Colorado Policy

Colorado Legislative & Regulatory Policy

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COSSA’s 2023 Legislative Session  Accomplishments:

Despite intentions to leave energy issues alone this legislative session after busy sessions in 2019 and 2021, legislators unexpectedly tackled a large slate of energy bills this winter. COSSA was at the ready, monitoring the introduction of new bills and active in negotiations as policy unfolded.

Secured $1M for SolarApp+ (HB23-1234).  COSSA’s major win for rooftop installers this session, this bill will give cities and counties the resources they need to make software upgrades and start using SolarApp+.  SolarApp+ has the potential to decrease permitting times at the local level and help save on soft costs.  Other states have projected this could be as much as $7,000 per project. 

Dist-level interconnection penalties (SB23-016).   COSSA’s amendment is the next step in pushing Xcel to provide better service for distribution system interconnection. Investor-owned utilities are now liable for penalties if they violate the interconnection timelines in Commission rules.  The legislation sets a $2000 per day (adjusted for inflation) penalty for failure to provide timely interconnection service or adhere to the deadlines in commission rules.

Prevented state-level labor requirements for large projects and maintained a reasonable scope for electrician work duties (SB23-292).  COSSA’s big “defensive effort” this session, we secured common sense labor policies for the industry, including applying federal apprenticeship and prevailing wage requirements to large-scale projects and adopting federal reporting practices.  COSSA also ensured that there was no expansion of electrician duties, recognizing the severe state shortage of master electricians and the increased project cost for such highly skilled labor when not warranted.

Policy Work Ahead in 2023 by Sector:


  • Advocate for independent power producer interests as two utilities proceed with large acquisitions of renewable energy in electric resource plans; 
  • Argue for expanded transmission access to the solar-rich San Luis Valley region; Monitor regional wholesale market developments and engage as needed to advocate for industry interests; and
  • Represent industry before county and local permitting authorities to ensure reasonable land use practices and solar and storage permitting.

Rooftop and Distributed Solar

  • Support transparent rate design in Xcel’s phase II rate case that sends accurate price signals to customers and sets appropriate time-of-use peak windows;
  • Ensure Xcel’s 2022-25 Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan is implemented in the spirit of the settlement agreement, including a sound pay-for-performance battery pilot, and a first-ever off-site net metering offering;
  • Design a performance incentive mechanism for utility interconnections that advances fair business practices and aligns financial incentives;
  • Ensure state law and new net metering legislation is implemented fairly and accurately as the state revises Renewable Energy Standard regulation;
  • Establish common sense rules for individually metered multi-unit net metering; and
  • Continue to support the fair and transparent implementation of Xcel’s first-ever distribution system plan, including the launch of two non-wires alternative solicitations.

Community Solar Gardens

  • Design a performance incentive mechanism for utility interconnections that advances fair business practices, aligns financial incentives, and establishes a cluster study process for CSGs;
  • Ensure Xcel’s 2022-25 Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan is implemented in the spirit of the settlement agreement, including CSG programmatic changes and a PUC “check-in” mid-program; and 
  • Advocate for reasonable interconnection and curtailment practices for community solar gardens in an anticipated 2023 rulemaking.

Key Solar and Storage State Laws

  • HB23-1234: Streamlined Solar Permitting (SolarApp+ funding)
  • SB23-016: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions (and interconnection penalties)
  • SB23-291: Utility Regulation
  • SB23-292: Labor Requirements for Energy Sector Construction
  • HB21-1284: Fair Permitting Act Update
  • SB21-261: PUC Encourage Renewable Distributed Generation
  • HB19-1003: Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act
  • SB19-236: Sunset Public Utilities Commission
  • HB19-1261: Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution
  • SB13-252: Renewable Energy Standard Retail Wholesale Methane
  • HB11-1199: Fair Permit Act
  • HB10-1342: Community Solar Gardens
  • HB10-1001: Renewable Energy Standard 30% by 2020
  • SB09-51: Renewable Energy Financing Act (Net metering and 3rd party financing)
  • HB07-1281: Renewable Energy Standard for Co-op Utilities

Help us help you

All this advocacy work takes time and money.  Please help us defend and further your interests before the legislature and the Public Utilities Commission.  

See Stefanie Bednar for membership opportunities or to learn more about our policy committees

COSSA Policy and Legislative Press Releases