SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Bernardino Association of Governments (SANBAG) Board of Directors has voted to make the HERO Financing Program available to residents and businesses of San Bernardino County. More than 6,000 homeowners have already been approved for HERO financing in nearby communities and they have seen a significant economic impact from the program in the form of jobs, reduced carbon emissions, energy savings, and the promise of increased property values.
The HERO Program enables property owners to install upgrades that save resources and lower utility bills while stimulating demand for local construction services. The program is designed, in part, to help municipalities reach state-mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Homeowners and businesses will be able to finance home energy and water efficiency upgrades, including installing solar panels, efficient windows and doors, and efficient heating and cooling systems, through the HERO Program.
HERO is the largest and most successful Property Assessed Clean Energy 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."
More than 900 contractors are registered under the program and more than 2,500 local jobs have been created or supported to date through HERO. "Our business is growing as a direct result of HERO Financing. I have recently hired 12 new employees and plan on expanding our business to new regions that offer HERO Financing," said Doug McMillan of California Showcase Construction.
The HERO Program is now available to any city or county in California that wants to help residents and businesses save money on utility bills and improve their property. Local governments simply pass a resolution in order to join HERO, and participation is voluntary for homeowners. Property owners must apply and qualify to receive 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.
The HERO Program is a private-public partnership, which enables any city or county to offer HERO financing within their community. The Program is fully funded and requires no cost outlays by participating cities and counties. HERO has received a number of awards, including the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) President's Award for Excellence, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Best of the Best, and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) California Top 10 Green Building Policies for Municipalities. To learn more about the HERO Financing Program, homeowners can visit www.HEROProgram.com or call 855-HERO-411 (855-437-6411).
SOURCE The San Bernardino Association of Governments