In August of 2008, the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act was amended to create C.R.S. 38-33.3-106.7 which prohibits unreasonable restrictions on the installation of “energy efficiency measures” in community associations. At the same time, at C.R.S. 38-30-168, a statute on the books since 1979 addressing the installation of “solar energy devices” in community associations was amended to more fully address the installation of solar panels and to permit residential windmills in associations. Representative Andy Kerr, a champion of green energy, was the sponsor of these significant revisions to Colorado law.
Since that time, we have seen the installation of solar panels in associations take off. However, residential windmills have not been installed in most associations in Colorado. In some cases, the costs associated with purchasing and installing windmills is prohibitive. In other instances, the lack of steady wind is the issue.
On January 21, 2011, Representative Kerr introduced House Bill 1103 ("HB 1103") in the Colorado House of Representatives. If passed, HB 1103 would create sales and use tax exemptions for the sales, storage and use of a “distributed electrical generation wind turbine.” These wind turbines are defined as “a system that produces power at a constant three phase sixty hertz output with greater than or equal to one hundred kilowatt per hour capacity but less than or equal to seven hundred kilowatt per hour capacity that is installed behind the meter of any residential or commercial building and that does not require large tower installations." The bill also creates a credit against income taxes for taxpayers installing these wind turbines after January 1, 2011 and before January 1, 2014.
If signed into law, will wind turbines that are fit for installation in associations be eligible for these tax exemptions? Would tax incentives promote the installation of wind turbines in associations? Will technology evolve to such an extent that wind turbines become an attractive option for residents in associations? Only time will tell.
As with the other bills we are tracking during this legislative session, we will provide you with updates on HB 1103 as the bill moves through the legislative process.