Energy efficiency is extremely important for all homeowners to consider for a number of reasons. From reducing monthly spend on energy to bills to complying with new regulations, there are definitely incentives to making your home an energy saver. The HERO program is one of those.
The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (known affectionately as “HERO”) is an energy efficient financing program and is currently the fastest-growing financing solution of its kind in the country. The program ultimately lowers utility bills, lowers energy consumption, and reduces harmful carbon emissions.
HERO partners with local governments with the goal of making energy efficient, water efficient, and renewable energy products more affordable for homeowners.
HERO financing is available to both residential property owners as well as commercial property owners (you may need to check first to see if HERO is available in your community before applying). If approved, this financing covers 100% of the cost to purchase and install eligible products. HERO offers low-fixed interest rates, flexible payment terms (including 5 – 20 years) for most products, and repayments can be made through your property taxes each year. And the good news is that just like a mortgage, interest paid on the principal balance is tax deductible.
There are currently over 150,000 products that are eligible for HERO financing. Most energy and water efficient products and renewable energy systems are eligible. You may explore the entire list of eligible products at heroprogram.com and learn more about this breakthrough program.
Products that are eligible for the HERO program include exterior doors and windows and air sealing and weatherization improvements for them, window film, skylights, and many more.
You must first see if the program is available in your area. To do so, you will need to visit heroprogram.com’s home page and click on “check eligibility” at the top. From there, you will be asked to enter your zip code. (Note: if your zip code or city is not currently listed as a member of the program, you may be given the option to enter your email address to stay informed about the latest information and status updates).
If HERO is available in your area, you can then apply (free) and determine how much your home is approved for. If and when you are approved, you will choose the eligible products and select a contractor for your job. Finally, you will need to sign the official financing documents.
After you have completed the application process, you may start and finish the installation process of the eligible products. You can choose from an approved contractor or you may do the work yourself, however, certain conditions apply. See below for more details.
After you have applied for the HERO program and have been accepted, you can then start working on your home and installing new energy-saving products. If you are having a contractor do the work, keep in mind that they must be approved by HERO standards. To be approved, each contractor must attend a HERO program orientation and must agree to the policies of the program. Program contractors must also be properly licensed and bonded with the Contractors State License Board.
Property owners and individuals are allowed to install eligible products, but it is important to note that they will not be paid for their own labor and are required to sign a Self-Install Agreement. If a property owner is also a contractor who has registered with the program and is installing products on their own house, they may be reimbursed for the labor costs of their work crew, but they will not be reimbursed for their own personal time and labor.
Currently, many communities within the following counties are actively participating in the HERO program: San Diego County, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. As of March 1st, 2014, a total of 106 California cities have adopted the program and by the end of the year, select communities within Fresno County, Imperial County, Sacramento County and others are expected to join.
HERO empowers homeowners by making energy efficient home renovations affordable. This program is a great way to help you customize and upgrade your home while helping you save money. For more information, visit the HERO website today.