Mary 2024


The Colorado legislature adjourned May 9 after passing some major bills on energy, climate and the environment late in the session, following months of behind-the-scenes negotiations. We summarize a few of the most consequential measures here.

We are busy getting ready for our annual Solstice Party on June 20 and hope you will plan to spend the longest day of sunlight celebrating our state's leadership on clean energy with other Climate CitiSuns! Register today and please bring your friends. The party supports this newsletter and our other outreach work.

Sunny regards,

Rebecca Cantwell 

for New Energy Colorado

Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues and let us know what else you would like to read about by emailing us here

Deal Will Fund Transit with Fees on Oil and Gas

In its waning hours, the Colorado legislature passed a “grand bargain’’ designed to fund public transit and reduce ozone pollution. Negotiated by Gov. Jared Polis with large oil and gas companies and environmental organizations, the deal will stop competing ballot issues headed for the fall ballot and seeks to achieve relative peace for the next few years.

 Some environmental activists who were not part of the negotiation blasted the deal as too little for the climate and too generous to fossil fuel interests.

One bill SB 24-229 took the place of other measures to try to address the serious ozone pollution problem on the Front Range, caused by oil and gas operations and vehicle emissions. It will allow tougher enforcement of rules governing oil and gas operations and will help the state crack down on “bad actors’’ who routinely pollute with few consequences. It will also prioritize protection of communities especially impacted by pollution.

The second measure, SB 24-230, will for the first time assess fees on oil and gas operations. Proceeds of about $138 million annually will be split between protecting lands and wildlife, and transportation. About $110 million per year will provide the first long-term funding for public transit by the state. Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution in Colorado and the sector falling furthest behind in meeting state reduction targets.

“This bill is good news for climate stability, air quality, affordability, and mobility,” said Elise Jones, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).


 The funds will be divided into three buckets:

· 70% for a local transit operations program to increase bus and rail service through a distribution formula;

· 10% for a local transit competitive grant program for transit operations and capital projects; and

· 15% for rail projects, with priority for the unbuilt Regional Transportation District FasTracks projects.

Opponents said Colorado should not be tying funding to dirty oil and gas production and should instead be phasing out production of fossil fuels. ``With this bill Colorado is committing itself to a future of continued development of these destructive resources for the foreseeable future,’’ said the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate in a statement.

Read more: The deal behind Colorado's oil and gas deal: No new drilling policies until 2028 (

Colorado governor, Democrats reach long-term air quality and transit deal with oil and gas industry, environmentalists - The Colorado Sun

Legislature Passes Renewable Energy Measures

Colorado will see expanded access to community solar projects and improvements to the distribution grid under two important renewable energy bills passed this session.

One measure, SB 24-218, makes major improvements to planning for the electrical distribution system and caps the cost that solar customers will have to pay to connect to the grid.

It also creates a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program, which is a way to make more power available through better managing existing resources, and requires Xcel Energy to consider other ways to provide flexibility in planning for the future. ( Read more here)

The second measure, SB24-207 will require 50MW of community solar capacity for Xcel in 2026 and 2027, with 4 MW each year for Black Hills Energy. At least 51% of the capacity will be reserved for lower income customers. Currently, only about 1% of Xcel customers participate in community solar projects, which provide arrays that subscribers buy into. They work well for renters and those whose roofs aren't suitable for solar.

The bill further tries to expand access by not allocating more than 40% of new projects to a single subscriber and prohibiting credit scores and other methods to deny residential subscribers. The measure would prioritize projects planned for preferred locations such as rooftops and brownfields and improve regulatory oversight. It is designed to take advantage of tax credits through the federal Inflation Reduction Act, although critics say it will make the power expensive, subsidized by other customers.

In addition to these bills, the legislature passed numerous bills designed to encourage affordable housing and smooth development near transit, bills to encourage electric vehicles, and bills to protect the environment.


Remember the Inflation Reduction Act can help you pay for home improvements to save energy!

Here are some links to helpful information:

Information on tax incentives for electric vehicles:

Monthly Green Home Tour

In May: Brumm Trail Jefferson County, CO 80403

Sat. May 18 --- 2:00-4:00

Sign up here for free tour to explore an eco-friendly electric home nestled in the hills above Golden.

Beautiful all-electric mountain home:

· 4.2 kW PV offsets most electricity needs

· Radiant floor heating with electric air to water heat exchanger.

· ERV system

· Passive design means no A/C needed

· Triple pane Alpen Zenith windows

· Shades situated for heat control

· Large windows heat up the concrete floor in the winter reducing energy consumption.

· Natural daylight means little artificial light needed

Sponsored by New Energy Colorado

and Go Electric Colorado


Summer Solstice Party

Show Your Support

for Climate Action!

Come out on the longest day of the year to celebrate Colorado’s progress in building a clean energy economy! Gather with your friends and co-workers to enjoy food and drink, live music, networking, inspiring talks from Colorado climate leaders and educational displays. 

Register for Tickets NOW!

Annual Solstice Party 

June 20, 2024

6:00pm – 8:30pm

At The Retreat at Solterra

5250 W Evans Ave, Lakewood

Upcoming Events

May 16 7pm Metro Denver CRES

Everything You Wanted To Know About Carbon Capture, But Were Afraid To Ask,

With Morey Wolfson

Register Here

May 23 7pm Jeffco CRES

Home Electrification: How Much Do You Really Need

Register Here

June 4, 6:30 pm - Boulder CRES

A Look at United Power's Hyper-Localization Energy Strategy - Mark Gabriel, CEO, United Power.

Register Here

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