Public Energy Policy Program (PEPP)

The Public Energy Policy Program of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC) is in charge of developing and promulgating the public energy policy of the Government of Puerto Rico, by virtue of Act No. 141 of July 11, 2018, also known as Execution Act of the Reorganization Plan of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, of 2018. Among its multiple functions, it is in charge of administering and operating different federal programs, among them, the Home Weatherization Program (WAP), the State Energy Program (SEP) and the State Program of the Green Energy Fund, with the main purpose of promoting energy efficiency and introducing renewable energy to the Puerto Rico electricity grid. Pursuant to Law 17-2019, the objective is to mitigate Puerto Rico’s dependence on centralized fossil fuel plants and optimize the available energy resources that allow building resilience and, ultimately, facilitating that the island can obtain 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Legal base

  1. Act No. 114 of August 16, 2007, Net Measurement Act
  2. Act No. 4 of February 16, 2016, Revitalization of the Electric Power Authority Act. 
  3. Act No. 57 of May 27, 2014, the Puerto Rico Energy Transformation and Relief Act. 
  4. Act No. 73 of May 28, 2008, Economic Incentives for the Development of Puerto Rico Act. 
  5. Act No. 81 of July 2, 2014, Promotion of Vehicles Driven Mostly by Electricity Act. 
  6. Act No. 82 of July 19, 2010, Energy Diversification through Sustainable and Alternative Renewable Energy in Puerto Rico Public Policy Act 
  7. Act No. 83 of July 19, 2010, Puerto Rico’s Green Energy Incentives Act
  8. Act No. 229 of August 9, 2008, Green Buildings Law. 
  9. Act No. 141-2018, Execution of the Reorganization Plan of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of 2018 Act 
  10. Act No. 17 of April 11, 2019, Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act
  11. Act No. 60 of July 1, 2019, Puerto Rico Incentive Code 
  12. Regulation No. 8080, Amendment to the Regulation for the Certification of Systems of Renewable Energy (Regulation 7796).
  13. Regulation No. 8682, Energy Savings Performance Contract Program Amended Regulation 
  14. Regulation 8601 of June 1, 2015, Regulation of the Green Energy Fund 

Certifications

  • Renewable Electrical System Installer (Photovoltaic)
  • Wind Turbine Installer
  • Certification of other Renewable Energy Equipment (OGPe)

PROFESSIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

1. Be an electrician specialist or a licensed electrician engineer.

2. Present a certified copy which indicates that you took and approved a class that complies with the following requirements:

                    a. A minimum of 30 hours contact (30 PDH 13 CEU).

                     b. It must cover, at least, the following subjects:

• Regulations in Puerto Rico which regulates the sale and installation of photovoltaic systems

• Basic concepts of electricity, applicable to photovoltaic systems

  • Basics of solar energy and applications

• Photovoltaic systems’ types

• Photovoltaic systems’ components

• Photovoltaic systems’ installation

• Interconnection to the electric system

• Foundation and mooring system

• Acceptance tests

• Problem solving (“Troubleshooting”)

c.   If the class was offered or validated by your professional college as a continued studies class, you should provide the necessary information to prove that the class complies with the characteristics stated in Article 14 (A)(2) of Regulation Num. 7796 (Regulation for the Certification of Renewable Solar Energy Installer / Photovoltaic)

d.  The class approval will be subject to the satisfactory approval of a comprehensive test which includes the subjects mentioned.

e.  Each test must be saved by the entity that offered it for a one-year period, at least.

3. Those who comply with Article 14(A)(1) and with one of the following, will also be certified:

a. Present certified prove of having approved the NABCEP test, even if did not took any class.

b. Present certified prove of having taken the class in the United States, of a minimum of 30 hours contact (30 PDH / 3 CEU), and of the requirements stated in Section 2(b) of Article 14 (A).

c. In both cases, 3(a) and 3(b) of Article 14 (A), the applicant must complete a continued education class approved by the Program of at least 4 hours, about the norms, laws, regulations and codes in Puerto Rico, applicable to these systems.

