Mission Viejo Approves Innovative HERO Program to Save Water and Energy

Financing helps residents install artificial turf, drought-tolerant landscaping, water-efficient appliances, solar panels, HVAC, energy-saving windows and more; payments made through property taxes, interest is tax-deductible

HERO adopted by 336 CA jurisdictions, more than $808m in funded projects, 6,850 jobs created

Aug 26, 2015, 15:12 ET from HERO Program

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mission Viejo City Council has voted to make the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program available to local residents. HERO PACE financing enables homeowners to make energy- and water-efficiency improvements and pay for them over time through their property tax bill. Interest is tax-deductible, and homeowners see immediate savings on utility bills. Cities and counties benefit through economic stimulus and local job growth, while helping their communities reach state-imposed water and energy savings goals.

California's 25% urban water use reduction target makes PACE financing a timely and appealing option. "Between the extended drought and rising energy costs, property owners are eager to make the types of investments HERO supports," said Blair McNeill, Vice President of Community Development for Renovate America, the company that administers the HERO Program. "We're happy to provide an avenue for financing that requires no money down and does not depend on personal credit, bringing efficiency improvements within reach for a broad range of homeowners."  

Mission Viejo residents may begin submitting applications for HERO later this year. Twenty three other cities in Orange County also offer the HERO Program. Statewide, HERO now serves over 10 million households. HERO has helped fund more than 35,000 residential efficiency projects totaling more than $808 million in financing in California. By stimulating home renovation activity, the HERO Program increases demand for local contractor services and has spurred the creation of an estimated 6,850 jobs in California since beginning in December 2011.

As California's drought drags on, eligible retrofits give homeowners a fast, affordable way to lower their water bill and conserve a desperately-needed resource. HERO offers a wide variety of water-saving products, including high-efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads; drip irrigation systems; rainwater catchment systems; gray water systems; and artificial turf and drought-tolerant landscaping. 

A wide variety of energy-saving products are available through HERO as well, including solar power panel installations, whole-home heating and cooling (HVAC) systems, energy-saving windows and doors, and roofing and insulation.

The HERO Program has now been adopted by 336 communities in California. HERO's success in California is part of a national trend, with PACE programs enabled in more than 30 states. This innovative financing model is quickly becoming a cornerstone of America's push for cleaner power and energy independence.

Cities and counties need only pass a resolution in order to make PACE programs like HERO available to local property owners. Taking part in the HERO Program is voluntary, and the partnership is cost neutral to participating local governments.

For more information please visit www.HeroProgram.com. To schedule interviews or for a media kit, please contact Severn Williams.

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