As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been talking quite a bit lately about all the various home financing programs available to homeowners in Northern California who want to make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. In my line of work, I’ve found that most folks just don’t know enough about these programs—or even that they’re available. No one seems to be entirely clear on what energy efficiency financing programs are, or who can apply for them.
Since I’ve started sharing these financing FAQs, I’ve gotten a great response from people here in Northern California—awareness about these programs is, in general, on the rise. But one question, though, that I continue to get asked is whether or not HERO is a PACE program. Most homeowners seem to know these two programs are affiliated in some way, but they just aren’t sure exactly how. So, let’s clear up the confusion today.
Is HERO a PACE Program?
The simple answer to the question of whether or not HERO is a PACE program is: Yes.
The Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE) is an innovative, public-private partnership that offers accessible financing for energy efficient upgrades. There are actually several PACE programs across the nation, some for business and some for residential, and they go by different names. In fact, our beautiful state of California currently has 12 different PACE programs, one of which is HERO.
So, yes, HERO is a local government-approved PACE program available to homeowners.
So, yes, HERO is a local government-approved PACE program available to homeowners. Currently, the HERO program is available in both Missouri and California. Here in California, Sacramento was one of 16 cities and five counties to implement the program. It’s an incredibly accessible program—about 85% of Californians are eligible to apply for HERO financing.
How HERO’s PACE Program Works
What’s great about the HERO program is that it offers up to 25-year terms and fixed rates for up to 100% of the cost of your energy efficient home upgrades. This makes it an excellent option for budget-conscious homeowners.
Typically, approved applicants can borrow up to 15% of their home’s value. And approval for financing is based on your home equity rather than your credit score.
Typically, approved applicants can borrow up to 15% of their home’s value. And approval for financing is based on your home equity rather than your credit score. Luckily, no up-front payment is required, so you don’t have to worry about forking out a big chunk of cash to get the project started.
Paying back the loan is pretty simple too. The balance is simply tacked onto your annual property tax. And if this wasn’t already sounding too good to be true, the interest on these loan payments can sometimes be tax deductible, so be sure to check with your accountant.
PACE-Approved Upgrades Available Through HERO
HERO offers financing for a wide range of residential energy efficiency upgrade projects here in California, including:
- HVAC and AC systems
- Solar panels
- Plumbing and sewer
- Water heating appliances
- Windows and doors
- Drought-resistant landscaping
Any and all of these upgrades have the potential to make your home much more energy efficient, which means you’ll be seeing lower balances on your energy bill and a cleaner, greener environment for us all. As I always tell the homeowners I work with, using HERO financing to make upgrades to your home really is a win-win-win for you, your home, and the environment.
How to Apply for HERO and PACE Programs
If you’re thinking about making some energy-efficient upgrades to your home that fit under one of the categories I mentioned above, I’d suggest you sign up for a free energy assessment with the friendly folks at Bell Brothers. They’ll take a good hard look at all of the energy leaks and drains on your home. Then they’ll be able to tell you what specific upgrades your home could benefit from the most.
…HERO isn’t the only program out there that can help you make energy efficient home upgrades. There are many other amazing PACE programs for homeowners to check out here in California, including CaliforniaFIRST and Ygrene, that provide similar incentives.
Once they’ve helped you decide on what projects to tackle, the contractors at Bell Brothers can help you apply for HERO financing, or find a financing program that works best for you and the upgrades you want to make. Believe it or not, HERO isn’t the only program out there that can help you make energy efficient home upgrades. There are many other amazing PACE programs for homeowners to check out here in California, including CaliforniaFIRST and Ygrene, that provide similar incentives.
As HERO contractors, Bell Brothers would also be happy to do the upgrades for you once you’ve been approved for financing in order to make it as simple and seamless a process for you as possible. After all, that’s what I’m really all about—making these incredible incentive programs accessible and easy to navigate for homeowners. I believe that if enough of us jump on the residential energy efficiency bandwagon we could truly make a big difference in our beautiful state.
At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would love to help you find a financing program that fits your needs so that you can make energy efficient upgrades to your home, like installing a new HVAC system or double pane windows. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
Image courtesy Unsplash user Thought Catalog