County's embrace of PACE financing will give property owners another way to go solar, replace windows and doors, upgrade HVAC, and make homes hurricane-resistant -- and pay for improvements over time
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla., March 2 – The Hillsborough County Commission has approved a measure that will give homeowners access to the HERO Program, the nation’s largest residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program. HERO financing is scheduled to go live for homeowners in Hillsborough County and in communities across Florida later this year.
HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, will empower homeowners in Hillsborough County to make energy efficiency, renewable energy and hurricane-protection improvements and to pay for them at a fixed interest rate over time through an additional line item on their property taxes. HERO financing payments may have tax benefits, and many property owners who use HERO to finance home improvements see immediate savings on their utility bills.
"The County Commission’s vote will make PACE financing accessible for hundreds of thousands of Hillsborough County homeowners, empowering them to make their homes more hurricane resilient, energy efficient and sustainable," said Bill Spivey, Executive Director of the Florida Development Finance Corporation. "By spurring more home improvement activity, this vote is also a vote to boost small businesses in Hillsborough County and across the Tampa Bay region."
Since HERO launched nearly five years ago, more than 88,000 homeowners have used it to finance more than $2.1 billion in energy and efficiency improvements throughout the United States. And by stimulating home renovation activity, the HERO Program increases demand for contractor services and boosts the local economy – all at no cost to government budgets. Local contractors interested in learning more about HERO and/or becoming a registered HERO provider should visit www.heroprogram.com/contractors.
The Hillsborough County Commission formally adopted the HERO Program when it voted to join the Florida Development Finance Corporation’s (FDFC) residential PACE Program. The FDFC has initially partnered with Renovate America, the company that administers the HERO Program, to bring the most extensive experience in PACE financing and the most comprehensive consumer protections to make Florida more energy efficient and hurricane-resistant.
The HERO Program is scheduled to launch in Florida later this year and estimates that there are more than 268,000 eligible homes in unincorporated Hillsborough County. Florida homeowners who want to be notified when HERO becomes available in their area should visit www.heroprogram.com/coming-soon.
About Renovate America
Renovate America offers a tech-enabled market platform for home improvement and commercial retrofits that empowers communities to modernize and make their housing stock more efficient while giving small businesses the tools they need to grow. In addition to financing home improvements through an unsecured lending product, Benji, Renovate America offers communities the HERO Program. HERO is the leading residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the U.S. and has financed more than $2.1 billion of home improvements in partnership with local governments. It is estimated that HERO is on track to save its customers nearly $3.5 billion in energy and water bills, and has created over 18,000 local jobs that cannot be offshored or automated. Renovate America has built the world’s largest 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 the Florida Development Finance Corporation
The FDFC is a special development finance authority created by State Legislation under Chapter 288, Part X of the Florida Statues and formed as a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation. Although not a State Agency, the FDFC is a state-wide conduit issuer that provides access to capital for project finance. Over the past 20 years, the FDFC has assisted over 90 Florida-based businesses to finance over $1.2 billion in tax-exempt & taxable bonds for qualified projects and borrowers.