 

CERTIFICATION VALIDITY AND RENOVATION

1. The certificate will have a 4-year validity.
2. To apply for the Installer Certification renovation, the applicant will provide evidence of:

a. Active unionization

​b. Having taken a class of 8 minimum hours about panels and photovoltaic systems, for the Renewable Solar Energy System / Photovoltaic Certification

The class to be taken must be pre-approved by the PPPE, which will publish a list in its website.

3. Installer’s Certifications that do not comply with these requirements will not be renovated.

4. The Installer’s Certificate renovation should be requested during 60 calendar days, before its expiration. Nobody can install a system if the correspondent installer certificate expired, with the exception of those who requested the renovation in the mentioned 60 days and the PPPE have not authorized it in a 30 calendar days period, which starts counting the day the request was received.

EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

1.​ Be a licensed engineer
2. Present a certified copy of having taken and approved a class which complies with the following requirements:

 a. A minimum of 20 contact hours (20 PDH / 2 CEU)

 b. The class will include, at least, the following subjects:

i. Regulations in Puerto Rico which rules the location, wind generators construction and their foundation systems

ii. Design and construction of foundation towers for wind generators

iii. Concepts of generations estimates and location optimization of wind generators

iv. Concepts of static power calculations and dynamics in wind generator towers

v. Components in wind systems

vi. Tower mooring for wind generators foundation

vii. Acceptance tests

viii. Wind generators and towers maintenance

c. The class approval will be subject to the satisfactory approval of a comprehensive test which includes the mentioned subjects.
​d. Each test must be saved by the legal entity which offers it, for at least one year. The PPPE reserves the right to inspect these tests. ​

CERTIFICATION VALIDITY AND RENOVATION

​            1. The Certification will be valid for 4 years.

2. To apply for the renovation of the corresponding installer certification, you must provide evidence of:

  • Active unionization
  • Having taken a class of 3 minimum hours about wind generators for the Wind Generators Installer Certification. The class to be taken must be pre-approved by the PPPE, which will publish a list in its website.

3. Installer’s Certifications that do not comply with these requirements will not be renovated.
4. The Installer’s Certificate renovation should be requested during 60 calendar days, before its expiration. Nobody can install a system if the correspondent installer certificate expired, with the exception of those who requested the renovation in the mentioned 60 days and the PPPE have not authorized it in a 30 calendar days period, which starts counting the day the request was received.

Law 101 of July 9, 1985, as amended, authorizes the PPPE to concede a credit up to 11% in the monthly energy consumption billing of hotels, condo hotels, paradors, small hostelries or guest houses qualified by the Tourism Company.

 

PRESENTATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Present de PPPE an Energy Auditory. If you comply with the requirements of the mentioned law, the OEPPE will send a certification to the Electric Energy Authority to concede the credit.

CERTIFICATION VALIDITY AND RENOVATION

  • 3 years for hotels, since the credit is obtained
  • 5 years for condo hotels, paradors, small hostelries and guest houses

 

  • Public Lighting Certification

Law 101 of July 9, 1985, as amended, authorizes the PPPE to concede a credit up to 11% in the monthly energy consumption billing of hotels, condo hotels, paradors, small hostelries or guest houses qualified by the Tourism Company.

 

PRESENTATION REQUIREMENTS

  • Project’s Memorial Description
  • Situation Plan with the location of lights
  • PPPE will endorse lights according to reasonability and the equipment’s to be installed efficiency criteria.

 

 

Federal Programs (DOE)

A. State Energy Program (SEP)

The State Energy Program was created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the early 1970s, to facilitate the implementation of state programs with energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. The purpose of the SEP is to promote the efficient use of energy and reduce the consumption and demand for energy, through the development and implementation of programs that support the Puerto Rico Public Energy Policy. Through SEP, the Energy Public Policy Program of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce has continued its efforts aimed at, but not limited to, the following initiatives:

  • Modernization project for lighting systems, as part of energy efficiency improvements in government facilities
  • Installation of electric vehicle charging stations
  • Energy audit program in government agencies and municipalities
  • Installation of photovoltaic systems
  • Collaborative agreements with educational entities, for research and evaluation of new technologies
  • Guidance on compliance with the Energy Public Policy, as an action plan
  • Program that promotes efficiency, renewable energy and education projects to reduce the Government’s consumption of electrical energy
  • Annual development of the Puerto Rico Energy Assurance Plan, together with the federal Department of Energy

