Bottom Line: the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program makes it easy to finance energy- and water-saving home improvements.
Currently in Menlo Park, and starting later this year in Foster City, and early 2015 in Redwood City, Woodside, and the unincorporated portions of San Mateo County, local residents will have an opportunity to be energy- and water-saving heroes, thanks to local elected officials in these areas and the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.
The HERO program finances 100 percent of the cost to purchase and install eligible products with low-fixed interest rates, flexible payment terms and tax-deductible benefits for a range of home improvement projects aimed at saving energy and reducing water use. Payments are made through one’s property tax bill as an additional assessment for 5, 10, 15, or 20 years, and the interest is tax deductible.
The HERO program will bring major energy- and water-saving measures into reach for thousands of San Mateo residents. Among the most popular upgrades are whole-home heating and cooling (HVAC) systems; solar power panel installations; and energy-saving windows, roofing and insulation. With the ongoing drought, investments aimed at improving water efficiency both inside and outside the home are also very popular: high efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads; drip irrigation systems; rainwater catchment systems; gray water systems; and artificial turf.
“HERO Financing allows homeowners to conserve water and lower energy use, both of which are critical given the drought and climate change,” said Dave Pine, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
The HERO program has been adopted by 192 communities throughout California and helped to fund over 17,000 residential projects, totaling more than $310 million in financing. The program has also helped to create more than 2,600 jobs in California since its launch in December 2011, as the increased demand for installation services provide contractors with more work and hiring opportunities.
Participation in HERO is 100-percent voluntary for both local government agencies and property owners, and is cost neutral for jurisdictions. 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.
To learn more about the HERO Financing Program, homeowners can visit www.HEROProgram.com or call 855-HERO-411 (855-437-6411). It’s easy to see if you qualify; you don’t even need to have a specific project defined yet. Simply visit www.heroprogram.com and hit the “apply” button. You’ll know within a couple of minutes if your property qualifies.