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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: SB23-291

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Title Utility Regulation
Status Governor Signed (05/11/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Energy
House Sponsors M. Martinez (D)
Senate Sponsors S. Fenberg (D)
L. Cutter (D)
House Committee Finance
Senate Committee Finance
Date Introduced 04/18/2023

Section 1 of the bill requires the public utilities commission
(commission), if relying on a discount rate when calculating the net
present value of future fuel costs as part of a utility's electric resource
plan, to apply a discount rate that does not exceed the long-term rate of
Section 2 requires the commission to establish mechanisms,
guidelines, or rules to limit the amount of rate case expenses that an
investor-owned electric or gas utility may recover from the utility's
Section 3 prohibits an investor-owned electric or gas utility from
recovering various costs from its customers, including:
  • More than 50% of annual total compensation or of expense
reimbursement for a utility's board of directors;
  • Tax penalties or fines issued against the utility;
  • Certain advertising and public relations expenses;
  • Lobbying and other expenses intended to influence the
outcome of local, state, or federal legislation or ballot
  • Certain organizational and membership dues;
  • Travel, lodging, food, or beverage expenses for the utility's
board of directors and officers; and
  • Gift or entertainment expenses.
If an investor-owned utility recovers prohibited costs, the
commission is required to assess a nonrecoverable penalty against the
utility in an amount that is not less than the total amount improperly
recovered and order the utility to refund the amount improperly recovered
to its customers, plus interest.
Section 4 requires that, on or before November 1, 2023, an
investor-owned gas utility file with the commission for the commission's
approval, amendment, or denial a gas price risk management plan that
includes proposals for addressing the volatility of fuel costs recovered
from the utility's ratepayers.
Section 4 requires the commission to adopt rules, on or before
January 1, 2025, to:
  • Help protect investor-owned gas utility customers from the
volatility of gas prices by establishing a mechanism that
aligns an investor-owned utility's financial incentives with
the financial interests of its customers; and
  • Establish a mechanism to create a financial incentive for an
investor-owned utility to improve its electricity production
cost efficiency while minimizing its fuel costs.
As part of its rules, the commission may also consider requiring
each investor-owned electric utility to bear a percentage of its total fuel
costs in order to incentivize the utility to find efficiencies and reduce fuel
Section 4 also requires the commission to open a proceeding to
investigate the extent to which residential and other development in
certain geographic areas drive natural gas infrastructure costs for any
natural gas utility that serves more than 500,000 customers in the state.
Section 5 requires:
  • On or before December 31, 2023, each regulated gas utility
to remove from the utility's rate tariffs any incentives
offered to an applicant applying for natural gas service to
establish gas service to a property;
  • The Colorado energy office to contract with an independent
third party, on or before July 1, 2024, to evaluate the risk
that stranded or underutilized natural gas infrastructure
investments pose and the annual projected rate impact that
such stranded assets have on ratepayers;
  • The commission to determine whether any changes to rules
or depreciation schedules are warranted based on its review
of the evaluation contracted by the Colorado energy office;
  • An investor-owned gas utility to provide the commission
information, including a map, about the utility's gas
distribution system pipes;
  • An investor-owned gas utility to refrain from penalizing or
charging a fee to a customer that voluntarily terminates gas
service. The commission may adopt rules to establish
standards for a customer's voluntary disconnection from an
investor-owned gas utility's gas distribution system.
  • On or before July 1, 2024, the commission to examine
existing investor-owned electric utility tariffs, policies, and
practices to determine if the tariffs, policies, and practices
pose a barrier to the beneficial electrification of buildings
with respect to charges imposed for the cost of transformer
or service upgrades.
Section 6 authorizes the commission to allow a wholesale
customer of an investor-owned utility to intervene in a proceeding
regarding the commission's consideration of the investor-owned utility's
application for cost recovery from customers.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (08/22/2023) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
Lobbyists Lobbyists
Audio [This feature is available by subscription.]  
Votes House and Senate Votes
Vote Totals Vote Totals by Party
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