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Legislative Year: 2021 Change

Bill Detail: SB21-261

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Title Public Utilities Commission Encourage Renewable Energy Generation
Status Governor Signed (06/21/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Energy
  • Natural Resources & Environment
House Sponsors A. Valdez (D)
J. Amabile (D)
Senate Sponsors K. Priola (R)
S. Fenberg (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee Transportation and Energy
Date Introduced 05/04/2021

Section 1 of the bill declares that customer-sited renewable energy
generation facilities (distributed generation) such as rooftop solar panels,
together with increased storage capacity and enhanced master meter
operations, can make important contributions toward meeting Colorado's
declared goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing a
reliable, adaptable supply of electricity for homes, businesses, and the
rapidly increasing numbers of electric vehicles.
Sections 3 and 5 remove most of the existing limitations on the
size of distributed generation facilities, which currently cannot exceed
120% of a customer's historical annual usage, to qualify for renewable
energy credits. Section 3 also expands an existing exemption from
regulation as a public utility to include persons who sell excess power
from distributed generation located anywhere on their property or on
property owned or leased by others in a master meter operation, e.g., an
apartment building or mobile home park. Section 4 grants master meter
operators (MMOs) that sell power from distributed generation a limited
exemption from the general requirement not to charge their end users any
amount above what they are billed for electricity supplied by the serving
electric utility. MMOs may retain refunds, rebates, rate reductions, net
metering credits, and similar reductions offered by the serving utility in
its net metering program but may not charge end users at a rate higher
than the serving utility's otherwise applicable rate for that class of utility
Section 5 requires a qualifying retail utility to allow, and to adopt
standards for the approval of, customer-owned meter collar adapters in
residential installations. The public utilities commission (PUC) retains
authority to resolve any disputes concerning the standards or their
application in specific cases. Section 2 defines a meter collar adapter as
a device installed between the electric meter and the meter socket box that
allows the customer to interconnect power from on-site sources.
Section 5 also:
  • Requires qualifying retail utilities, under the standard offer
to purchase renewable energy credits, to purchase energy
produced from any renewable energy resources rather than
exclusively solar energy resources;
  • Doubles the allowable size of on-site renewable energy
installations under the standard offer, from 500 kilowatts to
one megawatt;
  • Narrows the requirements for small hydroelectric facilities
that qualify as renewable energy resources to exclude those
that require the construction of new dams or reservoirs;
  • Adds renewable energy storage as an eligible energy
resource under the renewable energy standard and defines
renewable energy storage as a facility that stores energy
that is derived only from renewable energy resources;
  • Allows a customer to carry forward monthly bill credits
from distributed generation indefinitely, at any service
address within a qualifying retail utility's service territory,
unless the customer chooses to be reimbursed annually; and
  • Directs the PUC to adopt rules to accommodate the
aggregation and interconnection of retail distributed
generation, including the pooling of renewable energy
resources under a master meter or similar arrangement and
the allocation of credits among customers on different rate

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (08/30/2021) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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