill payment assistance program.Section 12 requires EOC and the office, when installing energy retrofits for low-income households, to prioritize customer savings, emission reductions, and improving indoor air quality.Section 13 governs reporting requirements for EOC regarding the mandatory monthly energy assistance system benefit charge and voluntary, opt-in monthly water utility bill payment assistance collections.Sections 14 to 17 make conforming amendments.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. C. Kennedy
Sen. C. Hansen

Sponsor

Co-sponsor