HERO PACE Projects to Save More Than One Billion Gallons of Water in California

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – Renovate America announced today that more than a billion gallons of water will be saved in California as a result of completed water-efficiency projects financed through the HERO Program – and more than half of these new water projects and more than half the projected water savings have been completed since the Governor announced water reduction mandates April 1.  The 1.25 billion gallons of water to be saved over the useful life of the water-efficiency projects financed by HERO since January 2012 are the equivalent to 40 million showers or more than 31 million loads of laundry.

HERO (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) is the nation’s fastest-growing energy efficiency program, using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing – embraced last week by the President and Federal Housing Administration.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who pushed for adoption of Los Angeles County’s PACE program, said, “We’ve only just begun. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s most recent data California uses 38 billion gallons of water each day,” he added.  “Crossing the billion-gallon mark statewide highlights the significant potential for water conservation within homes across the State.”

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To save water, homeowners can install products such as high-efficiency toilets, faucets and showerheads; gray water systems, rain catchment systems, drip irrigation systems; and artificial turf and drought-tolerant landscaping. These landscape solutions are especially significant because up to two-thirds of residential water use in some California communities is devoted to outdoor use such as watering lawns. Replacing lawns with artificial turf or native landscaping has the most significant impact.

“The HERO Program shows how private companies can help local governments solve some of our state’s largest challenges, such as the extended drought,” said Brian Tisdale, Mayor Pro Tem of Lake Elsinore and Chair of the Western Riverside Council of Governments, which initiated the HERO Program in California in 2011. “We know we need to move beyond simply changing our water habits and better empower Californians to choose to be part of long-term water infrastructure change.  It’s exciting that more than half of our billion gallon milestone comes since the Governor’s directive in April, and that Californians are accelerating this change.”

HERO’s innovative platform provides 100% of the financing for homeowners’ water and energy efficiency projects; the homeowners pay for those upgrades over time through their property taxes, meanwhile realizing immediate savings on utility bills.  Cities and counties need only pass a resolution in order to make PACE Programs like HERO available to local property owners. Taking part in the HERO Program is 100% voluntary for both jurisdictions and property owners, and the program is cost neutral to participating local governments.

As California’s largest and fastest-growing PACE program, HERO is now available to 77% of households in the state, in 336 communities spread over 35 counties, including major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Fresno and San Jose. The program has provided $824 million in financing to complete home efficiency projects in more than 35,000 homes.  The FHA has recently embraced PACE and the core principle that homeowners should be able to transfer the assessment to a new owner if they sell their homes.

HERO also provides the most comprehensive consumer protection in home improvement. Contractors in the network must be trained and certified to offer HERO financing and don’t receive payment until the homeowner signs a project completion certificate. HERO offers additional protections specifically for seniors.

To learn more about the HERO Program, homeowners can visit www.heroprogram.com or call 855-HERO-411 (855-437-6411).   For more ideas on how your home can be more water efficient, visit http://blog.herofinancing.com/news/infographic-saving-water-with-hero/.

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