Innovative PACE financing program for energy and efficiency improvements enables homeowners to reduce energy bills by upgrading HVAC, windows and doors, going solar, and more
KANSAS CITY, Missouri, January 12, 2017 – Nearly 300,000 additional homes across Missouri now have access to the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, which enables homeowners to make energy improvements and to pay for them over time through their property tax bills. HERO financing payments may have tax benefits, and many homeowners see immediate savings on energy bills by investing in efficiency or renewable energy upgrades.
Since the innovative program first launched in Missouri, in September, it has already financed more than $2 million in energy and efficiency improvements across more than 150 Missouri homes. With this announcement, HERO financing is now available to one-third of all Missourians. The new communities where the HERO program is now available include:
- the entirety of Greene County, the fourth most-populous county in Missouri, including the city of Springfield;
- the cities of Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, O’Fallon, St. Charles, St. Peters and Wentzville in St. Charles County, as well as residents of unincorporated areas of St. Charles County;
- the cities of Bellefontaine Neighbors, Creve Coeur, Florissant, Kirkwood and St. Ann in St. Louis County; and
- the cities of Nixa and Ozark in Christian County.
HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, is the largest residential PACE program in the United States and has already helped tens of thousands of homeowners lower energy bills by replacing HVAC systems, upgrading windows and doors, adding insulation, going solar, and more. Moreover, by stimulating home renovation activity, the HERO Program increases demand for contractor services, creates clean-energy jobs and local economic growth.
The HERO Program, which is available to Missouri communities that join the Missouri Clean Energy District (MCED), addresses a problem conventional financing products have not solved. Each year, one in six homeowners replaces a system in the home that affects energy consumption. Most of the time, they choose a less efficient option based on upfront sticker price, instead of factoring in the total cost of owning and maintaining the product or system over the course of its useful life.
“Our main goal with this effort is to increase access to residential energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said David Pickerill, executive director of MCED. “HERO is a great tool to help homeowners install energy solutions that can lower utility bills and make people’s homes more comfortable.”
HERO funds up to 100 percent of the home improvement, and HERO interest rates are fixed and competitive with other options. The term of the financing is based on the useful life of the product, up to 20 years, which spreads out the cost over time. Interest on HERO payments may be tax-deductible, and a recent study showed homes with PACE assessments recovered 100% or more of the investment at time of resale.
The HERO Program is run by Renovate America and MCED, which work in close partnership with cities and counties. Because of the nature of the public-private partnership, HERO financing includes additional requirements to protect consumers not found in other payment options like credit cards or home equity loans. For example, HERO will only pay a contractor after the homeowner signs off that the job has been completed to their satisfaction. Contractors must have a good track record, products and labor must meet competitive pricing standards, and homeowners select from products that meet government efficiency standards.
Homeowners interested in applying for HERO financing or who wish to learn more should visit www.heroprogram.com. Contractors interested in offering HERO financing can register at https://register.renovateamerica.com/.
About Renovate America
Renovate America has built a tech-enabled market platform for home improvement and commercial retrofits, and partners with state and local governments to offer communities the HERO Program. HERO is the leading residential Property Assessed Clean Energy program in the U.S. and has financed more than $2 billion of home improvements. HERO is on track to save its customers nearly $3.5 billion in energy and water bills, and has created over 17,000 clean-energy jobs. This unique public-private partnership offers consumers access to financing for more than 60 types of products that reduce energy and water consumption, without the need for government funding. The HERO Program has received a number of recognitions including a Climate Leadership Certificate for Innovative Partnerships by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, inclusion in the 2016 White House Water Summit, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in California, and the Urban Land Institute Best of the Best. Renovate America has the world’s first green bond platform, with a volume of originations that enables securitization of HERO PACE bonds multiple times a year, attracting international investment to meet U.S. clean energy objectives.
About Missouri Clean Energy District
The Missouri Clean Energy District is a statewide political subdivision established to provide unlimited capital to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through PACE financing. Property owners – both public and private – in member communities may apply for PACE financing for energy-saving upgrades and retrofits to their property. Missouri communities may join the District to make funding available to all property owners within their jurisdiction. There is no membership cost to local governments and no fiscal risk, because no public funds are used for financing.