Colorado House approves renewable energy expansion

Colorado's State House approved a bill seeking to expand the use of wind, solar, and other renewable resources. Senate Bill 252, setting Renewable Portfolio Standards for rural Colorado, received final approval by the House April 30 and now heads back to the Senate for consideration of new amendments (the Senate approved SB-252 earlier this month).

Senate Bill 252 will create new jobs and protect the health of Colorado families by encouraging cleaner energy production and the capture of damaging greenhouse gasses such as methane, according to Western Resource Advocates.

The bill expands access to solar, wind and other clean energy for rural Colorado by increasing the renewable energy standard (RES) for co-operative associations that provide wholesale electricity in Colorado, and for large electric associations that provide service to at least 100,000 meters. The bill expands the RES to 20 percent (from 10 percent) by 2020, while capping retail cost increases at 2 percent.

According to the Colorado Energy Office, the 2 percent rate cap would limit average household billing increases to no more than $2 a month. Moreover, the falling costs of renewable technologies like wind and solar, and the fact that there are no fuel costs associated with renewables, could actually lower electricity costs for consumers.

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