City, County Offer Financial Help for Residents to go Green

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Loans from Property Assessed Clean Energy are now available to San Diego city and county residents. Photo credit: Fernando Tomás/ Wiki Commons

City and county officials on Wednesday urged homeowners to plug into PACE, a new loan program  aimed at reducing energy and water use.

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“This program makes it easier for many consumers to save money and go green, opening the door to more rooftop solar panels, more energy-efficient windows and other improvements,” said Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors.

Loans are available to many homeowners with the help of HERO, a program offered by San Diego-based Renovate America. PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, loans approved through HERO and other lending programs are repaid through property tax assessments, the county said.

PACE loans are available starting this week in the cities of San Diego, El Cajon and Escondido, along with the region’s unincorporated areas.

Carlsbad, Lemon Grove, Oceanside, San Marcos, Solana Beach and Vista launched similar efforts this year and have already funded nearly $5 million in energy-saving projects, the county said.

“The PACE program is a win-win for the consumers and our environment,” Supervisor Dave Roberts said. “Our environment benefits by our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas and energy consumption. Not only that, (but) we are helping to jumpstart an important industry to create jobs in San Diego County.”

PACE has been available to commercial property owners for years, but the Board of Supervisors voted in April to expand it to homeowners. The San Diego City Council took a similar step.

“PACE programs make sense fiscally and environmentally,” San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria said. “These programs will result in more homes being retrofitted for energy and water efficiency upgrades, and San Diegans now have a new option to finance renovations to their homes.”

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HERO helps finance heating and cooling systems and insulation. Homeowners repay the assessment over 5, 10, 15 or 20 years through their property tax bills.

Joining Supervisor Jacob, Supervisor Roberts and Council President Gloria at a press conference Wednesday announcing the PACE rollout were Tara Kelly, deputy director of community development at Sullivan Solar, and J.P. McNeill, chief executive of Renovate America.

To apply for HERO go to heroprogram.com or call (855) 437-6411.

City News Service

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