Sept. 28, 2017 – In the aftermath of the recent hurricane emergency felt across the state, one Florida city has already taken swift action to aid local residents’ recovery and preparedness efforts.
Earlier this week, the Cape Coral City Council approved a robust hurricane response package for residents, including access to an innovative form of financing called HERO. HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing empowers homeowners to make energy efficient, renewable energy, and hurricane-resiliency improvements and pay for the upgrades over time through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.
HERO, a public-private partnership between the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) and Renovate America, is the nation’s largest PACE financing option. Through its adoption of HERO, Cape Coral has joined in FDFC’s mission to bring the most comprehensive consumer safeguards and lowest interest rates in the PACE industry to their community, to make Florida more energy efficient and hurricane-resistant. To date, 68 Florida communities across the state have enabled HERO financing, and it is currently available to over 1.75 million households – nearly a quarter of the state.
Eligible improvements include storm shutters, roofing and windows, roof-to-wall connections and other products that can protect against wind damage and may lower insurance premiums. HERO also can finance residential energy and efficiency upgrades like rooftop solar and high-efficiency HVAC, which may lower utility bills and make homes more comfortable. HERO also uses a data-driven contractor quality rating system that tracks customer satisfaction and removes contractors that do not maintain good or excellent ratings.
“As our community continues to rebuild from Hurricane Irma, PACE financing options are needed now more than ever as a means for property owners to make repairs quickly and protect against future storms,” said Melvin Kennedy of Kennedy Construction Groups LLC, which services Southwest Florida. “HERO’s top-notch consumer safeguards and contractor rating system ensure Cape Coral residents have one less thing to worry about during this stressful time and can focus on what’s most important: keeping their family safe.”
Since HERO launched five years ago, over 100,000 homeowners have used it to finance more than $2.6 billion in energy and efficiency improvements throughout the United States. By stimulating home renovation activity, HERO financing 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.
Florida homeowners who want to be notified when HERO becomes available in their area should visit www.heroprogram.com/coming-soon.