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HERO Financing program expanding into San Diego

By Roy L Hales

The recent announcement that Vista and San Marcos have passed resolutions to join the HERO Financing Program, and make the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program available to their property owners, is the most recent indication of this program’s progress within San Diego. Oceanside is also known to be interested and there said to be other communities looking at this program.

Riverside and Sonoma counties have both adopted HERO’s residential initiatives and reputedly found them highly popular with consumers.

Several San Diego solar companies are already working with the HERO program in Riverside County.

Baker electricOne of them is Baker Electric Solar, which originated as one of San Diego’s electric companies in 1938. They are still a family firm, four generations later, and have become one of the County’s largest solar companies.

General manager Brian Milate, said, “There are over 40 cities in California providing the HERO Program for their residents, and we can already see our business grow in those areas. We look forward to the long-term job creation HERO will bring to our area.”

San Diego County started a commercial PACE program last year, but has so far held off on a residential program because of limitations imposed by federal housing authorities.

At the urging of Vice-Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Dave Roberts, the County’s Board of Supervisors instructed County staff to take a closer look at this program last February. Their report is not expected to be completed around the end of June.

The HERO Program enables property owners to finance energy saving home-improvement projects through their property taxes. It is the largest and most successful residential PACE program in the country with more than 8,000 applications from homeowners and over $150 million in approved projects in nearby communities.

In a recent press release, Hero claimed that, “If every city in San Diego County adopted HERO Financing for their jurisdiction, over 2,000 sustainable construction jobs would be created in the first year. The HERO program is now available to any city or county in California that wants to help property owners improve their properties and save money on utility bills. Local governments simply pass a resolution in order to join HERO, and participation is voluntary for homeowners”.

Meanwhile, Brian Miliate points out that, “HERO will make it possible for homeowners in Vista and San Marcos to get started on home improvement projects that lower their utility bills and increase their property values.”

(All images courtesy Baker Electric Solar)

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