Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today signed five bills into law that will help low-income families with their energy bills, improve energy efficiency and continue to build Colorado's New Energy Economy.


"These bills will continue bringing Colorado's New Energy Economy home," Gov. Ritter said. "These new laws share common objectives – investing in renewable energy and helping families cope with rising energy prices."
House Bill 1350 (Madden/Romer) allows local governments to provide below-market-rate loans to homeowners to finance home improvements for small-scale renewable energy projects, such as energy efficiency retrofits and the installation of renewable energy fixtures.
"I credit Gov. Ritter for all the work he's done to transform Colorado's economy," Rep. Alice Madden said. "What could have simply been a pithy campaign slogan about 'bringing new energy to Colorado' has in fact turned into thousands of jobs for Coloradans across the state."
HB 1368 (Buescher/Brophy) supports Colorado's growing solar industry by aligning state and county property valuations and encouraging small-scale developers to build green and install solar energy systems.
HB 1387 (Buescher/Veiga) helps low-income families with their energy bills in both the short and long-term. This legislation provides $6.5 million for emergency assistance through the state's Energy Outreach Colorado program and $6.5 million toward the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP).
"As energy costs continue to rise, it is increasingly difficult for Colorado's most vulnerable residents to afford their home energy expenses," Rep. Bernie Buescher said. "Families with children, senior citizens and individuals with special needs must allocate more of their limited resources to pay their energy bills. The successful LEAP program has helped thousands of Colorado families keep their heat on during the long winter months."
Senate Bill 147 (Gordon/Hodge) adds low-income housing to the list of state buildings that have to be built to high performance energy standards.
"Making affordable housing truly affordable for those struggling to get by has been a dream of mine since I came down to the legislature," Rep. Mary Hodge said. "This package of legislation will help make that dream a reality."  
SB 184 (Romer/Levy) helps low-income homeowners finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through the creation of the Colorado Clean Energy Finance Program.

"This innovative package of legislation will allow us to provide below-market loans to low- and moderate-income homes, helping them make energy improvements to their homes in order to save money on their utility bills," said Rep. Claire Levy.