Colorado Electric Cooperatives - Interconnection Standards

June 20, 2007


Colorado enacted legislation in 2002 that implemented certain interconnection standards and metering requirements for the state's electric cooperatives. According to the statute, standby charges and interconnection charges are specifically authorized, and customers must pay all costs for additional metering. Safety equipment includes a requirement for an external disconnect switch. Customer equipment must meet IEEE, UL and National Electric Code (NEC) requirements, and any other applicable regulations or standards. Cooperative utilities must approve every eligible interconnection. Although the statute requires the state's electric cooperatives to offer "net metering," the term "net metering" is a misnomer in this case. Under the law, customers receive a lower rate -- the utility's avoided-cost rate -- for all electricity generated, while customers must pay the full retail rate for all electricity they purchase from utilities. This practice, commonly known as "dual metering," is much less favorable to customer-generators than "true" net metering. At least four electric cooperatives (Delta-Montrose Electric Association, Gunnison County Electric Association, La Plata Electric Association and Empire Electric Association) and two municipal utilities (Fort Collins Utilities and Holy Cross Electric) offer "true" net metering. In November 2004, Colorado voters approved Amendment 37, a ballot initiative that created a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) that applies to all of the state's utilities. Subsequently, in December 2005, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted statewide interconnection standards and net-metering rules. These rules apply to utilities serving at least 40,000 Colorado customers; municipal utilities and cooperative utilities with fewer than 40,000 customers may vote to opt out of the requirements of Amendment 37.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Biomass
  • Hydroelectric
  • Municipal Solid Waste
  • Landfill Gas
  • Wind (Small)
Applicable Utilities: Varies by utility
System Capacity Limit: Varies by utility
Standard Agreement: Varies by utility
Insurance Requirements: No
External Disconnect Switch: Yes
Net Metering Required: Varies by utility


Name: C.R.S. 40-9.5-301 et seq.
Date Enacted: 2002
Effective Date: 7/1/2002

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.