Green energy incentives now available to small & midsize businesses
By The Star Staff
Starting Monday, island merchants were able to access the electronic portal reinforcementeconómico.com to request the Energy Support incentive, amounting to $25,000, to install green energy systems in small and midsize businesses.
The announcement was made by Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda. The program was developed to help merchants stabilize their operations, as well as reduce costs and long-term energy consumption. As announced by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Oct. 4, the incentive is funded by a $20 million allocation from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
“Merchants can access our website ddec.pr.gov or at reinforcementeconomico.com, to request the Energy Support incentive for renewable energy and energy conservation projects,” Cidre said. “The purpose is to provide relief in energy costs to small and midsize business (SME) merchants, who are the ones who most need support at the moment, while developing other SMEs that serve the energy market.”
Francisco Berríos Portela, director of the Public Energy Policy Program (PPPE by its Spanish initials), said the program’s goal is to grant the incentive to some 1,000 companies.
“Everything will depend on the requests we receive, which meet all the requirements, and the cost of each project,” he said. “Different eligibility and preference requirements are taken into account, including the region where the business is located, the economic sector it represents, the project’s energy savings, income and the number of employees, among others.”
Representatives of the PPPE and DDEC will carefully evaluate each application, prior to granting the incentive, to ensure that all requirements are met.
Berríos Portela noted that once the incentive is granted, the beneficiaries will have up to 12 months to use it. The disbursement will be made directly to the supplier, after the work has been completed and certified. In the event that the project cost is less than $25,000, the incentive will cover 100 percent of the cost. If it is greater, the merchant will cover the difference, paying the selected supplier directly.
“Apoyo Energético is part of the efforts being made to transform energy toward a more reliable and resilient [model], and advance the public policy established in Act No. 17 of 2019, promoting the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency,” Berríos Portela said. “We invite you to access the guidelines so that you know the details of the program. We have to move quickly in the right direction toward the energy transition that our island and the planet are demanding of us.”