Efficiency Measure Has Already CreatedContact: Lauren Poole, EEBC Executive Director
40,335 local jobs; Employers Call for 10-year Extension
720-274-9764 | Lauren@eebco.org
Golden, Colo., 29 March 2017 — If Colorado lawmakers decide to pass energy legislation that’s up for a committee vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the state will generate tens of thousands of new jobs and ratepayers will save billions of dollars, according to business leaders and clean energy advocates.
House Bill 17-1227 would impact everyone in Colorado who gets electricity from the state’s largest investor-owned utility companies, including Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy. The bill would extend existing utility demand-side management programs for a decade. Those programs:
- Provide consumers with financial incentives to reduce their energy consumption. These incentives include product rebates on efficient lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling equipment.
- Create jobs. Colorado’s energy efficiency policy has already created more than 40,000 jobs in Colorado, according to a recent report by Environmental Entrepreneurs.
- Save ratepayers money. For example in 2015, each dollar invested in energy efficiency saved between $1.66-$2.74 in avoided electricity, power, and pollution reduction costs.
Several large manufacturers and service providers support the bill including Ingersoll Rand, Johns Manville, Whirlpool Corporation, Schneider Electric, Honeywell, Dow, Cree, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and the National Association of Energy Service Companies. The bill has bi-partisan support, is co-sponsored by Rep. Faith Winter (D-Westminster) and Polly Lawrence (R-Roxborough Park) and also has support from Xcel Energy.
“When a home or commercial building is upgraded with energy efficient products, it requires a team of energy services professionals that range from contractors to energy auditors to commercial energy service providers,” said Lauren Poole, Executive Director of the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition. “When you multiply that team by the thousands of homes and commercial buildings in Colorado that need to be upgraded, that represents thousands of jobs.”
Energy efficiency makes homes and commercial buildings operate more efficiently through advanced building technologies such as LED lighting, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, building controls, and insulation. Energy efficiency improvements to buildings have created thousands of jobs and added more than a billion dollars in economic revenue into the state. Utility energy efficiency programs are a significant driver of the building upgrades.
The original legislation that the house bill would extend was approved in 2007. Since then, the legislation has established some $100 million per year in utility programs to boost the efficiency of residential and commercial buildings. That amount is significantly less than the estimated $25 billion it would cost utilities to provide the resource without energy efficiency, including new power stations and transmission lines.
House Bill 17-1227
House Bill 17-1227 is an extension of HB1037, which was passed by the Colorado legislature in 2007. HB1037 directed the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish energy savings goals for investor-owned electric and gas utilities, mainly Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy. The bill also directed the PUC to provide utilities with the opportunity to earn a profit from implementing cost-effective energy efficiency programs for their customers. The PUC established energy savings goals and performance-based incentives for Xcel Energy in 2008 and for Black Hills Energy (BHE) in 2009. Xcel Energy serves about 1.4 million customers and BHE serves about 100,000 customers. These actions led to greatly expanded utility energy efficiency and other demand-side management (DSM) programs implemented by Xcel Energy and BHE. The programs help households and businesses reduce their energy use and utility bills through education about energy savings opportunities; rebates on energy-efficient products and equipment; technical assistance; and free installation of efficiency measures in low-income households. Xcel Energy has consistently met and exceeded its energy savings goals, even as the Commission has increased those goals over time. HB17-1227 was introduced in 2017 to extend utility energy efficiency programs through 2028.
There are no energy efficiency program requirements for municipal utilities or rural electric cooperatives in Colorado, which are self-governed and not subject to PUC regulation. A few municipal utilities and rural cooperatives (notably Fort Collins Utilities, Colorado Springs Utilities and Holy Cross Energy) have established comprehensive energy efficiency programs on their own, but most offer limited or in some case no efficiency programs.
The Colorado Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC)
Founded in 2007, the Colorado Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC) is the central trade association that represents the energy efficiency industry at the Public Utility Commission, legislature, and other government agencies. Its goal is to maintain the state’s energy efficiency standards and to increase the business potential of the energy efficiency industry in Colorado. In Colorado alone, the EEBC found that the energy efficiency industry provides thousands of jobs and creates more than $1 billion in local economic development.
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March 29, 2017 | Colorado House Committee Votes On Major Energy Legislation | Colorado HB 17-1227
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December 2016 | Energy Efficiency Jobs In America