City News

HERO PACE Program Launched in Daly City to Help Homeowners Conserve Energy and Water

This week Daly City was among five communities in San Mateo County to officially launch the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which enables homeowners and commercial property owners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay them off through their property tax bill. The communities include Daly City, Redwood City, San Bruno and Woodside, as well as the unincorporated areas of the county.

“San Mateo County residents are committed to protecting natural areas in our region, and we understand that individual choices can have a big impact,” said County Supervisor Dave Pine. “Now that the HERO PACE program is available to local residents, saving energy and water will be more affordable for everyone. Based on the experience of other areas where this program is active, this program is also likely to create high quality local jobs.”

Foster City and Menlo Park have already launched HERO. South San Francisco is set to launch this summer. Property owners repay the assessment over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. Interest is tax deductible, and homeowners see immediate savings on electric and water utility bills.

“Homeowners know that investing in energy and water efficiency saves money in the long run. Now most homeowners can access affordable financing to make these efficiency upgrades,” said Blair McNeill, Vice President of Community Development for Renovate America, the company that administers the HERO Program. “HERO is helping homeowners realize tomorrow’s energy efficient future today.”

The HERO Program has now been adopted by 290 communities in California. HERO's success in California is part of a national trend, with PACE programs now flourishing in 31 states. The new financing model is quickly becoming a cornerstone of America's push for cleaner power and energy independence.

A wide variety of energy-saving products are available through HERO. These include solar panel installations, whole-home heating and cooling (HVAC) systems, energy-saving windows and doors, roofing and insulation. As California's drought drags on, eligible retrofits give homeowners a fast, affordable way to lower their water bill and conserve a desperately-needed resource with products ranging from high-efficiency toilets to drought-tolerant landscaping.

Daly City residents are looking for opportunities to make smart investments that can cut down on utility bills by using energy and water more efficiently,” said Daly City Mayor Raymond A. Buenaventura. “The HERO financing program brings these types of investments within reach for the average homeowner. It also helps to create high quality local jobs by increasing demand for installation services for everything from solar power to drought-resistant landscaping.”

HERO now serves 10 million households in California. It has helped fund more than 28,000 residential efficiency projects, totaling more than $550 million in financing. By stimulating home renovation activity, the HERO program increases demand for contractor services. In this way, HERO has helped to create 4,700 jobs in CA since beginning in earnest in December 2011.

HERO leads the industry with their proactive consumer protection policy. HERO requires participating contractors to undergo rigorous training aimed at ensuring customers are fully informed about the costs and benefits of the program. Funding for projects is made available to the contractor only after the homeowner has indicated full satisfaction with and completion of the project. HERO also staffs a hotline to respond to homeowner queries that is available for 15 hours each day. In a recent survey, 96% of more than 2,000 participants in the Program said they would recommend HERO to a relative or friend.

Cities and counties need only pass a resolution in order to make PACE programs like HERO available to local property owners. The program has received the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the Urban Land Institute Best of the Best and the Southern California Association of Governments President's Award for Excellence. Taking part in the HERO Program is 100% voluntary for both jurisdictions and property owners. The program is cost neutral to participating local governments.

To learn more about the HERO Financing Program, and to apply, property owners can visit www.HEROProgram.com or call 855-HERO-411 (855-437-6411).