The act directs the public utilities commission (PUC) to establish energy savings targets and approve plans under which investor-owned electric utilities will promote the use of energy-efficient electric equipment in place of less efficient fossil-fuel-based systems. This directive would substantially follow the model of existing demand-side management (DSM) policies established by the PUC.
Section 1 of the act declares that DSM has provided substantial economic and environmental benefits, and the PUC's administration of DSM has successfully carried out legislative intent; therefore, the PUC is directed to implement beneficial electrification programs and plans using the same approach.
Sections 3 and 5 specify the parameters for these programs and plans, including the types of systems and appliances that are eligible for installation, the criteria to be considered when the PUC evaluates plan proposals, the implementation of plans, utility cost-recovery mechanisms, and performance incentives. Section 5 also requires that any installation, upgrade, or new construction under a beneficial electrification program must be performed either by utility employees or by qualified, Colorado-licensed contractors. For large projects, contractors must be selected from a list, maintained by the Colorado department of labor and employment, of contractors that participate in apprenticeship programs registered with the United States department of labor.
Section 2 adds heat pumps to the list of energy efficiency measures that cannot be prohibited under the covenants of a homeowners' association.
Section 4 directs the PUC to apply current standards for measurement of the social cost of carbon emissions, including methane, in evaluating the cost, benefit, or net present value of utility plans and proposals for beneficial electrification.
The act appropriates $168,448 to the department of regulatory agencies, for use by the PUC, and $73,351 to the department of labor and employment, for use by the division of employment and training, to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)