Colorado House calls for a national Right to Repair score for tech

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DENVER – The Colorado House passed a House Joint Resolution calling for a national Right to Repair score system that would help consumers understand how repairable products are. The resolution comes during an open Federal Trade Commission (FTC) public comment period asking for feedback on how they can help states improve and foster repair.

Right to Repair scores for tech such as laptops, phones, and appliances would provide consumers with a 1 through 10 score that can measure availability of spare parts, ease of disassembly, and longevity of support. This allows consumers to compare repairability across participating companies before they purchase expensive devices.

“Nobody walks into an electronics store looking to buy something that breaks and can’t be repaired or fixed,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG executive director. “A repair score would give consumers more information on which products are designed to last. Repairability matters. Extending the life of our products can save us money and help the planet by reducing the amount of valuable resources we consume but then throw away.”

“Consumers should be able to browse in a store or shop online and quickly and easily compare whether the products they are buying are easy to repair,” said Representative Brianna Titone, one of the sponsors of the resolution. “Repair scores will make it easier for companies to compete on the quality of their products and reduce products that are designed for obsolescence. Things that are designed not to last cost consumers more money and contribute to our waste challenges, especially electronic waste, which is the fastest growing part of our waste stream.”

“Coloradans are spending too much money on everything from automobiles to washer and dryer machines, all while it gets harder and harder to repair the goods they’ve already bought,” said Senator Nick Hinrichsen, one of the Senate sponsors. “Last year we fought to give Colorado farmers the freedom to repair their own farm equipment, and now it’s time we go further and give even more Colorado consumers specific knowledge around how easily they can fix big-ticket consumer items for themselves. Repairability scores will keep more stuff out of our landfills and save hardworking Colorado families money.”

The House Joint Resolution, HJR24-1005, is sponsored by Representatives Brianna Titone and Ron Weinberg, and Senators Jeff Bridges and Nick Hinrichsen. Forty-five members of the House and fifteen members of the Senate joined their colleagues as co-sponsors on the introduced bill.

The resolution next heads to the Senate for a vote.

CoPIRG is calling for the legislature to adopt this resolution because a state-by-state approach would undermine comparability for consumers and place an undue burden on companies. Working with companies to develop the criteria for a voluntary repair score on a state level would be difficult for the state to administer because of the technical expertise required and costs.

“There needs to be a consistent repair score criteria that allows apples-to-apples comparisons, just like other successful labeling programs such as “Monroney stickers” – the stickers you see on car windows that allows us to know the miles per gallon, crash test ratings and engine specifications. The score would not only benefit consumers but it gives companies better tools to market the repairability of their products,” said Katz.

This effort comes after multiple states have passed laws guaranteeing the Right to Repair and Apple has come out in support of the policy. In 2022 Colorado became the first state to pass Right to Repair for people who use powered-wheelchairs and, in 2023, the first state to establish a Right To Repair for farmers, guaranteeing them everything they need to fix their own equipment on reasonable terms.

For more information on Right to Repair scores and why Colorado should act, check out CoPIRG’s blog.