San Diego: GREEN Buildings


San Diego, Green Buildings, HERO Program

The importance of green energy for use in homes and businesses is becoming more and more widespread. Families, businesses, and whole communities are making the proactive effort to renovate their energy systems in order to pursue more cost-efficient and energy-efficient methods. San Diego is a U.S. west coast city that is a global leader in green buildings.

The HERO program in San Diego is an extension of the California Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program as applied to San Diego. The PACE program is also available throughout several states [for more information on the CA HERO program, please see: renovateamerica.com]. With the implementation of San Diego’s Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program, building owners throughout San Diego (as well as the greater Southern California area; and throughout several states) are renovating their properties with efficiency upgrades.

One example of a building upgrade popular with HERO customers, is installing solar PV on rooftops or on a building's property, along with the necessary technologies to make solar energy their main energy source. Solar upgrades are among a variety of renovations offered by HERO programs to improve buildings' energy efficiency.

PACE, HERO, and Renovate America programs

It might come as no surprise that solar energy systems are expensive to implement, thus potentially preventing homeowners from pursuing this more efficient clean energy system. It’s for this reason that many areas across the nation have introduced the concept of PACE.

In San Diego, the PACE concept takes the form of the HERO program. HERO and similar programs have the potential to cover 100% of the cost of solar energy system implementation and building efficiency upgrades; from solar panels and energy-saving windows, to water saving upgrades. This financial assistance makes access to clean energy and a renovated building with energy efficiency upgrades much more feasible.

Clean energy upgrade financing through HERO programs offer low-interest options; and can even be repaid through property taxes. With a simple application process and options for even those with unfavorable credit scores, the HERO program provides homeowners committed to making the transition to clean and efficient energy with manageable rates and fees.

Since 2011, a clean energy focused organization called Renovate America has offered this HERO program to fund billions of dollars in home improvements for tens of thousands homes and buildings throughout the country. Starting in Riverside, California, this program was developed in order to allow homeowners to bring their clean energy desires to reality. In Riverside County alone, over 20,000 homes have utilized the program in order to make clean energy modifications to their homes.

Since expanding to San Diego County, the same program has provided financial assistance for thousands more local projects. Thus far for San Diego county, this program has facilitated a substantial increase in jobs, provided millions of dollars in funding for sustainable options, conserved over 1,000 million kilowatts of energy, and saved more than 1000 million gallons of water.

These benefits go hand in hand with what the HERO program is doing for homeowners as well. The amount saved on energy bills and reduction in their personal carbon footprint are other advantages to consider when making the decision to apply for this clean energy financing.

Overall, though, when taking a look at the positive reception from homeowners and the effectiveness of the program, it is easy to see that individuals are ready and willing to take advantage of a program such as this in order to go above and beyond to make a change for the better. Moving in the right direction in regards to clean energy changes is made that much more possible with the help of the HERO program and others like it.



Please also see:

Profiles in Sustainable Cities - San Diego, California

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