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)

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.

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