Governor Jared Polis today signed HB23-1252—The Thermal Energy Act, which expands the definition of a clean heat resource to include thermal energy systems, requires the Public Utilities Commission to create rules around this technology, and encourages developers to propose new thermal energy pilot projects. The bill was sponsored by State Reps. Sheila Lieder and Cathy Kipp and State Sens. Tony Exum and Chris Hansen.
“By encouraging the expansion of thermal energy systems, we are growing green jobs potential in the state,” said Rep Lieder. “Not only does this mean high-road jobs for energy workers in Colorado—thermal energy systems also make our buildings more efficient, driving down utility costs for ratepayers. HB23-1252 is a win-win opportunity for Colorado’s workers, communities, and environment.”
“This bill will allow Coloradans to get access to reliable, affordable, and carbon-free heating and cooling by allowing gas utilities to employ proven thermal heat technology,” said Sen. Hansen. “In 2021, my colleagues and I worked to get clean heat plans adopted, and I am excited that this bill will accelerate that work and create thousands of clean jobs in Colorado.”
Thermal energy can provide the everyday needs of domestic hot water, temperature-controlled spaces, or refrigeration. It adds or removes heat from buildings for the purpose of efficient building temperature control. The process works by circulating non-combustible fluids through a network of pipes to heat (or cool) a campus, building, residential community, or other structures.
“To meet the goals of our clean energy future, we need bold, innovative technology that will reduce emissions and create more jobs in Colorado communities,” said Colorado Policy Organizer Elena Santarella. “By signing the Thermal Energy Act, Governor Polis has added another clean energy solution to the roster, meaning more tools in our climate action tool belt and more jobs in the clean economy. The new guidelines this law creates will urge developers to bring more thermal energy projects on line which is a win-win for workers and the environment.”
“The BlueGreen Alliance is proud to support this legislation and its implementation,” Santarella added