June 17, 2013

Bill Passed Increasing Renewable Energy Standard for Rural Cooperatives in Colorado

Colorado's renewable energy standard for rural cooperative electric utilities will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent by 2020 under Senate Bill 252, which was signed into law on June 6, 2013, by Governor John Hickenlooper. The new law requires rural co-ops with more than 100,000 meters and utilities that generate and supply electricity on behalf of member co-ops to get 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.

The law also permits rural co-ops to add a monthly surcharge — up to 2 percent of a customer's monthly bill — to fund projects needed to comply with the new standard. City-owned utilities will continue to have a goal of getting 10 percent of the power they provide to customers coming from renewable energy sources by 2020.

In addition to the bill, Governor Hickenlooper signed an executive order directing the Colorado Energy Office to convene a committee to evaluate whether the bill should be modified during the 2014 legislative session. The bill did not receive bipartisan support in the 2013 legislative session, and Governor Hickenlooper was under pressure from rural power utilities and others to veto the measure.

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