SAN DIEGO, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Wildlife Fund and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA recently highlighted the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model as one of five top priorities to be addressed at the state and national levels, in order to support cities in their fight against climate change. PACE programs provide financing for energy- and water-efficiency improvements and enable property owners to pay for them over time through their property taxes. Meanwhile owners see immediate savings on their utility bills, while reducing their greenhouse gas footprint or their water use.
The most extensive national report of its kind, Measuring Up 2015: How Local Leadership Can Accelerate National Climate Goals analyzes data from 116 U.S. cities. It lists as the fourth key priority for local governments: "Remove federal barriers to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. New PACE programs are leading to more energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in residential and commercial buildings around the country. Under PACE, financing for equipment like solar photovoltaic panels is provided and repaid as an assessment on property tax bills."
As the nation's largest residential PACE provider, the HERO Program in California, operated by Renovate America, has already partnered with more than 300 California cities and counties. HERO has provided $808 million in financing for renovations projects on more than 35,000 homes so far, and is now available to 77% of Californians.
HERO's contribution to the environment is significant – and growing daily. An estimated 5.3 billion KwHs of energy are already being saved by projects completed to date. This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 33,000 homes' energy use for a year. Water-efficiency projects HERO has helped finance to date will save 1.2 billion gallons of water, or the equivalent of 39 million showers.
"The report cites the potential for collective action by local leadership to make an enormous contribution to our clean energy future," said Ellen Qualls, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Renovate America. "Residential PACE provides a vehicle for local governments to empower individuals to be an active part of the solution, making long-lasting infrastructure change for a cleaner energy future."
PACE programs like HERO are becoming a nationwide trend, with programs now enabled in more than 30 states, from Texas and Missouri to Florida and New York. In addition to the climate change-alleviating benefits, PACE programs can provide a significant economic boost for local communities. By stimulating home renovation activity and increasing demand for local contractor services, HERO has spurred the creation of over 6,800 jobs in California.
For more information on the World Wildlife Fund / ICLEI report, please go to www.worldwildlife.org/publications/measuring-up-2015-how-us-cities-are-accelerating-progress-toward-national-climate-goals. For more information on the HERO Program in California, please visit www.HeroProgram.com
SOURCE HERO Program