In 2019, the Governor of Puerto Rico assigned the Puerto Rico Energy Policy Program from the Department Economic Development and Commerce (DEDC-EPP) to develop the Island’s Energy Assurance Plan (EAP) under Act 17-2019. The regulatory compliance involves policy mandates that define specific roles of the Energy Policy Program from the DEDC as the lead agency on energy response during an emergency. The DEDC-EPP strongly believes in the importance of pursuing better energy assurance planning to help contribute to the resiliency of the energy sector, including the electricity grid, by focusing on the entire energy supply system, which includes refining, storage, distribution of fossil and renewable fuels, and incorporation of new smart grid technologies. The plan complements NMEAD’s Joint Operational Catastrophic Incident Plan for Puerto Rico (JOCIP) under specific federal guidance provided by the Emergency Support Function 12 (ESF #12). EAP is a result of collaborative efforts between different public and private entities that provided support to existing emergency guidance that will now be updated every year by the DEDC-EPP.

Energy Assurance Plan

Response Playbook

B. Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

In 1976, the U.S. The Department of Energy (DOE) created the Home Weatherization Program (WAP) to assist low-income families who lack the resources to invest in energy efficiency. In 2009, Puerto Rico was included for the first time in the WAP.

  • The Program’s mission is to reduce residential energy costs while ensuring the health and well-being of eligible families, prioritizing homes with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The main objective of the Program is to increase the number of air-conditioned homes in Puerto Rico.

Who is eligible?

Are eligible for HVAC, housing units that meet at least one (1) of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Income – Housing units occupied by families or individuals with an income equal to or less than 200% of the poverty level are considered eligible.
  • Aid – Housing aid occupied by one (1) or more individuals who have participated in any of the following financial assistance programs during the past 12 months is considered eligible:
  1. Title IV of the Social Security Law (TANF)
  2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  3. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  4. People who pay a fixed electricity rate are NOT eligible under the Program.
  5. You can request if you are the owner or tenant of the property where you live.

What are the requirements to participate?

  1. Resident of the housing unit
  2. 18 years or older, legally independent
  3. Head of household, spouse or his authorized representative
  4. American citizen or permanent resident
  5. Owner or tenant, with permission of the owner
  6. Responsible for the payment of the electricity bill of the residence

How can I apply?

The candidate requests the Program by calling a call center on the dates established in the DEDC Public Notices.

What types of weatherization can be done in my home?

  1. Replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.
  2. Replacement of refrigerators with more efficient units.
  3. Replacement of window type air conditioners with more efficient units (limit 3). 4. Replacement shower heads.
  4. Work that mitigates problems related to health and safety. (Eg installation of carbon monoxide alarm).
  5. Replacement of electric heaters with solar heaters.
  6. Education on internal air quality, such as: energy saving, presence of fungus, mold and lead in the home.

Incentive Opportunities

  1. Green Energy Fund (Law 60)
  2. Federal Grants
  3. Tax Exemption (Law 60)

Projects

Mona Island Project

Two photovoltaic systems with storage were installed: one of 2 kilowatts and another of 18 kilowatts to power the facilities of the Department of Natural Resources. These facilities include: research areas, visitor center, cafeteria and 4 rooms.

The logistics of this project included the mobilization of equipment and materials by the Puerto Rico National Guard.

The total cost of the project, carried out in October 2019, was $ 268,019.76. This project resulted in the compensation of 65,850 Kwh’s in one month, eliminating the use of generators to meet the needs of its daily operations.

PROTech

The use of ocean or deep sea water technology has been discussed globally since the 1960s. Numerous studies and discussions have been conducted in Puerto Rico over the years. However, since the 1980s this matter has remained a forgotten dream. In September 2017, two catastrophic natural disasters, Hurricanes Irma and María, changed the rules of the game related to power generation and the use of new technologies. These events reactivated the idea and opened up new opportunities to explore this untapped resource.

 

Links of interest