Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases from Region 2

 

EPA Announces New Guidelines for Energy Efficient Homes in Puerto Rico; Will Help Puerto Ricans Conserve Energy, Protect the Environment and Save Money

Release Date: 02/27/2013
Contact Information: Brenda Reyes, (787) 977-5869, reyes.brenda@epa.gov

      (San Juan, Puerto Rico) Federal, Commonwealth and San Juan officials joined the U.S. Green Building Council today in San Juan to announce new guidelines for energy efficient homes in Puerto Rico. The new guidelines, developed by EPA as part of the federal ENERGY STAR program, are designed to take the Puerto Rico climate into account in determining energy efficiency for homes. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck, Puerto Rico Department of Housing and Urban Development Office Director Efrain Maldonado, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz-Soto and U.S. Green Building Council Caribbean Chapter President Vincent Pieri made the announcement at EPA’s office in Guaynabo.

      “An ENERGY STAR certified home means that the buyer will get an energy efficient place to live and will save money on energy costs over the long-term,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By committing to build ENERGY STAR homes certified for the Caribbean, builders in Puerto Rico can lead the way in providing home buyers with a choice that is both good for the environment and for their wallets.”

      ENERGY STAR for new homes helps home buyers identify residences that are significantly more energy efficient than standard construction. As code requirements have become more rigorous and builder practices have become more efficient, the EPA has periodically modified the guidelines to ensure that homes certified as energy efficient represent a meaningful improvement over homes that are not certified.

      The ENERGY STAR guidelines for the Caribbean reflect specifications for Puerto Rico’s tropical climate and year-round moderate temperatures. Homes built to ENERGY STAR guidelines are typically 20–30% more efficient than standard homes. Puerto Rico has some of the highest electricity rates in the country at 29 cents per kilowatt hour by some estimates.

      ENERGY STAR homes in Puerto Rico will feature a combination of energy-efficient systems that work together. These include completely enclosed systems to seal in air, high quality installation and high-performance windows. They also include high-efficiency systems for heating, ventilating and cooling; comprehensive water management systems to protect roofs, walls and foundations from moisture damage; and efficient lighting and appliances that perform well, last long and keep utility bills low.

      Over the past twenty years, the ENERGY STAR program has helped people save a combined total of nearly $230 billion on utility bills across the country. At the same, ENERGY STAR has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 1.7 billion tons. Last year alone, people across the nation saved about $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.

      The new guidelines and the schedule for phasing in the program in Puerto Rico are available at energystar.gov/homes.

      For more information or to become an ENERGY STAR partner, please visit http://www.energystar.gov/join.

      Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

      13-019