Advocacy

Since 2012, CCIA has had an active, engaged and successful full-time lobbying presence at our state capitol. CCIA advocates for policies to grow and support Colorado’s cleantech cluster. We are active at the local, state and federal level to ensure cleantech has a strong voice in a variety of policy venues.

HB 15 - 1180 | 2015

Cleantech & Medical Device Sales & Use Tax Refund

HB 13 - 1001 | 2013

Advanced Industries Acceleration Act

SB 13 - 252 | 2013

Renewable Energy Standard

Policy Committee

The CCIA Public Policy Committee is open to all CCIA members and meets monthly during the State Legislative session (January to May) and every two months in the off-session to analyze, debate and consider supporting or opposing state and federal legislation impacting the cleantech business community. If you are a member of CCIA and would like to participate in the Public Policy Committee, please contact Chris Votoupal with your interest.

Steve Bachar
Steve Bachar

Moye White
Policy Chairman

Chris Votoupal
Chris Votoupal

Heizer | Paul LLP
Contract Government Affairs

2017 Bill Tracker

The 2017 General Assembly has passed and we are proud to announce that CCIA has had another successful session. We were able to pass our investment tax credit (HB 17-1090) extension and further protect the Advanced Industries grant program. Additionally, the Hospital Provider Fee was re-categorized which should take some pressure on the state budget moving forward. Unfortunately, funding for our partners at the important Colorado Energy Office was not renewed and at this point we are still in the dark about how this will impact their programs and staffing. We’re looking forward to the 2018 session approaching soon!

Denver capitol
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Past Highlights

CCIA’s lobbying presence has helped to promote and expand Colorado’s robust cleantech industry. Scroll down for a complete list of CCIA’s legislative efforts, 2010 – 2017.

Hydrogen Fuel Vehicle Retail Regs Image
HB 16 - 1053
Hydrogen Fuel Vehicle Retail Regs

Allows the Division of Oil & Public Safety (OPS) to establish rules and guidelines for the retail sales of hydrogen fuel by the end of 2016. This is a pro-innovation bill, sending a strong message to the hydrogen fuel vehicle industry that Colorado is open for business.

Water Efficiency Image
SB 14 - 103
Water Efficiency

This bill brought forward by Denver Water will phase out inefficient residential water fixtures starting in 2016.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Build Out Image
SB 13 - 028
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Build Out

Expands the allowable grantees eligible to apply for funding under the EV Infrastructure Grant Fund that CCIA helped craft last year.

Alternative Fuel Heavy Duty Truck Tax Credit Image
HB 14 - 1326
Alternative Fuel Heavy Duty Truck Tax Credit

Provides a tax credit to a variety of alternative fuel heavy trucks of up to $7,500 for CNG, hydrogen fuel cell, propane, and electric trucks.

Advanced Industries Acceleration Act Image
HB 13 - 1001
Advanced Industries Acceleration Act

The Advanced Industries Acceleration Act passed both chambers with a strong bipartisan majority. This bill is a major state investment in economic development for seven advanced industry clusters (including cleantech).

Renewable Energy Standard Image
SB 13 - 252
Renewable Energy Standard

CCIA actively lobbied and testified in support of this bill to increase the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) from 10% to 20% by 2020 for cooperative electric utilities providing wholesale electricity and large cooperative electric associations with at least 100,000 meters.

Cleantech & Medical Device Sales & Use Tax Refund Image
HB 15 - 1180
Cleantech & Medical Device Sales & Use Tax Refund

The bill refunds up to $50,000 per year in sales and use taxes paid to qualified cleantech companies for equipment used for R&D activities. The tax refund is available for companies that have less than 35 employees and more than 50 percent of those employees must be in Colorado.

HB 15 - 1230
Innovative Workforce Intern Grant Program

This bill establishes a paid internship program for high-tech companies. The program would provide $2,500 for the intern and $2,500 to the company for training and expenses for secondary, vocational and undergraduate student internships.

Advanced Industries Investor Tax Credit Image
HB 14 - 1012
Advanced Industries Investor Tax Credit

This bill allows a maximum $50K state income tax credit to a qualified investor who invests in an Advanced Industry start-up or early stage company.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle HOT/HOV Lane Access Increase Image
SB 14 - 200
Alternative Fuel Vehicle HOT/HOV Lane Access Increase

Increases the number of available permits for alternative fuel vehicles to use HOT/HOV lanes for free.

