Everyone has their own definition of what makes a hero. When I think of my own personal heroes—my dad, my wife, and, of course, Spider-Man—I realize that, despite their differences, they all have one thing in common. All three of them have made a positive difference in so many people’s lives, including my own. This is why heroes are so darn important.
Of course, heros come in all shapes and sizes. I know that most people don’t think of whole-home energy efficiency when the word hero is brought up in conversation but there are a couple heroes of efficiency that Northern Californians should be aware of: HERO energy efficiency financing and the HERO home contractors who help homeowners take advantage of all the financing opportunity has to offer.
If you’re a savvy homeowner looking to dramatically increase your home’s energy and water efficiency, listen up. I’m going to introduce you to HERO financing, explain how it can benefit you, and tell you why you should already be working with contractors who offer HERO financing to achieve your home energy efficiency goals.
What Is HERO Financing, Anyway?
If you’ve done some research on upgrading your home to be more energy and water efficient, you’ve undoubtedly realized just how big of a financial commitment it can be. Solar panel installation, window upgrades, and a new HVAC system all cost big bucks. Sure, these upgrades will pay for themselves in savings—eventually—but the truth of the matter is that they require a tremendous upfront investment—one that many people don’t have the financial resources to make.
This is where HERO (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) financing comes in. This local government-approved PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Program provides California homeowners with affordable and convenient financing options to pay for the energy and water efficiency upgrades they want to make in their homes.
Essentially, there are six types of renovations and upgrades available through contractors who offer HERO financing, including:
- Windows and doors
- HVAC and air conditioning systems
- Plumbing and water heating appliances
- Drought-resistant landscaping
- Solar panels
Of course, there are a few requirements that homeowners must meet in order to be eligible for HERO financing. First of all, applicants must reside in a jurisdiction that has adopted the program. Those who want to be considered for the program must also demonstrate that they’ve paid their property taxes and mortgage on time for the last year and that they haven’t had more than one late property tax payment in the preceding three years. In addition to this, qualified homeowners must not have a record of declaring bankruptcy in the last seven years. It’s been my experience that if homeowners meet these requirements, there is a good chance they’ll be eligible for HERO financing.
The Benefits of HERO Financing for Northern California Homeowners
I always tell my clients that HERO financing is quite literally a hero for homeowners. I say this because it really is one of the most flexible, simple, and accessible PACE programs. Here are just a few of the benefits homeowners reap from working with HERO financing and its approved contractors:
- A simple online application process
- Approvals primarily based on the equity in your home and debt payment history, rather than your credit score
- No upfront payments (payments are made along with their property taxes)
- Doesn’t affect credit scores
- Interest rates may be tax deductible (contact your tax advisor to determine if you are eligible)
- Flexible terms of 5 to 25 years
- Guaranteed product installation by contractors that meets all levels of government efficiency and performance standards
HERO Financing Offered by Contractors: The Perks of Working with the Best of the Best
Perhaps one of the best perks to working with HERO financing is that the program only aligns with the most experienced and highly skilled HVAC contractors who have agreed to adhere to HERO protocols and safety guidelines. However, you still want to make sure that the contractor you choose is the right one for you. Home renovations and upgrades to improve energy efficiency are complex, to say the least; it’s important to do your due diligence in finding a partner to work with who is up for the challenge.
Your contractor should have extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of home renovations and upgrades that HERO financing covers so you can be assured they have the skills needed to perform the task of whole-home energy efficiency upgrades. Contractors who have good standing with HERO financing will be pre-screened to meet this requirement.
Many contractors are skilled at what they do, but the best ones have a strong whole house philosophy about energy savings. Although it isn’t required for HERO, quality contractors will typically offer to perform a water and energy audit on your entire home so they can identify which renovations and upgrades may save you the most energy.
The right contractor who offers HERO financing can be an invaluable support to you before, during, and after the renovation process. And, just like any hero, they have the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of many people, and in the world at large, by helping you save energy, money, and, ultimately, the planet. Some may even say that they give Spider-Man a run for his money.
At Bell Brothers, we’re proud to be a part of HERO’s network of contractors. Our trained, experienced, and highly skilled home renovation professionals would be delighted to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency through home renovations and upgrades. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Image courtesy Unsplash user NeONBRAND