Denver, CO — The Legislative Council Committee recently approved a request by Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) to convene the “Investor-Owned Utility Review Interim Study Committee” to investigate rates, reliability, and energy choice during the interim between the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions. The interim study committee will then present three bills to address the issues it studies.

“Many Coloradans, particularly those in southern Colorado, pay far too much for energy and we do not fully understand why rates are so high,” said President Garcia. “I have worked all session on legislation to put the interests of ratepayers, not investor-owned utilities first, and I am confident that this interim study committee will be able to find solutions to the high cost of electricity and bring much needed relief to ratepayers across the state.”

The interim study committee would meet two times to investigate the programs and practices of electric investor-owned utilities (IOU) in Colorado with a particular focus on issues involving consumer choice and affordability in electric supply including: 

  • The IOU’s administration of energy assistance programs and the sufficiency of those programs based on best practices;
  • The IOU’s administration of time-of-day or time-of-use metering programs, including pilot programs;
  • Whether an audit of any IOU consumer program is warranted and, if so, to formulate the document to request the audit;
  • What new or augmented reports an IOU should be required to provide the commission or the General Assembly; and
  • The role of the community aggregated choice in the consumer price of energy.

The committee will consist of six members of the General Assembly and eight non-legislative members. The legislative members will include three Senators, two selected by the Senate President and one selected by the Senate Minority Leader, and three Representatives, two selected by the House Speaker and one selected by the House Minority Leader.

The interim study committee will leverage the expertise of eight non-voting individuals with experience in the space. These eight non-legislative members will be appointed by the Senate President by June 30, 2019, as follows:

  • A representative of investor-owned utilities;
  • A member of the legal staff of the Public Utilities Commission or the Colorado Attorney General’s Office;
  • A member of the City Council of a city served by an IOU;
  • A County Commissioner of a county served by an IOU;
  • A representative from the Office of Consumer Counsel; and
  • Three geographically diverse citizens.