CCIA Legislative History

CCIA is committed to supporting and expanding Colorado’s cleantech industry through advocacy on behalf of the people and businesses that call Colorado home. Check out our legislative history here:

Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

A qualified investor who, prior to January 1, 2018, makes an equity investment in a qualified small business from an advanced industry is allowed an income tax credit that is equal to a percentage of the investment, up to a maximum credit of $50,000.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

Current law provides that the DHS low-income energy assistance fund, the energy outreach CO low-income energy assistance fund, and the CO energy office low-income energy assistance fund receive conditional funding from the severance tax operational fund through the state fiscal year commencing July 1, 2018. The bill removes the automatic repeal which means that these funds will be eligible for this conditional funding indefinitely.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

The bill authorizes a limited cooperative association to operate as a public benefit corporation; Deletes the requirement that a public benefit corporation's entity name explicitly refer to its status as a public benefit corporation, and instead requires that before issuing shares of stock or disposing of treasury shares that are not required to be federally registered, the public benefit corporation must .....http://coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill/0/HB17-1200/2017/1/

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

The bill extends the programs to 2028 and requires the commission to set goals of at least 5% peak demand reduction and 5% energy savings by 2028 for demand-side management programs implemented during 2019 through 2028 when compared to 2018 numbers.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

Current law authorizes a homeowner to finance certain energy efficiency improvements to the home through a loan pursuant to the property assessed clean energy (PACE) program. The program requires an applicant to file a title commitment on the home and a hearing must be held in order to seek a voluntary subordination of existing liens to the program's junior lien. The bill exempts a homeowner from the title commitment and hearing requirements if the owner is not seeking to subordinate the priority of existing liens.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

The bill requires an investor-owned electric utility to file with the public utilities commission (commission) for the commission's review a comprehensive billing format that the investor-owned electric utility has developed for its monthly billing of customers.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

The bill extends the repeal date of existing laws that limit the amount of permit, plan review, or other fees that counties, municipalities, or the state may charge for installing solar energy devices or systems.

Our Position
Status
Passed

The bill declares that the regulation of automated driving systems is a matter of statewide concern, and, therefore, local authorities are prohibited from regulating these systems. The use of automated driving systems is authorized if the system is capable of conforming to every state and federal law applying to driving. If not, a person testing a system is required to coordinate with the Colorado state patrol and the Colorado department of transportation.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

Current law allows boards of political subdivisions to enter into energy cost-savings contracts for utility cost savings. The bill specifies that the boards may also enter into energy cost-savings contracts for increasing meter accuracy, which is defined as a utility cost-savings measure. The bill also changes the definition of operation and maintenance cost savings to clarify that the calculation must be made on a net basis.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign

The bill requires an investor-owned gas or electric utility, within 35 days after receiving an application for an extension of the utility's service to the applicant's property, to provide the applicant with a written cost estimate and schedule of the work involved in extending the service to the applicant's property. More...http://coloradocapitolwatch.com/bill/0/SB17-271/2017/1/1/

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign
SB 17 - 280
Extending the Economic Development Commission

The bill extends the Colorado economic development commission by changing the repeal date of its organic statute to July 1, 2025.

Our Position
Status
Governor is expected to sign
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

Allows the Division of Oil & Public Safety (OPS) to establish rules and guidelines for the retail sales of hydrogen fuel by the end of 2016. This is a pro-innovation bill, sending a strong message to the hydrogen fuel vehicle industry that Colorado is open for business.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Requires the state’s climate change staff to include measurable goals with near-term, mid-term and long-term deadlines to achieve those goals. Additionally, a report tracking Colorado’s progress must be presented annually to the legislature.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

A clean-up bill, dealing with the escrow provisions, after feedback from the financial community regarding the crowdfunding bill that sailed through the legislature last year. Specifically, it clarifies escrow account termination parameters and the definition of a depository institution. The original bill allowed investors to get equity for their investments up to $5,000.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Removed 10% from several Limited Gaming Fund cash accounts, including the Advanced Industries Acceleration Cash Fund. This is one of three funding sources for the Advanced Industries Accelerator grant fund.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

A bipartisan bill that consolidates when an Investor Owned Utility submits transmission plans to the PUC.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Mandates that PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association) would have to invest 1% of annual unspent funds in renewable energy companies. No specific industry currently has a mandatory investment requirement.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Creates an “ag” specific grant program similar to the Advanced Industries Accelerator grant program. The bill is seeking $1 million/year for four years to fund proof-of-concept, early stage and marketing grants for companies positively impacting rural Colorado. **Despite CCIA working on an amendment to fund the grant program with an ag sector tax income growth withholding funding mechanism, the bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Appropriations Committee.**

