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Clean Energy & Water Saving Program Hits 1,000-Home Milestone In Coachella Valley

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COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif., February 8, 2017– When City Councils throughout the Coachella Valley voted to adopt the HERO program, their goal was to help local homeowners make energy and efficiency upgrades that could reduce utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions while creating local clean-energy jobs. Today, it’s clear that the program is working. Through its partnership with the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, area cities have now passed the milestone of 1,000 homes renovated for energy efficiency, water efficiency or solar power.

Since the financing option became available in Coachella Valley, 1,965 HERO installations have been completed in 1,085 homes. The financing option enables homeowners to make energy and water efficiency improvements and to pay for them over time at a fixed interest rate through an additional line item on their property taxes. In Riverside County as a whole, renovation and efficiency projects have been completed in 20,600 homes through the HERO financing program.

By stimulating home renovation activity, the HERO Program also increases demand for local contractor services. As a result, the HERO Program is now supporting an estimated 203 regional jobs through this boost to the Coachella Valley economy. Many of these jobs, like those in the construction sector, cannot be automated or outsourced.

“PACE financing gives homeowners an innovative way to enhance their homes and lives with improvements such as new windows and doors, high-efficiency HVAC systems, water-efficient landscaping and even rooftop solar,” said Mayor Jan Harnik of Palm Desert. “The goal is to help homeowners lower their utility bills and create local jobs, all while helping to manage our natural resources.”

“HERO financing has grown the economy of the Coachella Valley by creating high-quality, sustainable jobs and by giving homeowners a way to save on their utility bills,” added Coachella City Councilmember V. Manuel Pérez. “California pioneered programs like HERO and they have turned out to be the economic and environmental win-win we hoped they would be.”

The resources saved through HERO-financed efficiency upgrades are significant. On average, for every 1,000 homes that complete HERO-financed efficiency upgrades: carbon emissions saved are equivalent to taking 8,500 cars off the road for one year; energy saved is equivalent to powering 13,800 homes for one year; and water saved is equivalent to 2.7 million showers.

Because of the public-private nature of the program, HERO offers significant additional consumer safeguards not found with other forms of home-improvement financing. In addition, through HERO Property Advisors, the program provides assistance free of charge to real estate professionals involved in selling or refinancing properties with active HERO financing. Residents interested in HERO financing for their homes are invited to visit www.heroprogram.com/ca/california-desert.

Following is a city by city breakdown of HERO achievements for the Coachella Valley:

  • Cathedral City – 336 HERO installations; $6.4 million in economic impact; 30 million kWh of energy saved
  • Coachella – 104 installations; $2.0 million impact; 6.4 million kWh saved
  • Desert Hot Springs  135 installations; $2.1 million impact; 9.9 million kWh saved
  • Indian Wells  29 installations; $731,000 impact; 3.8 million kWh saved
  • Indio  398 installations; $7.7 million impact; 29.3 million kWh saved
  • La Quinta  218 installations; $4.8 million impact; 21.5 million kWh saved
  • Palm Desert  353 installations; $7.8 million impact; 36.1 million kWh saved
  • Palm Springs  325 installations; $7.5 million impact; 31.0 million kWh saved
  • Rancho Mirage  102 installations; $3.4 million impact; 14.4 million kWh saved
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