TRUCKEE, Calif., December 6, 2017 – The Truckee City Council has approved a resolution to move to 100-percent clean, renewable energy by 2030 and adopted HERO residential financing as a key tool to achieve this goal. HERO, the largest residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) option in the country, empowers homeowners to make energy and efficiency improvements and pay for the upgrades over time through a voluntary, additional line item on their property taxes. HERO has a proven track record of making clean energy upgrades more accessible and affordable, helping residents reduce their carbon footprint and cities reach their sustainability goals.
“Across the state, we have seen the significant economic and environmental impact that HERO has in communities where this innovative option is available to residents,” noted Robert Bendorf, Market and Community Development Manager for Renovate America. “Energy-efficient homes can lead to not only lower monthly utility bills and increased comfort for families, but may also enhance property values, improve a community’s housing stock and expand economic opportunity.”
Upgrades financed through HERO help homeowners save energy and water, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and support local jobs – all at no cost to local government budgets. Since HERO first became available in California, owners of over 110,000 homes have used it to make energy and efficiency improvements on their property. It is estimated that these improvements have helped create over 23,000 jobs, many of which cannot be offshored or automated.
Additionally, HERO-funded energy-efficiency improvements completed to date in the state are projected to save Californians 16.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity over the expected useful lifetime of the products installed. That is enough energy to power over 1.8 million homes for a full calendar year. These improvements are projected to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 4.4 million tons over the useful life of the installed products – equivalent to taking more than 940,000 cars off the road for a year.
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HERO’s adoption in Truckee follows Governor Jerry Brown’s recent signing of two new laws that establish a landmark regulatory and consumer-protection framework for PACE financing. The companion pieces of legislation – AB 1284 and SB 242 – begin taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and significantly improve PACE financing by, among other things, strengthening contractor oversight, enhancing consumer disclosures, and requiring PACE providers to verify a homeowner’s ability to pay annual PACE assessments before extending financing.
These enhanced consumer protections build upon HERO’s industry-leading safeguards, such as live, recorded telephone calls to confirm financing terms with homeowners, written disclosures modeled on the federal “Know-Before-You-Owe” forms for mortgage lending and a guarantee that contractors do not get paid until homeowners certify that a project is done to their satisfaction. HERO also uses a data-driven contractor quality rating system that tracks customer satisfaction in real-time and removes contractors that fail to maintain excellent or good ratings.
Homeowners interested in applying for HERO financing or who wish to learn more should visit renovateamerica.com/financing/hero/communities. Contractors interested in offering HERO financing can register at renovateamerica.com/contractors.