Originally published on the ECOreport
Since it started up in 2011, the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (HERO PACE) Program has completed more than 50,000 residential projects. That may not seem like much, in a state whose 39 million inhabitants are still hoping to see the end of the worst drought in their recorded history, but HERO is a major California success story.
3 Billion Gallons Of Water Savings
Since it started up in December 2011, Renovate America’s HERO program has completed projects that are expected to save:
- an estimated 3.00 billion gallons of water savings over the estimated lifetime of installed products
- 7.99 billion kWh of energy
- 2.16 million tons of CO2 emissions
This program has also as a result of all energy saving projects generated $2.11 billion in economic activity and been responsible for the creation of 10,336 new jobs.
San Diego’s Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar has had to hire 26 new employees to keep up with the demand.
“In addition to doing a comprehensive energy audit on the house, We are able to offer HERO financing for the homeowner to install everything from solar panels, efficient heating and air conditioning units, updated doors and windows, new roofing, and more,” said Company President Matt Mauzy.
Homeowners Who Chose HERO PACE
The majority of homeowners who choose HERO were forced to make improvements on their home.
When California announced a 25% water reduction mandate, in May 2015, Henry Rajsombath thought that meant his lawn would have to go brown. His family did not have the money to invest in landscaping. Then he found out how they could use the HERO program to finance the project and pay the money back through a slight increase to their property taxes.
AnnMarie Provancha and Lamar Brown’s home is perched atop Mount Helix. They have an incredible 180-degree views of San Diego’s East County, but their house had not been painted or upgraded since it was built in 1964.
Lamar jokes that their water heating system was so inefficient that, “We could read a book and have a birthday before the water would get hot!”
That was before Ann Marie, a retired reporter, found the HERO PACE online. They used it to finance multiple efficiency upgrades: including windows, HVAC, solar panels, turf and an instant hot water heater.
“All of the changes that we have made have so affected our budget for the better. I’m just happy to know that we are contributing to help the universe, and I’m happy to know that it’s saving us money – it’s just an all around perfect solution! I can’t believe how many people we’ve told about it, and they’ve called and looked into it,” says AnnMarie.
HERO Is A Major California Success Story
Though water restrictions are still in place, there has been good news from the Sierra Nevada. Thanks to the El Nino rain storms, the snowpack is 14% higher than normal. Yet California’s major reservoirs remain critically low and state officials are anxiously looking ahead to April 1, when the snowpack that provides a third of the state’s water supply will reach its greatest depth.
This drought will end, but there will be others.
“What we set out to do in communities throughout California was provide an option for homeowners to affordably choose energy efficiency, renewable energy, or water conserving products when they made needed repairs,” said J.P. McNeill, CEO of Renovate America. “We’ve now done that for 50,000 homeowners—and in turn more than 10,000 new jobs have been created in California.”
All photos & videos courtesy Renovate America