Helping California Save Energy – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
Having been declared to be in a state of Drought Emergency in January 2015, California continues to battle this problem as best it can. Severe restrictions have been imposed upon the residents, making them cut back on their daily water usage by nearly 35% in Palm Springs, and various fines have been levied upon water wasters. Although so far most of these fines come within the cost bracket of $100-$200, Governor Jerry Brown wishes to increase this amount to $10,000 for those who waste the most water. After all, many cities statewide are struggling in an attempt to meet their mandatory conservation targets.
In the fourth year of its onset, there seems no end to the drought. Moreover there is an increased fear that this is just the beginning of a megadrought. With only one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, the government and people are reaching for more effective solutions.
However, while the drought has made headlines, air pollution also remains on a major high. In fact, 6 of the 7 worst cities for air pollution in the US are in California! There has been an increase in illnesses such as asthma, allergies and more. So even as the state continues to battle the drought, the air pollution only serves to make matters worse. This is where the Hero Program comes into play.
It is a simple yet innovative program which aids, while reducing harmful emissions into the environment. With this, private home owners can install energy and water efficient technology at minimal costs. The leading capital is supplied through private sources whereas the payments are collected by the municipality along with from the resident’s own property taxes. Therefore there is no need for home owners to dip into their savings. Furthermore, to encourage residents to upgrade appliances inextricably connected to the house, another creative solution has been applied.
Through the PACE legislation, property owners have a new way of borrowing money for such improvements. The approvals are based on the equity present in the home – so if this property happens to be sold in the future, the remaining balance is legally passed on to the next resident/owner. This makes it easier to invest in such long term improvements, thereby creating greener future prospects – monetarily and environmentally – for everyone.
However, while some property owners were worried about their imperfect credit history, HERO has yet another bonus. Although an application approval process has been put into place, this does not take into considerate the credit score rating or even the income – making this program more accessible to all. Moreover, tax benefits have also been announced. After all, not only is HERO advantageous to all, but it also helps boost small businesses, increase local job opportunities, and benefits the community as a whole.
Last but not the least, the highest incentive for the installation of HERO is the significant improvement in your savings. With reduced energy and water consumption, you are sure to pay lesser bills. Moreover, you may also qualify for some local rebates on the application of the HERO project in your own home.
Since this acclaimed program can help the state save up to 525 billion gallons of water, it has become an instant success among the legislators and home owners across the cities. As the state faces a dire crisis, serious actions need to be taken for a better tomorrow and the HERO program provides just this, prolonging the possibility of a greener future.