April 12, 2018 – Since the beginning of 2018, local communities representing over 750,000 Florida homeowners have adopted HERO, the nation’s leading Property Assessed Clean Energy financing option. HERO empowers property owners to make energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and hurricane-resiliency improvements to their homes and pay for eligible upgrades over time as an additional, voluntary line item on their property taxes. HERO, or Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, launched in Florida in Summer 2017 and is now available to over 2 million Florida homeowners across more than 80 communities.
The communities of Ft. Myers, Pembroke Pines, Doral, Ft. Lauderdale as well as Hernando, Brevard, Manatee, Monroe, Osceola and Citrus counties have each taken steps to adopt HERO PACE financing as an option for area property owners in recent weeks.
This voluntary financing option is unique in that it is made possible through a public-private partnership with the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) and offers both environmental and economic benefits. By stimulating home improvements, HERO increases demand for local contractor services, boosting economic activity and creating good-paying jobs that cannot be offshored or automated as a result. Many homeowners who use PACE financing also report lower utility bills or insurance premiums, and safer, more comfortable homes.
“We are pleased to partner with HERO to make energy and resiliency improvements more accessible to homeowners across the Sunshine State,” said Bill Spivey, Executive Director of the Florida Development Finance Corporation. “PACE financing is an optional, but important tool that can help Floridians invest in their homes, save energy, prepare for storms, create local jobs, and put their communities’ clean energy goals within reach – all significant benefits that will strengthen the state across the board. Our PACE team takes its responsibility for oversight very seriously. It’s great to see local governments in every corner of the state recognize HERO as the incredible economic development driver that it is.”
“HERO offers Floridians the strongest consumer protections in the home-improvement space, and our continued momentum is a clear recognition of that distinction,” said Mike Antheil, Senior Director of Market Development for Renovate America, which administers HERO. “HERO prioritizes the homeowner throughout every step of the process, empowering property owners to make key investments in their homes, save energy, harden their homes ahead of hurricane season and make emergency repairs – all without the use of local government funds.”
HERO brings the industry’s highest level of consumer protections, which go beyond those found with other forms of home-improvement financing. Unlike credit cards or home-equity loans, for example, HERO PACE financing can only be used to finance qualified home energy, efficiency and resiliency improvements. Safeguards include live, recorded telephone calls (available in Spanish) to confirm financing terms with homeowners, written disclosures modeled on the federal “Know-Before-You-Owe” forms for mortgage lending and a guarantee that contractors do not get paid until homeowners certify that a project is done to their satisfaction. HERO also uses a data-driven Contractor Quality Rating System that tracks customer satisfaction in real-time and removes contractors that fail to maintain excellent or good ratings.
Eligible improvements include those that will prepare homes for future storms – such as wind-resistant roof-to-wall connections and storm shutters – as well as products that may lower energy bills, like rooftop solar and high-efficiency air conditioning systems.
HERO-financed home upgrades completed to date are projected to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by over 4.7 million tons – equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road for a year. These improvements are projected to save homeowners over 17 billion kilowatt hours of electricity over the expected useful lifetime of the products installed. That is enough energy to power over 1.8 million homes for a full calendar year.
Homeowners interested in applying for HERO financing or who wish to learn more should visit renovateamerica.com/financing/hero/communities. Contractors interested in offering HERO financing can register at renovateamerica.com/contractors.