public utilities commission

equity initiatives

PUC EQuity initiatives

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is embarking on a process in which it will consider how best to provide equity in all of its work, by adopting rules and practices informed by equity considerations. This process is driven by Senate Bill (SB) 21-272, which states that:

  • “The Commission shall promulgate rules requiring that the Commission, in all of its work including its review of all filings and its determination of all adjudications, consider how best to provide equity, minimize impacts, and prioritize benefits to disproportionately impacted communities and address historical inequalities”;

  • “When making decisions relating to retail customer programs, the Commission shall host informational meetings, workshops, and hearings that invite input from disproportionately impacted communities. . .”; and

  • The Commission “shall ensure, to the extent reasonably possible, that such programs, including any associated incentives and other relevant investments, include floor expenditures, set aside as equity budgets, to ensure that low-income customers and disproportionately impacted communities will have at least proportionate access to the benefits of programs, incentives, and investments.”

SB 21-272 describes inequities that the Commission should take account of and help to correct, including disproportionate environmental burdens, fewer environmental benefits, and exclusion from decision-making. The legislation also defines “disproportionately impacted communities,” which are census block groups that, for example, include at least 40% households that are lower income, minority, or housing cost-burdened.

To advance this process, the Commission opened Proceeding No. 22M-0171ALL to engage stakeholders and gather information about potential rules and processes. Anyone can participate in this proceeding without an attorney.