The Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is providing low-interest financing to property owners for installation of energy efficiency and water conservation improvements on their properties. Financing is repaid over time through annual property tax payments. Through public-private partnerships WRCOG has secured $325 million for financing these home and business retrofits. Currently, $25 million is available for large commercial projects, $100 million is available for residential projects, and $200 million will be released this spring for small to medium-sized commercial projects.
To help commercial property owners understand this new program and how they can reduce their energy costs with PACE funding, HelioPower, an integrated energy solutions provider based in Murrieta, and Structured Finance hosted a recent event at Bear Creek Lodge and were supported by dignitaries from the city and WRCOG program.
Steve LoRusso, vice president of commercial sales for HelioPower and a true solar industry veteran presented the installer view of the WRCOG program. Here are excerpts from his comments:
“Everything starts for us with where the pain is. And the pain is your electric bill. And that pain is not going to go away any time soon. We are going to be seeing much higher electric bills in the future.
So what HelioPower has done is we try to look at all aspects of your energy burden. We look at the way you’re managing your energy. Once we see a better way to get a handle on the way you manage your energy, we’ll replace what’s left with a renewable source, like solar. And then we’ll manage that asset for you as long as you’d like us to. The way we assess the way you’re managing your energy is with our product called Predict Energy.
A little more about solar energy, whoever has had a solar presentation knows basically what we do, but since I go back to the first generation of solar, when we would have to store that electricity in batteries. What’s unique about how we use solar energy today is that instead of storing energy in batteries to use during the day, we actually run your meter backwards. The DC power that we get from the sun, we convert it to AC power. When you’re using it, you plug right into it. If you are producing more than you are using, we use it to run your meter backwards and literally store your energy in the grid because your neighbor is going to use it or your neighbor’s neighbor is going to use it. And we’ve been doing this, I’m proud to say, for eleven years. We’ve got fifteen megawatts of solar installations. We probably have another four or five already slated for installation this year. We’ve installed over three thousand systems. We collectively have about sixty years of experience.
We’re going to make sure that your project is cost effective. We also look at the subsidies. Whether it is a federal tax credit or state rebate. We assess all of that for you so that you see exactly what your return is going to be. If everything makes sense, we would turn you over to someone like Jean Dunn to actually structure the finance for your investment. So hopefully we can make it a cash flow neutral investment.”
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is accurate to the best of our knowledge and we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness.