Senator Steve Fenberg | Newsletters
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Newsletters

24 Jan Week 1

January 24th, 2017

 

Well, we made it through the first few weeks of session. It’s been a wild ride already; from attending committee meetings to introducing three bills on voting, energy, and affordable housing (more on these below). I’ve heard from many of you so far, and I hope to continue to receive emails, phone calls, and letters with your feedback on the issues that you care about. More than ever, it’s important that we come together and continue to fight for our values and make our voices heard.

Improving our democracy

As you know, I care a bit about election access and making sure our democracy is fair and accessible for all Coloradans. Every election, there are reports of hours-long lines for people to vote–sometimes people are even still in line to vote after the election has been called. My first bill requires the measuring of wait times for voters at polling sites, which allows us to better understand where we can improve the voting process. If we already do this simple task at the deli counter and at Elitches, we should do it for the democratic process. If any of you have stories you’d like to share about waiting in long lines to vote, send me a note or join me in committee at the Capitol and offer your testimony on Wednesday, January 25th at 1:30pm.

Advancing energy storage for Coloradans

This week, I introduced a bipartisan bill to protect consumers and advance clean energy by affirming the rights of consumers to install energy storage systems on their property. Batteries have advanced a great deal in recent years, but Colorado consumers aren’t able to take advantage of these products because utilities are intentionally making it difficult and cost-prohibitive by placing unnecessary fees and charges on these customers. This bill protects consumer storage rights, enhances the reliability of the electric grid, saves money, and reduces the need for additional generation facilities, like coal power plants.

Creating more affordable rentals

As a major concern for both our community and the state of Colorado, affordable housing in the rental market is an issue I hope to make an impact on this year. This week, I introduced a bill that ensures local communities are able to implement inclusionary housing policies in a manner that incentivizes more on-site affordable rental units.

My first town hall!

I truly believe that our democracy works best when more people show up, and I invite you all to join me at my first Town Hall on Thursday, February 2nd. We’ll gather at Rayback Collective at 6:00pm to celebrate the start of the 2017 legislative session and discuss our priorities for the year. For more information on the event and to stay up-to-date, follow me on Facebook.

 

Onward,
Steve Fenberg
Senate District 18

 

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19 Jan FENBERG ANNOUNCES BIPARTISAN BILL TO PROTECT CONSUMER ENERGY RIGHTS

Denver, Co — Today, State Senator Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, announced bipartisan legislation to protect Colorado consumers’ right to install electrical storage systems on their own property for later use or in case of outages.

As one of Senator Fenberg’s first bills to be introduced, the legislation declares that consumers “have a right to install and use electricity storage systems on their property”, and prohibits utilities from charging discriminatory and burdensome fees on those customers.

“Batteries have advanced a great deal in recent years,” said Senator Fenberg, noting the increase in storage capacity and the drop in cost for batteries. “However, Colorado consumers aren’t able to take advantage of products like the Tesla Powerwall because utilities are intentionally making it difficult and cost-prohibitive by placing unnecessary fees and charges on these customers.”

“We have lots of storage projects in the pipeline that can’t move because of unreasonable requirements. These requirements would make the equipment lose its UL certification and add $1,000s to the cost for a small system,” said Whitney Painter, owner of Buglet Solar Electric in Golden.

 

“Colorado consumers should have the ability to install batteries that could not only lower their utility bill every month but also serve as a backup if the power were to go out…

 

The use of electrical storage systems is not just cost-saving for the consumer, but it helps reduce costs for all of Colorado’s ratepayers; with less demand on the grid during peak hours of the day, the grid will become more reliable and utilities won’t need to build more expensive power plants that are only used a few hours a year during the most energy-intensive days. I look forward to discussing this pro-consumer legislation with my colleagues,” Senator Fenberg continued.

Senator Fenberg is the prime sponsor for the bill, which is being cosponsored by Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud), Minority Leader Lucia Guzman (D-Denver), and Asst. Minority Leader Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo).

 

 

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