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- Javier Nunez
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- Project / Program Description
Project: PUERTO RICO SENIOR CITIZENS PHOTOVOLTAIC PROGRAM
Summary and Publicly-Facing Description
The Program mission is to reduce energy cost, while ensuring the health and safety, for eligible low-income families with priority for households with retired people, elderly, and persons with disabilities. The main objective of the program is to reduce the energy bill of the retirees on the island.
The Puerto Rico Senior Citizens Photovoltaic Project (PRSCPP), will provide the opportunity of lowering the energy bills to hundreds of senior citizens, that live under economic disadvantages on the island. Most of these citizens had worked hard for our country, but due to different circumstances they do not receive enough money to maintain the quality of life that they deserve.
Over the years, most of the low-income funds, concentrate within the young families, providing especial emphasis to those with greater number of dependents. We need to keep in mind, that our senior citizens are the majority group in our island. By taking this into consideration, we have created this program. It is our turn, to give back, to those who in the past provided for us.
This program will have received funding from the motor vehicles taxes. Up to date in Puerto Rico there is a competitive program funded by the State. It provides a 30% cash back rebate to those citizens that are interested in installing a renewable energy system. The Puerto Rico Senior Citizen Program will receive funding from this State Program. We will receive assistance of non-for-profit organizations.
The program will consist of the installation of a 3-kW grid tie system. The systems will be standard packages. They will produce enough electricity to alleviate the economic load of the citizen.
The State Office of Energy Policy (SOEP)
The State Office of Energy Policy (SOEP), previously known as the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration (PREAA), was established by virtue of Act No. 57 of May 27, 2014. The organization receives and manages States and Federal grants. Federal grants are managed using the State Plans approved by the award agency or through cooperative agreements and/or contracts agreements with grantees.
The agency is responsible for the implementation of the following programs:
- Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
- LIHEAP Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP)
- State Energy Program (SEP)
- Green Energy Funds (GEP)
- Energy Performance Contracting Program
Among the services that will perform the agency during the PRSCPP are the following:
- Outreach of the Program
- Client Intake
- Client Application Evaluation
- Procurement and Bidding
- Selection and Training of Technical Coordinators, Inspectors & Contractors.
- Design and Installation of the Photovoltaic System
- System Inspection (100%)
- Keep client records
- Liaison between Clients, Contractors & Inspectors
- Administrative work
Implementation of the Program
The Program begins with the publication of its availability to the community. To promote and announce the Program, a public outreach will be performed by SOEP that may include the following:
- Publication of a public notice in a PR newspaper,
- Orientation Sessions about the program,
- Distribution of Brochures,
- Publish information in the agency (SOEP) websites and Facebook pages.
Outreach of the Program
The orientation sessions consist of a series of gatherings to offer orientation to the community about the PSC Program and how to apply. The number of regions visited for the orientations will depend on the time schedule and SOEPS availability to offer such presentations. SOEP will oversee preparing and giving such orientations where the topics consist of the following:
- Programs Description
- Mission of the Program
- How to apply for the program
- What are the requirement and eligibility criteria’s of the program
- An initial State funding of $700,000.00, will be added to DOE’s funds.
- The citizen will receive a 3kW grid tie photovoltaic project, installation and end user training.
Individuals apply to the program through a call center established by SOEP and submit the required documentation to the agency which is then verified to determine their eligibility to the program. Dwellings of eligible clients are then visited by an Inspector to perform the Pre-Inspection of the unit to determine if there are feasible conditions at the project. After the initial inspection provides a positive result, contractors proceed to perform the design and installation of the Photovoltaic System. Once all weatherization work passes inspection, the home is reported as completed and weatherized. Please Refer to Attachment A for the SYCP Process Flowchart
CALL CENTER-APPLICATION AND PRE-QUALIFICATION
This will be the first step to apply for the program. A series of questions will be answer by the applicant. Based on the answers, the agency will classify by priority the participant.
Eligibility for PRSCPP can be for an individual applicant or for a dwelling unit. The determination of eligibility for an individual is based on income limits. The determination of eligibility of a dwelling unit for the SYC is dependent upon the eligibility of the occupants of the unit on the basis of income level or their participation in predetermined government financial assistance programs. The time an applicant has been responsible for the payment of the mortgage or the rent of a dwelling unit will not be a factor in determining eligibility under the program.
- Eligible Individuals
Applicants for PRSCPP are eligible if:
- They currently retired from a public agency or private entity. Additional points will be provided to those who live in poverty, as describe by the poverty income guidelines.
2016 POVERTY INCOME GUIDELINES
CONTIGUOUS STATES U.S. GRANTEES
EFFECTIVE January 25, 2016
INCOME LEVELS Size of Family Unit
For families with more than 8 persons, 100% of poverty level increases $4,160 for each additional person.
- Eligible Dwelling Units
Eligible Dwelling units (owned) under the PRSCPP are:
- Dwelling units pertaining to the retiree. Additional points will be provided to those occupied by a family unit whose total income is at or below the 200% income threshold (See Eligible Individuals).
PRSCPP Priority Population
Persons may apply to the PRSCPP only if they own their residence. Following the purpose of the program, the retired, the elderly, and persons with disabilities will be prioritized for service.
- Elderly – Person age sixty (60) or older.
- Retiree – US Citizen, living in PR that has retired from a government entity and/or private entity.
- Persons with Disabilities means any individual:
- Who is a handicapped individual as defined in section 7(6) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, that is:
- Who is under a disability as defined in section 1614(a)(3)(A) or 223(d)(1) of the Social Security Act or in section 102(7) of the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Act, or
- Who is receiving benefits under chapter 11 or 15 of title 38, U.S.C.
Selection of Areas to Be Served
The location of the houses to implement the program is not considered as a factor in determining the distribution of units since Puerto Rico climate does not exhibit significant variations between low elevations and mountain areas. The irradiation of the sun distributes basically even through the island. The application process will be opened to all eligible residents of Puerto Rico.
Priorities for Service Delivery
The program will give assistance and priority for the services to eligible persons who are retired, elderly and persons with disabilities.
Priority Ranking System
An applicant priority ranking system will be used to prioritize funding assignment. When a case becomes eligible, according to the information provided by the participant, the application receives a base amount of points. Additional points will be allocated to households with: 1) a Retiree (elderly persons; and/or); 2) Retiree (disable persons); and/or 3) Retiree (no conditions); in that order of priority. The sum of all the points is used to rank the cases for the purpose of funding assignment; the higher the score, the higher the priority. Priority points will not be a factor in determining the eligibility of a household, as they are assigned after the applicant has become eligible.
To the extent that public funds are available, those units with the highest ranking would be the first selected for the Pre-Inspection (first stage of the PRSCPP Process). Participants will be served in the order of priority points from the highest score to the lowest that will be used to select the units to start the process. As long as there are funds available during the duration of the program, units will be selected based on this priority list.
Services and Work to be Performed
The work done in each unit will be determined by State Office of Energy Policy of Puerto Rico. Basically, the programs services and work in Puerto Rico will consist of, but not limited to the following:
- Design and Installation
* Applying for the program or complying with the preliminary eligibility requirements does not guarantee the implementation of the measures, nor the participation in the PRSCPP. The Puerto Rico Power Authority will evaluate the case in parallel and determine if the project is doable in that specific location, based on power lines load and limitations. The inspector will verify if there is any unsafe condition and the designer will verify if the client current electrical conditions are following the regulations and the Puerto Rico electric code.
* Participation in the program will depend on the funds available, the number of applications received and the programs eligibility priorities.