State and Local Policy Database

Puerto Rico

State Scorecard Rank

Puerto Rico

7.0Scored out of 50Updated 8/2017
State Government
Score: 2.5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

Puerto Rico does not offer financial incentives for energy efficiency. The territory leads by example by requiring energy efficient public buildings, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging the use of energy service performance contracts. Energy efficiency research is conducted at several institutions in the territory.

Financial Incentives List All

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Loan for Businesses: A low-interest loan program for retrofits and renewable energy projects on small and medium businesses, offered through an alliance with the Commonwealth's Economic Development Bank and the State Office of Energy Policy. This program previously only applied to renewable energy projects as part of Puerto Rico's Green Energy Fund, but in July 2016 it expanded to energy efficiency projects.

Financial incentive information for Puerto Rico is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE U.S. Territories).

Last Updated: August 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place, except for municipal buildings, which aggregate buildings by municipality.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

Act No. 57 of 2014 establishes energy savings mandates for each government branch as follows:

  • By 2022, all state agencies, public corporations and all judicial branch buildings must reduce their electrical energy consumption by at least 40%.
  • All state agencies and judicial entities must promote energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and consider them as the first option for energy savings projects, unless they can demonstrate that a project is not cost effective.  There are currently ten active projects, but none have been able to start construction because of a lack of financing options.
  • The Legislature must reduce its electrical energy consumption 12% by 2022, from a baseline of fiscal year 2012-2013.
  • Municipalities must reduce electricity consumption by 5% annually for three years, or 15% in the first three years. Compliance is expected to begin in 2016 or 2017. 

The State Office of Energy Policy will oversee the development and implementation of plans and programs to fulfill this law and publish semi-annual results from program evaluations. 

Act 57 of 2014 also mandates the benchmarking of energy use and monitoring of energy efficiency measures in all public buildings, including municipalities.

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

No policy in place or proposed 

Note: For state efficient fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing state fleet efficiency. State alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

The Energy Savings Performance Contracts Act established an ESPC program for state owned government buildings. Through this program, run by the State Office of Energy Policy (SOEP) in collaboration with the state’s Government Development Bank (GDB), eight RFPs have been awarded and three additional projects are actively looking for proposals. SOEP provides consulting services to state agencies; helps develop RFPs and contracting documents; runs the RFP process; make recommendations to agencies for the RFP award; provides support negotiating Preliminary Assessments, Investment Grade Audits and Performance Contract; and GDB provides financial advice on the financial agreements. About 70 public buildings, mostly owned by the Public Building authority, are engaging ESPCs.

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

The Puerto Rico Energy Center (PREC) works to advance Puerto Rico's energy efficiency and clean energy use through research, technology transfer, education, and demonstration. The Center is operated by the Universidad del Turabo with active participation of faculty members and researchers from different disciplines and universities.

In 2015 the University of Puerto Rico created the National Institute for Islands Energy and Sustainability (INESI) to gather all scientific work being done on any energy-related issue. Their research catalog lists at least nine scientists working on energy efficiency.  The Energy Office has partnered with INESI to certify new technologies for application in Puerto Rico. On April 2016, the Office received the first certification for the production of cold water from the gasification of LNG to increase the efficiency of industrial cooling needs. Other two technologies are under evaluation.  

Last Updated: July 2016

Buildings
Score: 2.5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

The 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code requires compliance with the 2009 IECC for residential and commercial new construction. Puerto Rico provides training and outreach programs to ensure compliance.

Residential Codes List All

The 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code requires compliance with the 2009 IECC for residential new construction. Municipalities are permitted to adopt stretch codes if more stringent than the statewide code.

Last Update: August 2017

Commercial Code List All

The 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code requires compliance with the 2009 IECC for commercial new construction. Municipalities are permitted to adopt stretch codes if more stringent than the statewide code.

Last Updated: August 2017

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: NA
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: Regularly, the Permits Office provides training and outreach programs for contractors and other professionals of the construction industry. The first edition of the new Puerto Rico Building Code was started in 2009 when the Permits Office formally established a Construction Codes Committee, composed of representatives from the construction industry, architects, engineers, and regulatory government agencies, to review and implement a transition from the existing 1997 Uniform Building Code (UBC) to the family of the International Codes® of the ICC (I-Codes®).  Several seminars were offered with the help of the International Code Council to familiarize all stake holders with the 2009 I-Codes. Three days were used for Technical Hearings where proposed amendments were evaluated in order to produce a Building Code for Puerto Rico which took into consideration its unique geographical, climatological, social, and economic characteristics. These series of amendments to the I-Codes, together with the original 2009 code, composed the 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code.

Last Updated: July 2015

CHP:
Score: 0.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

Puerto Rico has limited policies to encourage CHP.

Interconnection StandardsList All

The Autoridad de Energia Electric de Puerto Rico (PREPA) promulgated interconnection rules in 2008 that apply to all distributed generation projects up to 1 MW. There is a specific procedure for renewable energy generators from 1 MW to 5 MW, but this procedure does not apply to CHP.

Last Updated: August 2017

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: August 2017

Deployment IncentivesList All

A state policy provides a tax exemption on fuel used for CHP. Act 73 of 2008 provides industrial businesses with an exemption from the fuel tax on any fuel used for cogenerating electric power on its main facility or affiliates.

Last Updated: August 2017

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently no additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.

Last Updated: August 2017

Utilities:
Score: 0 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Puerto Rico's electricity is supplied by PREPA, a government agency that owns the electric distribution system for the main island, Vieques, and Culebra. Currently, PREPA does not offer energy efficiency programs to its customers. There are no regulatory mechanisms in place to incentivize investments in energy efficiency.

Transportation:
Score: 2.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

Puerto Rico has an incentive program for hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles and has made an effort to integrate land use and transportation planning. 

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed

Last Updated: July 2017

Transporation System Efficiency List All

Puerto Rico's Act No. 276 of 29 passed in 2012 (Law No. 276-2012), known as the “Smart Growth of Infrastructure Act”, establishes official guidelines to promote smart growth development on the Island and outlines criteria that all infrastructure agencies must follow when approving or financing new or existing projects. Additionally, Act No. 212-2002, known as the Law for the Revitalization of Urban Centers provides incentives for the redevelopment of urban centers in P.R. The law focuses on the concept of a walkable and habitable city.     

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: No freight plan or goals in place. 

Last Updated: July 2017

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

In 2012 Puerto Rico amended the Internal Revenue code to allow an excise tax reimbursement of up to 65% for buyers of hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The reimbursement ranges from $2,000 to $8,000 and were available until 2016. Puerto Rico's Act No. 81 of July 2nd, 2014 amended the Internal Revenue Code in order for buyers of fully electric & plug-in hybrid vehicles be waived from paying excise tax altogether.

Last Updated: July 2017

Appliance Standards:
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Puerto Rico has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2016