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Simplified an existing tax credit program by providing a point-of-sale option, a leasing option and making the dollar amount set per year – doing away with a complicated formula dealing with battery size.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Colorado’s annual budget bill passed both chambers with bipartisan votes, with some minor differences. The Senate version cut $328k and 2.5 jobs from the Air Quality Pollution Control Division within the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE). Look for this amount to be remedied in Conference Committee this week. **Update – In conference committee, the air quality reduction was reduced to approximately $111k with no job cuts.**

Our Position
Status
Passed

Requires the PUC to consider the cost of GHG in national markets when evaluating a utilities electric resource plan.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Funds an existing grant program to help areas at risk for wildfires. Additionally, the bill was amended to create a “Wildfire Matters Review Committee” and authorized it to take two field trips to study potential markets and end-uses for biomass forest products including biochar.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Allows a utility to apply a 3:1 multiplier, for RPS compliance, for electricity generated by biomass collected from high fire risk areas. **Update – Bill was amended in the Senate to only count biomass used to generate electricity and create biochar towards the RPS multiplier.**

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Requires the legislature to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) prior to submitting to the EPA. Additionally, the bill requires the state to file for a two-year extension and would prevent Colorado from taking full advantage of the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), which allows for extra compliance credits for renewable projects and energy efficiency.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Creates a “Rate Payer Protection Fund,” taking money from the Stationary Sources Control Fund (which power plants, and other non-power producing industrial users pay into). Additional funding would come through the General Assembly to pay ratepayers for the potential increased cost of 111d compliance – assuming there is a rate increase. CCIA disagrees with the assumption that Colorado’s yet-to-be-submitted state plan will increase rates.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

Prohibits the state from working on the EPA Clean Power Plan while the Supreme Court Stay is in effect.

Our Position
Status
Postponed

This is a bi-partisan clean-up bill dealing with a variety of potential issues following the rollout of the New Energy Improvement Special District (NEID). Most of the bill deals with technical and timing corrections in addition to county protections, if the property goes into default and a deed needs to be issued. CCIA worked hard to bring the business community to the table and push this important bill forward.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Creates a 3 cent/gallon tax credit for ethanol blends 15% or greater for three years. The credit goes to the retail station selling the fuel.

Our Position
Status
Postponed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

The bill refunds up to $50,000 per year in sales and use taxes paid to qualified cleantech companies for equipment used for R&D activities. The tax refund is available for companies that have less than 35 employees and more than 50 percent of those employees must be in Colorado.

Our Position
Status
Passed

This bill establishes a paid internship program for high-tech companies. The program would provide $2,500 for the intern and $2,500 to the company for training and expenses for secondary, vocational and undergraduate student internships.

Our Position
Status
Passed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

This bill brought forward by Denver Water will phase out inefficient residential water fixtures starting in 2016.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Obtained $1 million/year for the next two years. This research consortium utilizes state funds to leverage federal and private sector research dollars and has a stellar track record of an 8:1 return on investment.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Thisbill obtained $5 million from the state General Fund for the Advanced Industries Accelerator grant program.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Provides a tax credit to a variety of alternative fuel heavy trucks of up to $7,500 for CNG, hydrogen fuel cell, propane, and electric trucks.

Our Position
Status
Passed

This bill allows a maximum $50K state income tax credit to a qualified investor who invests in an Advanced Industry start-up or early stage company.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Increases the number of available permits for alternative fuel vehicles to use HOT/HOV lanes for free.

Our Position
Status
Passed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

CCIA actively lobbied and along with a large stakeholder coalition, testified in support of HB 13 – 1247, Innovative Motor Vehicle Income Tax Credit which passed with broad bipartisan support. This bill expands the tax credit for electric, natural gas and propane vehicles for 6 years (till 2022) while closing a loophole currently prohibiting Chevy Volt owners from getting a credit. This bill will provide Colorado consumers with almost $55 million in tax credits for purchasing alternative fuel vehicles.

Our Position
Status
Passed

The Special Fuel Tax Electric Vehicle Highway Use Tax Fund bill has passed the House & Senate with strong bipartisan majorities. This bill revamps the natural gas and propane decal system, establishes a $50 electric vehicle decal to pay into the Highway Use Tax Fund and will finally start to invest in the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund to help cities and counties to install charging stations for the public. CCIA is proud to have had an amendment to fund EV infrastructure included in this bill and to work with a broad stakeholder coalition to help maintain Colorado’s highway infrastructure. It is estimated the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund will collect over $400 thousand over the next five years for charging station build out.

