June 11, 2018 – Owners of over 350,000 additional homes across the state of Florida now have access to HERO residential financing, the nation’s leading Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing platform. HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, empowers property owners to make energy-efficiency, renewable-energy and wind-mitigating improvements to their homes and pay for eligible upgrades over time as an additional, voluntary line item on their property taxes. HERO is a public-private partnership between participating Florida cities and counties, the Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC) and Renovate America.
HERO launched in Florida in Summer 2017, and is available to the owners of nearly 3 million Florida homes across more than 100 communities. With this launch, homes in the following communities are now eligible:
- City of Cape Coral
- City of Miami Beach
- City of Pensacola
- The cities of Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Grant–Valkaria, Indialantic, Malabar, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Village, Palm Bay, Palm Shores, Rockledge, Titusville, West Melbourne and unincorporated areas in Brevard County.
“HERO is proud to launch in these new communities as we work together to position Florida as a resilient, clean energy leader,” said Mike Antheil, Senior Director of Market Development for Renovate America, which administers HERO. “HERO prioritizes the homeowner at every stage of the process – from our simple and secure application, to the US-based support team available to answer any questions that arise. By making energy-saving and home-hardening upgrades more accessible, we can reduce emissions, increase the value of our housing stock, help homeowners save on their utility bills and create local job opportunities – all at no cost to local government budgets.”
Eligible HERO improvements include those that can prepare homes for future storms – such as wind-resistant roof-to-wall connections, impact windows and doors, and storm shutters – as well as products that allow for greater energy independence or that may help lower utility bills, like rooftop solar and high-efficiency air conditioning systems. These improvements are projected to save HERO homeowners across the country billions of dollars on their utility bills and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by millions of tons. Many homeowners who use PACE financing also report lower insurance premiums, and safer, more comfortable homes.
“Now that Hurricane Season is officially underway, it’s never too soon to prepare for future storms. HERO can help harden one’s home as we face what’s expected to be a busy storm season,” said Lisa Pate, Executive Director of the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association. “HERO also vets all contractors and tracks customer satisfaction in real-time, ultimately offering homeowners added security and peace of mind.”
HERO’s top-rated consumer protections go beyond those found with other forms of home-improvement financing. To help homeowners easily understand their financing terms before they finalize their contracts, HERO provides homeowners with written disclosures modeled on the federal “Know-Before-You-Owe” forms for mortgage lending and confirms terms with all customers in a live, recorded call (available in Spanish). Additionally, all contractors who make HERO-financed improvements have agreed to not receive payment until the homeowner confirms they are satisfied with the finished project. HERO’s data-driven Contractor Quality Rating (CQR) system incentivizes excellent service and behavior among HERO-registered contractors and removes those who can’t or won’t meet the program’s standards.