Puerto Rico Governor Signs Law to Reform Energy Utility

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - May 27, 2014

Above: Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla signs the new law (Photo: OG Puerto Rico)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has signed what he is calling the “most profound transformation” of Puerto Rico’s electricity sector since 1941.

The Law of the Reform of Puerto Rico’s Energy Sector is based on Padilla’s “Light at the End of the Road” plan, which he first presented in 2012.

The Governor said the new law would establish a “more transparent” operation, promote green energy generation and improve the “efficiency and service quality” of Puerto Rico’s energy sector.

Among the new law’s provisions are requirements for “affordable, just and reasonable” electric service costs, transparency in the service of electricity and a “diverse portfolio” of electricity sources that includes a reduction of the reliance on fossil fuels.

The law mandates Puerto Rico’s Power Authority to conduct a review of its rates within 180 days, a process Padilla said should take six months.

The reform law also establishes a period of three years, extendable to four years, beginning July 1, 2014, for Puerto Rico to begin to produce 60 percent of its energy from a basis of “highly efficient” fossil fuels.

The law also requires Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority to “expedite and simplify the procedures for the interconnection of distributed solar projects,” and creates a new State Energy Office of Public Policy, which will be responsible for developing and updating Puerto Rico’s energy policy.

“With this law we create a new regulatory regime that will ensure transparency, efficiency, the public interest and citizen participation in the entire energy industry,” the Governor said.

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