Our Position
Status
Passed

CCIA actively lobbied and testified in support of this bill to increase the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) from 10% to 20% by 2020 for cooperative electric utilities providing wholesale electricity and large cooperative electric associations with at least 100,000 meters. Consumer costs are capped at a maximum 2% annual increase (up from the current 1%) for compliance with the standard. Compliance off ramps were put in place to decrease the standard for cooperatives who can’t meet the goals under the consumer cost cap. SB 13-252 also: Requires 1% of cooperatives’ retail sales to come from distributed generation (DG) and .75% for a cooperative with less than 10,000 meters; Expands the definition of eligible energy resources to include coal mine and landfill methane if the PUC qualifies the projects to be greenhouse gas neutral; Removes the additional RES credit for new generation built in Colorado after Jan. 1, 2015.

Our Position
Status
Passed

This bill creates a Commercial PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program to help property owners finance renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades on their property tax bills. This is an optional program for property owners and banks who choose to enter into this creative financing tool.

Our Position
Status
Passed

This bill makes it easier to install solar shingles (flexible PV panels incorporated in actual roofing materials) by allowing a certified roofing contractors and electricians to oversee new installations.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Expands the allowable grantees eligible to apply for funding under the EV Infrastructure Grant Fund that CCIA helped craft last year.

Our Position
Status
Passed

The Advanced Industries Acceleration Act passed both chambers with a strong bipartisan majority. This bill is a major state investment in economic development for seven advanced industry clusters (including cleantech).

Our Position
Status
Passed

CCIA actively lobbied and testified in support of this bill to increase the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) from 10% to 20% by 2020 for cooperative electric utilities providing wholesale electricity and large cooperative electric associations with at least 100,000 meters.

Our Position
Status
Passed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

HB 1315 – Reorganization & Funding for the Governor’s Energy Office. This bill changes the department’s name to the Colorado Energy Office, fully funds the office and breaks it into two divisions: 1) Renewable Energy Fund; and 2) Innovative (Traditional) Energy Fund. This bill will allow the office to maintain current staffing levels and existing programs while also focusing on innovation with traditional energy in Colorado.

Our Position
Status
Died

HB 1312 – Clarifies and streamlines local government and PUC jurisdiction for new transmission relating to Certificates of Public Convenience & Necessity

Our Position
Status
Passed

HB 1258 clarifies that if a business places an electric vehicle charging station or natural gas fueling station on their property and offers this to their customers, they are not regulated by the PUC. This places natural gas and electricity for alternative fuel vehicles on par with gasoline and diesel in the marketplace. In addition, the bill clarifies that if a business has renewable energy on their property and also an electric vehicle charging station they will not be regulated by the PUC.

Our Position
Status
Passed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status

Senate Bill 47, carried by Sen. Heath and Rep. Gerou, was CCIA’s signature legislation. SB 47, the “Colorado Science and Technology Innovation Reinvestment Act,” will divert 50 percent of the future growth of income tax withholding from the cleantech and bioscience industries (using NAICS codes) so that it could be used as seed money for start-up companies and inventions. SB 47 is a “first-of-its-kind” funding mechanism for Colorado. It is expected to generate about $2 million per year for the industry via the Clean Technology Discovery Evaluation Grant program, which provides matching grants to Colorado’s universities for market assessments of their clean technologies; to companies commercializing university clean technologies; and to certain initiatives. As its signature legislation, CCIA actively led support with our members’ active participation and testimony.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1262, carried by Rep. Becker and Sen. Johnston, ensures that there are procedures for transparency in the process of bidding by electric utilities for the acquisition of new generation facilities. The bill allows bidders in a competitive electric resource bidding process access to modeling inputs and assumptions. The bill also establishes procedures regarding the designation of information that is confidential. CCIA supported the bill.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1199, carried by Rep. Gardner and Sen. Bacon, limits government fees to install solar panels. The bill limits a county from charging a permit, plan review or other fees to install an active solar electric or solar thermal device (or a system that, in aggregate, are in excess or exceed the lesser of the county’s actual costs in issuing the permit) to five hundred dollars for a residential application or one thousand dollars for a nonresidential application. If the device or system produces fewer than two megawatts of direct current electricity or an equivalent-sized thermal energy system, then the county shall clearly identify all fees and taxes on an application. CCIA actively supported this bill and a number of members directly participated in the legislative process.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1160, carried by Rep. Gerou and Sen. Jahn, established a green building incentive pilot program to be administered by the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) to incentivize energy efficiency improvements to existing residences with current home energy ratings below minimum standards (and also for people who purchase highly efficient new houses). CCIA supported the bill.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1083, carried by Rep. Swerdfeger and Sen. Giron, allows the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to give its fullest possible consideration, at a utility’s request, to the cost-effective implementation of new energy technologies for the generation of electricity – specifically hydroelectricity and pumped hydroelectricity. CCIA actively supported this bill.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1045, carried by Rep. Kefalas and Sen. Newell, makes modifications to the Colorado Innovation Investment Tax Credit program and creates a framework for the future expansion of the program contingent on additional moneys being available to backfill lost income tax revenue. CCIA actively supported the bill.

