Part 1 of a 3 part series briefing Western Riverside property owners on solar financing now available through the largest U.S. property accessed clean energy (PACE) program.
There’s never been a better time for homeowners in Western Riverside County to go solar.
The Western Riverside Council of Governments has launched the nation’s largest PACE financing program to help residential and commercial property owners pay for the installation of solar panels and other energy improvements that will save energy.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone was one of the first to take advantage of WRCOG’s Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program.
“I can’t tell you how easy it was to do it,” Stone told a group of property owners at a recent breakfast meeting hosted by HelioPower and Structured Finance at the Bear Creek Golf Club. “The process is really simple.”
Under the HERO program, qualified homeowners can often put solar on their rooftops with no money down and payments made as a part of the home’s property tax bill.
In most cases, the interest on the loan is tax deductable. Rebates, credits and other financial incentives make solar more affordable than ever, Stone said.
He chose HelioPower as the company to do the job.
“I am very pleased to say that I’ve had friends that have utilized them and been very happy with their service,” he said.
Douglas McAllister, mayor of the City of Murrieta, credited the HERO program and HelioPower with helping to create jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship.
“You have folks who are able to innovate, to create the programs and technology to do these wonderful things. And then you have the entrepreneurs. They’re the ones who go out and find the customers to sell them to,” McAllister said. “You put those two things together, you are going to create jobs every time.”
In the last 10 years, Southern California Edison has raised rates by 47 percent. In the second quarter of this year, another 12.8 percent increase is planned, said Steve LoRusso, vice-president of commercial sales for HelioPower. “We are going to be seeing much higher electric bills in the future.” (Editor’s note added 3.21.12, rate increase over last 10 years, source CPUC: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Electric+Rates/ENGRD/ratesNCharts_elect.htm, planned rate increase, source rate case: http://www3.sce.com/sscc/law/dis/dbattach3e.nsf/0/AC215F321506F4BA882577E30022A241/$FILE/S01.pdf)
Stone agreed, adding that solar power can is not just a smart economic decision, it’s good for the nation, too.
“It’s going to decrease our dependence on foreign oil,” he said. “And we know a lot of foreign oil comes from rogue nations that do not necessarily have the best interests of this country as their first thought.”