DENVER - The Colorado Public Utilites Commission (PUC) will conduct a virtual public comment hearing in the PUC's Hearing Room A on September 19, 2022, beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., or, until concluded by the Commission, to take comment on a rulemaking related to natural gas utilities.
While members of the public may provide comment at any time, we encourage interested persons to provide comment from 9-to 10 a.m. or from 4-to-5 on Monday, Sept. 19. Updates on topics expected to be covered during the hearing and an approximate schedule can be found at the PUC’s E-Filing’s website for Proceeding No. 21R-0449G.
Through Senate Bill 21-264, the General Assembly directed the Commission to create rules that require utilities to file Clean Heat Plans (CHPs) and take other actions to reduce carbon emissions. In response, the Commission opened Proceeding 21R-0449G in October 2021, and issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (Decision No. C21-0610). The proposed amendments would add to as well as revise, the existing provisions of the Commission’s Gas Rules in several areas, including the rules governing:
- Utility line extension policies.
- Infrastructure planning.
- Clean heat plans and the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions; and Demand side management.
The Commission has since held multiple workshops and public comment hearings and must make a final decision on the rules by Dec. 1, 2022. Individuals who wish to review materials that have been filed in this proceeding can access it through the PUC’s E-Filings system, searching for Proceeding Number 21R-0449G.
What are Clean Heat Plans?
In 2021, the General Assembly required gas distribution utilities—utilities that transport gas to retail customers like residents and businesses—to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by four percent by 2025 and by 22 percent by 2030, from a 2015 baseline.
To show that they are meeting these targets, gas utilities will file CHPs with the Commission starting in 2023. A CHP will include a mix of clean heat resources, which may be:
- Energy efficiency programs, which could allow you to purchase more efficient equipment like water heaters for reduced costs.
- Recovered methane, which could come from solid waste in a landfill.
- Green hydrogen, which is when water is converted to hydrogen through electrolysis using renewable energy.
- Beneficial electrification, which could allow you to switch from a gas furnace to an electric heat pump for heating, or from a gas to an electric stove for cooking.
To achieve these targets, utilities can use a mix of supply-side resources which replace traditional gas and demand-side resources which reduce the gas customers use.
If you would like to provide oral comments at the hearing, please sign up here: Gas Rulemaking Public Comment Hearing. Details for how to access the remote public comment hearing through Zoom meeting can be found on the Calendar of Events on the PUC website at https://puc.colorado.gov.
The Commission will be providing live Spanish language interpretation from 9-to-11 a.m. of the public comment hearing.
Tell Us What You Think
You can submit written or verbal comments at any time the proceeding is open:
- Submitting written comments through the Commission’s Electronic Filing System (E-Filings) at https://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/efi/EFI.homepage.
- Submitting written comments using the Commission’s online form or through email at email@example.com. These comments will be posted in E-Filings for this Proceeding.
- Mailing comments to the Commission’s offices at: Colorado Public Utilities Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 250, Denver, CO 80202.
- Calling (303) 869-3490 to leave oral comments (English and Spanish options). Oral and written comments will be given the same weight.
Please include “Proceeding No. 21R-0449G” in public comments.