Solar power and energy efficiency improvements are about to get a whole lot easier to finance in San Bernardino County and the cities that comprise it. SANBAG (San Bernardino Association of Governments) has approved the HERO energy upgrade financing program for its constituents which will allow them to finance home solar and other energy efficiency improvements through their property taxes.
HERO is the largest and most successful Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program in the nation. The HERO Program originally launched in December 2011 in 17 cities within Riverside County, has approved more than $185 million in eligible improvements. Now the program will soon be available to residents and businesses in the communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Big Bear Lake, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Montclair, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, City of San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, Twenty Nine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.
“We are excited to make HERO available to residents and businesses in communities throughout San Bernardino County,” said Janice Rutherford, SANBAG President and San Bernardino County Supervisor. “We know that people want to make improvements to their home to lower their utility bills, but the up-front costs often prevent them from moving forward. Now homeowners can make upgrades that lower their utility bills, which in turn improve their property values, while at the same time reducing demand for energy, stimulating local economic growth, and lowering emissions.”
HelioPower Solar is one of HERO’s original contractor partners and has completed hundreds of home solar projects using HERO financing in western Riverside County. To confirm eligibility, property owners must apply and qualify to receive HERO funding. Homeowners must have at least 10% equity in their homes, be current on the mortgage and property taxes, not have filed for bankruptcy, and meet other requirements as applicable.
A full description of the San Bernardino HERO program specifics can be found at SANBAG’s website: SANBAG HERO
Topics covered in this document include:
- Energy Efficiency
- Solar Panels
- Water Conservation and Efficiency
- Renewable Energy (including solar power)
- HERO Program requirements and qualification criteria
According to the Press Enterprise dated February 7, 2013:
“The (HERO) program provides financing to homeowners who want to make energy-saving upgrades and finance the work through their property taxes. The program was called the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity, or HERO Financing program. More than a dozen cities and Riverside County were part of this public-private partnership. Energy upgrades totaling more than $100 million have been financed for some 6,000 homeowners in the past 13 months, since the program was initiated.”
Upgrades covered by the HERO program include:
- Cool Roof and Wall Systems
- Energy Audits
- Indoor Water Efficiency
- Lighting Upgrades
- Outdoor Water Efficiency
- Pool Equipment Upgrades (e.g. Variable Speed Pool Pumps)
- Small Wind Turbines
- Home Solar Photovoltaic (home solar panels)
- Solar Thermal (solar water heating)
- HVAC upgrades
- High efficiency windows, skylights, and doors
- Water Heating
- Whole House Fans
In addition, San Bernardino HERO financing can be combined with pre-paid solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) to maximize a customer’s leverage. This is especially true for customers who cannot realize the full federal tax benefit either because they don’t pay enough federal income tax or have already exhausted their available deductions. For those customers with a tax appetite, many of HERO’s eligible home efficiency improvements qualify for additional tax benefits and/or utility rebates.
HelioPower’s energy consultants are HERO financing experts who can help you seamlessly navigate the qualification, design, and build processes that comprise your energy improvement projects.