Homeowners Pay Off Energy Efficiency Improvements ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – In an effort to combat the drought and help residents reduce energy use, 24 additionalCalifornia communities launched the HERO program today: the cities of Arcadia, Atwater, Barstow, Bellflower, Costa Mesa, Delano, El Cajon, Escondido, Huntington Beach, Laguna Hills, Mammoth Lakes, Menlo Park, Modesto, Monterey, Oakdale, Ridgecrest, San Diego, Scotts Valley, Tracy, Vacaville, and Waterford; and the counties of Merced, Mono, and San Diego.
They join more than 150 other California jurisdictions that have an active HERO program or plan to launch HERO later this year.
The HERO program enables homeowners and commercial property owners to pay off energy- and water-efficiency improvements through their property tax bill. HERO is the top residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program in California, with more than $250 million worth of projects funded.
Since launching in December 2011, HERO has created 2,400 jobs in the construction sector around the state, and those numbers are expected to grow as the program expands.
“The HERO Program has been proven to create jobs, reduce energy bills and decrease water consumption,” said Blair McNeill, Vice President of Development for Renovate America, the company that administers the HERO program.
With summer upon us and cities looking for ways to support conservation, now is a good time for homeowners to embrace PACE programs like HERO.
A wide variety of energy- and water-saving products are available through the HERO Program, including whole-home heating and cooling (HVAC) systems, solar power panel installations, energy-saving windows, doors and roofing, and insulation. Property owners repay the assessment over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years through their property tax bill. Interest is tax deductible and homeowners see immediate savings on utility bills.
HERO-eligible retrofits also give homeowners a fast, affordable way to lower their water bill and conserve this desperately-needed resource. From high-efficiency plumbing fixtures – like low-flow toilets that save approximately 16,000 gallons of water each year – to rotating sprinkler nozzles (which save up to 20% over traditional spray sprinkler models) or artificial turf, there are many options available to reduce water use without making vast lifestyle changes.
A complete list of the counties and cities participating in the HERO program can be found here.
HERO is one of several PACE programs active in California communities. Communities where multiple PACE financing companies are active often see the highest levels of property owner participation. Taking part in the HERO Program is 100% voluntary for both jurisdictions and property owners. The program is cost neutral to participating local governments. All registered contractors are provided with a comprehensive training program to ensure they provide excellent service and accurate information to customers.
HERO is the largest residential PACE program in California, financing more than 90% of all residential PACE projects in the state, with more than $250 million financed to date. HERO has also created more than 2,400 jobs throughout California. Cities and counties need only pass a resolution in order to make PACE programs like HERO available to local property owners. The HERO program has received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in California, the Urban Land Institute Best of the Best, and the Southern California Association of Governments President’s Award for Excellence.