Last week, our Legislature passed and sent to our Governor for signature, SB18-009, a bill addressing batteries and other energy storage systems.
The Legislature determined that “Colorado’s economy, as well as the health and safety of its residents, depends on a reliable and efficient supply of electricity.” It further found that because of outages in the electric grid, energy storage systems constitute an “effective way for residents to provide their own reliable and efficient supply of electricity.”
The Legislature then declared that it is “in the public interest” to give “Colorado’s consumers” the “right to install, interconnect and use energy storage systems on their property without the burden of unnecessary restrictions or regulations and without unfair or discriminatory rates or fees.”
This sounds good, right? Well, the Legislature then decided in passing (and without explanation) that rural cooperatives, like LPEA, would be exempt from this law. In other words, the Legislature has determined that we residents in rural areas do not deserve the same rights and benefits as residents in urban areas.
What? Is the Legislature saying that there are no outages in rural areas? Or is it saying that unlike in urban areas, the outages we face do not impact our economy and our health and safety and, that as a result, we don’t deserve the same right to provide our own reliable and efficient supply of energy?
How irrational is this? Shame on our Legislature. Our legislators, Senator Coram and Representive McLachlan, need to explain to us how they permitted such a blatantly discriminatory bill to pass. And, they need to identify what they are going to do (and when) to fix this completely unacceptable result.