KANSAS CITY, Missouri, Nov. 2, 2017 – Owners of more than 500 homes in Jackson County have used an innovative financing option, HERO to make their residences more energy-efficient and to install renewable energy systems since the program first became available in the county a year ago. HERO, or Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, is offered through a public-private partnership between the Missouri Clean Energy District (MCED) and Renovate America, the nation’s largest PACE provider. The upgrades financed through HERO are helping homeowners save energy, enhancing their comfort at home, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and supporting local jobs – all at no cost to local government budgets.
As the nation’s leading form of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, HERO empowers homeowners to make energy and efficiency improvements and to pay for them over time through a voluntary, additional line item on their property taxes. Jackson County officials were among the first in the state to join MCED and give county residents access to PACE financing programs like HERO.
“Throughout Missouri, PACE is helping local and state governments reach and expand their energy efficiency goals,” said David Pickerill, Executive Director of MCED. “Jackson County has set an example of how successful PACE can be. Rather quickly in the county, PACE has created jobs, saved families money on their energy bills, and provided homeowners with a new way to invest in their homes.”
Janice Chronister, mother of four from Kansas City, Missouri, went without air-conditioning in her home for 10 years and was unable to replace a 1950s-era HVAC system because of difficulties accessing financing. But HERO allowed her to install an efficient system in August, and she and her family members are enjoying her newly comfortable home. “I’m grateful to HERO for the opportunity to make much-needed upgrades to my home,” she said. “My children and grandchildren love to come to my house now.”
HERO, which became available in Jackson County in September 2016, has been shown to deliver positive economic and environmental results in communities that adopt it. By stimulating home improvements, PACE programs like HERO increase demand for local contractor services. It’s estimated that the improvements financed through HERO have created over 75 jobs in and around Jackson County – good-paying, local construction jobs that cannot be automated or outsourced. HERO-financed home upgrades in the county are also projected to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by over 25,000 tons. That’s equivalent to taking more than 5,000 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.
Across Missouri, HERO has financed renovation and efficiency projects in nearly 1,000 homes. It’s estimated that these improvements have helped create more than 125 jobs statewide. HERO relies only on private capital to finance local improvements.
HERO carries consumer protections that go beyond those found with other forms of home-improvement financing, including written disclosures modeled on the federal “Know-Before-You-Owe” forms for mortgage lending to help homeowners understand their financing terms before they finalize their contracts. HERO also requires a live, recorded phone call with a HERO representative to confirm understanding of financing terms and information on household budget implications before financing documents can be finalized. And all contractors who offer HERO are only paid once homeowners sign off that the work has been completed to their satisfaction.
Homeowners interested in applying for HERO financing or who wish to learn more should visit www.renovateamerica.com or www.mced.mo.gov. Contractors interested in offering HERO financing can register at www.renovateamerica.com/contractors.
Reporters who wish to schedule interviews with program representatives, elected officials, homeowners, or contractors; or who would like to receive a media kit can contact Charly Norton at (619) 867-0809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Renovate America
Renovate America offers a tech-enabled financing platform for home improvements 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 HERO financing. HERO is the leading residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the U.S. and has been used by over 105,000 homes to make energy and efficiency improvements. It is estimated that HERO is on track to save billions of dollars in energy and water bills, and has created 23,000 local trade 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.