Case of the month - Buenos Aires


Buenos Aires Energy Efficiency Program and Law for Public Buildings
Buenos Aires
City Council of Buenos Aires 

The policy was introduced by the City Council of Buenos Aires in 5thNovember 2009 but the program started in September 2008 driven by the Environmental Protection Agency (APRA) of Buenos Aires.
Territorial scope
City Level

Target Buildings




Public buildings

 New buildings    

Private buildings
 Existing buildings
 Industrial, services, etc.

Main Targets 

  • Achieve minimum savings in energy consumption of 20% by 2015 in public buildings of the government of the City of Buenos Aires;
  • Instill the concepts that make energy efficiency improvements in daily practices for the public service sector employees and society in general;
  • Have systematic information about the tons of carbon dioxide that have stopped issuing through the implementation of energy efficiency practices in public buildings;
  • At least 50% of the savings achieved through energy efficiency shall be used to finance education and information campaigns on energy efficiency and to incorporate new energy efficiency systems in government buildings, public lighting and traffic lights;
  • The creation of a specific item in the government budget to finance building and technological improvements that will contribute to energy efficiency.


The local government of Buenos Aires has authorized the Energy Efficiency Program in Public Buildings (PEEEP) in order to optimize energy consumption in public buildings and set an exemplary policy which obliged the public buildings of the city to implement energy consumption monitoring systems. The program targets the energy efficiency of existing public buildings in anticipation of influencing both the construction sector to adopt energy efficient measures and the technology markets to promote efficiency technologies.

Through the use of a benchmarking method to determine the best approaches for resource efficiency improvements, each public building (offices, schools, hospitals, etc) will carry out a monthly registration of energy consumption and will be responsible for monitoring and implementation of energy efficiency and saving measures.
Program Overview


In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (APRA) of Buenos Aires created the Program of Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings (PEEEP) as part of their internal policy focusing on greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

This program is the first of its kind under the public sector in Argentina and the obligation of the public sector to set a positive example for energy efficiency measures, replicating this project on a national level. Through PEEEP’s implementation a set of relevant public buildings will become test and monitoring fields for energy consumption evaluations and consequently adopt energy improvement measures with energy reduction effectiveness.

PEEEP was implemented by APRA in cooperation with the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) and the Engineering Faculty of the Buenos Aires University, who provide technical support for the buildings energy diagnosis.


Energy efficiency program methodology

To move forward with an energy efficiency building program, PEEEP’s goal is to obtain energy diagnosis for 5 different types of public buildings:

  • Administrative offices;
  • Hospitals;
  • Schools;
  • Cultural centers;
  • Citizen service centers.

The energy efficiency program methodology comprises a set of activities and stages including:

  • Surveys of buildings' structures;
  • Surveys of operating electrical equipment and their consumption levels;
  • Installation of sensors to record temperature and humidity;
  • Measurement of electrical energy consumption by equipment placed on the principal and sectional electrical boards;
  • Survey of the number of personnel in each office and on each floor during every working hour of the day;
  • Survey of thermal comfort;
  • Measurement of lighting above working stations; 
  • Analysis of buildings' water consumption.

The energy consumption diagnosis of each building will allow adopting an energy management system. In this way, the energy management system will monitor periodically the improvements implemented and regarding to long-term energy consumption and quantify the energy saving.


Energy Efficiency Law

The law (3246/09) resulting from the program PEEEP and approved by the city council in 2009, sets guidelines for the government of Buenos Aires to pursue its energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions targets.

The implementation of the ordinance also allows PEEEP to expand, mandating the adoption of energy efficiency measures in all public buildings, including those ones that were not attended in the initial stage of PEEEP.

Under this law framework, the executive branch represented Environmental Protection Agency (APRA) of Buenos Aires, will provide the necessary means and mechanisms to guarantee that at least 50% of the savings to be generated through the implementation of energy efficiency measures in public buildings, will be used to finance educational programs and public information on the subject, and for plans that will incorporate more efficient technologies in both public agencies and in street lighting and traffic lights.