Renovate America’s HERO Program has now financed nearly 20,000 residential solar power installations, resulting in the creation of almost 5,000 clean-energy jobs. The figures, along with a number of new solar product offerings announced, underscore the increasingly powerful synergies between HERO financing and rooftop solar.
Since it launched in late 2011, the HERO Program has financed more than 119 megawatts of solar generating capacity. That’s more than all the rooftop solar that had been installed as of January in the following states, combined: Alaska, North Dakota,South Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Wyoming, Alabama, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kansas, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, South Carolina, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Indiana. Maine, Illinois and Minnesota1.
The HERO Program is the largest residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) platform in the U.S., having financed more than $1.75 billion in home energy and efficiency improvements across more than 75,000 homes. In addition to providing financing for rooftop solar, the HERO Program can be used by homeowners to install energy-efficient products like HVAC, windows, and roofing.
“HERO has been instrumental in expanding access to solar for thousands of homeowners, many of whom are attracted by its competitive interest rates and stringent consumer protections,” said Greg Memo, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Product Strategy at Renovate America. “We aim to build on the program’s success by expanding our offerings around solar and partnering with leading contractors and distributors.”
Today, Renovate America is announcing a number of solar product and programs, including the introduction of a 25-year financing term for the HERO Program. This will provide the lowest monthly payment option, making solar more affordable to home owners.
Another new program is HERO Direct Pay, which allows contractors to take on new jobs without having to worry about spending cash out of pocket or tying up credit on job materials. HERO Direct Pay is possible thanks to Renovate America’s partnerships with some of the nation’s largest equipment distributors, including CED Greentech, Affordable Solar, Soligent, Krannich Solar, and US Solar. With HERO Direct Pay, distributors ship materials without upfront payments. When the project is complete, HERO pays the contractor and the distributor directly.
Contractors can also overcome working-capital constraints through HERO Project Advance. With HERO Project Advance, qualifying contractors can automatically receive an upfront advance of 30 percent of the HERO project amount. When the project is completed, the contractor receives the remaining HERO project amount less applicable interest.
In addition to financing the installation of residential rooftop solar panels, the HERO Program can be used to cover the cost of related solar work such as roof repairs, electrical-box upgrades, installation of solar battery technology and even home EV charging stations.
Finally, through the HERO Program’s exclusive PACE partnership with the Electric & Gas Industries Association (EGIA), participating contractors can receive additional member benefits through the EGIA marketplace.
HERO provides 100 percent financing for energy and water saving products with fixed interest rates designed to make payments affordable. Homeowners make payments along with their property taxes, and in the event the property is sold, the remaining balance may be able to transfer to the new owner.
1 The United States of Solar, SolarPulse, July 13, 2016
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.