Our Position
Status
Passed
Bill
Summary
Our Position
Status
NA
Executive Orders

Executive Orders – CCIA drafted language that was turned into two executive orders to promote the future financing and investment of Colorado’s clean-tech and bioscience industries. The first order creates the “Investment Opportunity Index” on the Colorado Office of Economic Development’s web site. This index will classify opportunities for capital investment in Colorado and serve as a clearinghouse for potential investors and partners The second order calls for the formation and quarterly meeting of a Roundtable on Venture Capital. The group will serve at the direction of the Colorado Office of Economic Development as an advisory group supporting the state’s efforts to encourage investment in companies located in Colorado and to assist the state in engaging the venture capital and investment community.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Senate Bill 180, carried by Senator Williams and Rep. Kerr created a 9-member smart grid task force that gathered information and reported to the PUC and general assembly on issues related to the implementation of a smart energy grid in Colorado. The CCIA ensured that the smart grid industry had a seat on the task force and is involved in the development of the white paper. The task force’s initial report was delivered in January 2011.

Our Position
Status
Passed
SB 10 - 177
Biomass energy development

Senate Bill 177, carried by Senator Schwartz and Rep. Scanlan promoted biomass energy development by requiring biomass energy facilities to be valued in the same manner as wind or solar energy facilities. The CCIA successfully removed “woody” from the definition of biomass to broaden the types of fuel sources.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1365, the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act was drafted by Xcel Energy, the environmental community and the Governor’s office. The legislation will act to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants in Colorado by replacing or repowering 900 megawatts with natural gas or other low-emitting sources by 2017. The bi-partisan bill was carried by Rep. Solano and Senator Whitehead.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1333, carried by Rep. Vigil and Senator Schwartz created a Governor’s Green Jobs office and Green Jobs Advisory Council that will review and award grants to programs that train individuals for jobs in wind, solar, renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. The CCIA testified in support of the bill and successfully added a seat for a clean technology industry association representative.

Our Position
Status
Passed

House Bill 1328, carried by Rep. Miklosi and Senator Schwartz creates a PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program in the state. This is a statewide, voluntary Special Improvement District that allows 50,000 homeowners to receive financing to hire approved companies to install solar, wind, geothermal renewable energy systems and or energy efficiency improvements for their homes. The CCIA provided verbal testimony on behalf of the legislation.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Governor’s first bill carried by Rep. Tyler and Senator Schwartz, increased Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) from 20% by 2020 to 30% by 2020. The bill also provides a carve-out for distributed solar, wind and biomass generation. The CCIA provided written testimony in support of the bill.

Our Position
Status
Passed

Under The Dome Newsletter

Monthly policy updates are a benefit of membership.

Policy Resources

The following resources provide timely reports and tracking tools to help you keep abreast of today’s constantly changing policy landscape.

Colorado Cleantech PAC

The Colorado Cleantech PAC is a registered state political committee established to fund-raise, endorse and make contributions to elect state-level candidates to improve the environment for business and innovation in Colorado’s cleantech sector. The bi-partisan Colorado Cleantech PAC is affiliated with CCIA but is a separately funded and registered entity.

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AEE Logo

CCIA is one of the founding partners of the Advanced Energy Economy. Through AEE’s state partner network, the organization works to create a better business climate for the advanced energy sector nationwide. The coalition currently consists of 15 partners representing 26 states. AEE and its partners work together to leverage success at the state and regional level for impact on the national stage through outreach, policy efforts, communications and media.

CCIA acts as an extra set of eyes and ears in the Colorado Capitol, helping companies of all sizes monitor and lobby for legislative action that benefits our sector, and in turn the people of Colorado. CCIA’s legislative policy support is making a big difference for clean technology here in Colorado.

Bonnie Trowbridge

VP, Marketing & Communications, Lightning Hybrids

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