Home Energy Renovation Opportunity Receives Federal Endorsement for Energy-Efficiency Projects

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) has helped homeowners improve their property for years, despite financial hurdles. In July, PACE earned its first Federal endorsement after the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) decided to work with PACE homes to provide homeowners with more ways to improve their homes.

On average, a homeowner should spend between one and four percent of their home’s value every year on repair expenses and maintenance. For a homeowner living in a $200,000 home, that’s at least $2,000 every year for repairs.

According to The Press Enterprise, PACE’s leading program, Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO), is financing $1.71 billion in environmentally-friendly home improvement projects for more than 72,000 homes.

“The HERO Program is a nice option for homeowner who are considering not just solar, but multiple home improvements,” said Tara Kelly, Director of Community Development for Sullivan Solar Power. The program allows for homeowners to utilize up to 100% of their financing to fund efficient energy and saving water projects upfront, and then the homeowners can repay the cost of repairs, maintenance, and improvements through their property taxes.

The NEWS reports that HERO will be at a fixed interest rate for five to 20 years based on the usefulness and expected life of the product.

“Every year, one in six homeowners replaces a system that consumes energy,” said Joe Suggs, vice president for operations in Missouri for Renovate America. “Three-quarters of the time they choose inefficient technology that ends up costing them more over the long term in higher energy bills. HERO can solve that marketplace failure while helping homeowners save on energy bills, local contractors create clean energy jobs, and local governments reduce emissions.”

A study published in The Journal of Structured Finance shows that the resale value of houses that utilized PACE’s financing program had positive premiums between $200 and nearly $9,000, basically showing that the improvements paid for themselves.

“I’m very excited about the HERO program because it will make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades more affordable for homeowners,” added Steve Burbridge, co-owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. “Improving our customers’ sense of comfort in their homes while reducing their energy bills over time. HERO can be a game changer for my business and my customers.”

“The HERO program, Kelly added, “has succeeded as an effective mechanism to empower energy consumers to take control of these costs.”

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