Advocacy

It’s Not Just About Assisting With A Bill,
But Making Sure The Bill Is Fair In The First Place

Because of our expertise in consumer energy issues, we lead the state in pursuing affordable energy policies with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the Colorado General Assembly and gas and electric distribution companies. We have helped pass legislation to raise millions of dollars for energy assistance and energy efficiency and our advocacy work provides low-income households access to previously unattainable benefits.

Advocacy With A Focus On Low-Income Energy Consumers

We do not take a position regarding a specific energy source or fuel. We consistently monitor energy policy and programs and their impact on the limited-income consumers we represent. Our mission is to ensure that all low-income Coloradans can meet their home energy needs. We actively intervene in utility rate cases and rulemakings at the Colorado Public Utility Commission to ensure that limited-income consumers have a voice in these proceedings, and that cost considerations and the distribution of those costs among various customer classes are considered.

We leverage public and private funds to support programs that increase the energy efficiency, health and safety of our clients’ homes and reduce their energy costs. We also analyze what the changing energy generation mix and energy price volatility mean for low-income consumers and how we can mitigate negative consequences for these vulnerable customers. The development of distributed energy resources like solar photovoltaic, demand response, and energy storage is changing the traditional electric industry business model and we are committed to protecting the needs of low-income consumers through this transition. EOC works with the more than 65 energy providers in the state, including rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and regulated utilities such as Xcel Energy, Atmos Energy, Colorado Natural Gas and Black Hills Energy.

Energy Outreach Colorado’s role is not to take a position on proposed public energy policy but rather to shine a light on the home energy needs of vulnerable households.

For more information about our advocacy work, contact
Director of Advocacy Andrew Bennett.

ADVOCACY IN ACTION

Working with lawmakers and utilities, EOC advocated for HB-1105 which passed in the 2021 legislative session. It provides much-needed additional resources and energy assistance funding for income-qualifying households statewide. House Bill 21-1105 directs utilities to collect a monthly fee from electric and natural gas customers to help support the work of organizations — like EOC — that help keep the lights on for Coloradans in need.

Some Highlights Include

  • Colorado investor-owned utilities will add a $0.50/month charge to their utility bills beginning in October 2021, rising to $0.75 in October of 2022, and adjusting for inflation thereafter.
  • These funds will be tracked by Energy Outreach Colorado who will work with the Commission on Low-Income Assistance to distribute it for energy assistance, efficiency, and outreach programs.
  • These funds will be issued to and tracked by Energy Outreach Colorado who will devise a budget to distribute it for energy assistance, efficiency, and outreach programs approved by the Commission on Low-Income Assistance.
  • A portion of the funds will also be used to provide energy assistance to SNAP clients potentially providing more LEAP applicants.

For over 30 years, Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) has been a leading expert on issues impacting income-qualified energy consumers and how best to meet the needs of our state’s diverse population. EOC leads a network of industry, state, and local partners to Support, Stabilize and Sustain income-qualifying Coloradans so they can afford their home energy needs in an ever-changing energy market.