The California FIRST Financing Program: A CalFIRST FAQ

If you’re a California homeowner with a serious interest in making energy efficiency upgrades to your home, chances are there’s a financing program that can help you make it possible with little to no upfront costs.

From HERO to SMUD to PACE to CalFIRST, there really are no shortage of financing options for home energy efficiency loans—with new ones continuing to pop up. That’s why today I want to talk to you about California FIRST financing, or CalFirst, the newest program available in the Sacramento to help support your efforts to lower your utility bills and, ultimately, save money.

Let’s explore together the most frequently asked questions about CaliforniaFIRST financing.

How Do I Apply for a CalFIRST Loan?

Let’s start with the basics. Once you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency, you’ll need to find a local Renew Financial Registered Contractor, like the specialists at Bell Brothers, to do the work. They’ll also be a huge help in navigating the application process, as they’re well versed in CaliforniaFIRST, which can be done by phone or online.

To speak directly to an approved CalFIRST contractor on the Bell Brothers team, call 916.226.9677.

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How Does CaliforniaFIRST Financing Work?

Once you receive approval, which can happen in as little as a few minutes, you’ll need to sign and return the financing documents that CalFIRST will send you. Typically, your project will be financed for 100% of the costs of the project, so there’s generally no need to pay anything out of pocket.

Next, your contractor will get started on your chosen home energy efficiency upgrade projects. When they’re finished, CalFIRST will pay them in full directly.

When it comes to paying back the financing, you’ll be offered flexible repayment plans between 5 and 30 years. The amount is conveniently tacked onto your property tax bill so you don’t have to worry about yet another bill to pay. And, if you move before you have a chance to pay it off, the remaining balance can be easily transferred to your new home’s property tax bill.

Bell Brothers is proud to be a Renew Financial Registered Contractor. Give us a call in Sacramento at 916-266-9677, Stockton at 209-800-8325, or Vacaville at 707-266-5334, and we’ll help you through the financing application process.

Where Is CalFIRST Financing Available?

There’s a good chance that CaliforniaFIRST financing is available in your area. CalFIRST is available in 40 counties in California, with over 330 local governments participating. Review this list of eligible areas to make sure your hometown offers the program.

Popular locations include:

  • Sacramento
  • Elk Grove
  • Davis
  • Vacaville
  • Stockton

Who Is Eligible for CaliforniaFIRST Financing?

Any homeowner in the state of California who lives in one of the eligible areas noted at the link above may qualify for financing.
To check your eligibility, contact Bell Brothers, or any Renew Financial Registered Contractor.

What Do I Need to Provide to CalFIRST During the Application Process?

Having an energy audit done on your home prior to applying for the CaliforniaFIRST program is strongly encouraged. That way, you and your contractor will have an idea about the most cost-effective ways to reduce your home’s energy output are. What’s great about this is that the cost of the audit can qualify for financing, too.

Your Renew Financial Registered Contractor will be able to help you gather and document everything you need to provide upfront to apply for CalFirst financing, so I’d recommend that you find a Renew Financial Registered Contractor, like Bell Brothers, right off the bat so that you won’t be going at all this process alone.

What Home Energy Efficiency Upgrades Can I Pay for with CalFIRST?

The most popular home upgrade projects available for financing include the following renovations that meet the state and national standards for energy efficiency:

If your home project list includes one or more of these upgrades, be sure to check your eligibility by giving the friendly folks at Bell Brothers a call. Their experienced team of local HVAC, window, and insulation experts will be able to help you sort through all the paperwork and determine whether or not you qualify. And, if CalFIRST isn’t the right financing fit for you, they can offer other loan solutions for your renovations as well.

Finance-Friendly Contractors for Your Home Renovation

Local contractors, like the No Surprise Guys at Bell Brothers, are experts on financing plans and can help you navigate the entire application approval process, as well as complete the work efficiently and impeccably. They’re so well-versed in the language of loans and energy efficiency that their expertise will make the process feel like a breeze.

What I love most about guiding folks through the process of making energy efficient upgrades to their homes and helping them to receive financing is that I’m not only making a difference for them, I also get to be a part of doing something great for the planet at the same time. That’s ultimately what’s so amazing about CalFIRST financing—it makes a difference in people’s lives and in the life of our beautiful planet.

At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would be delighted to help you make your home more energy-efficient by installing new windows or a new HVAC system. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.