The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO), a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, continues to prove to be an asset for California residents, the environment, and job creation. Through its tireless efforts to encourage home sustainability, it has revitalized a growth in the energy-efficiency market.
The HERO Program
Unlike traditional financing programs that rely on credit scores for approval, the HERO program enables homeowners to make energy-efficient upgrades through line items in their property tax bill. Despite hesitations due to an energy upgrade's initial cost of investment, HERO financing gives a broader consumer base the option to purchase upgrades with no upfront costs. Since payments can extend for up to 20 years, HERO enables homeowners to have reasonable monthly payments and possibly pass the payments on if they sell the home.
"What we set out to do in communities throughout California was provide an option for homeowners to affordably choose energy efficienct, renewable energy, or water conserving products when they made needed repairs," said J.P. McNeill, CEO of Renovate America, the organization behind the financing program.
The HERO program has helped over 370 communities and 37 counties in California alone, contributing to over $1 billion in upgrades. This advantageous resource has even earned awards such as the Urban Land Institute Best of the Best, Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, and Southern California Association of Governments President's Award for Excellence.
The award-winning financing program not only helps local residents afford energy upgrades, but also drives job creation. When homeowners are given the option to purchase energy efficient equipment, they contract the services of local businesses. Their financial investment, in turn, stimulates their local economy. Service contractors can afford to hire more administrative and support personnel due to the influx of new business.
In fact, the PACE program just recently announced that 10,000 jobs were created from the 50,000 homes that participated in the financing program. Since the program's inception in 2011, 1,817 jobs were created in San Bernardino County alone.
Job growth is not the only positive result from the HERO program. PACE officials reported that homeowners saved about $2.2 billion on their energy bills and 7.8 billion kWh of energy. The program also managed to offset carbon emissions by 2.1 million tons, equivalent to removing 400,000 sport utility vehicles from California alone. Additionally, the program saved 2.9 billion gallons of water, which is akin to reducing water consumption by 92 million showers.
According to Congressman Scott Peters, "The transition to a clean energy economy is happening now. The Clean Power Plan, Paris Climate Agreement, and extension of renewable tax credits continue to encourage private sector investments in clean energy to reduce emissions an mitigate climate change. The success of the HERO program is proof that we don't have to choose between a clean environment and a prosperous economy."
Applying to the program is now easier than ever. Homeowners can submit their information online or over the phone to determine if they are eligible for complete financing. There is no application fee and it takes only a few minutes for approval.
For more information, please visit www.HeroProgram.com.