The HERO Program makes financing Alternative Energy Options easy! Check out this video of how HERO is involved with the City of San Diego!
You can find out more information about the HERO Program Here!
No. Contractors must be registered with the HERO Program in order to be qualified to install HERO eligible upgrades. To register with the HERO Program contractors must be properly licensed and bonded with the Contractors State License Board. To find a registered HERO Contractor please enter your zip code at www.heroprogram.com to explore the contractors in your community. Property owners are responsible for the selection of the contractor(s) and product(s) necessary to complete their project.
HERO Financing is available to commercial and residential property owners in many cities and counties across the State of California. To find out if HERO is available in your community please enter your zip code at www.heroprogram.com or call 1-855-HERO-411 (1-855-437-6411).
The repayment of HERO Financing is included in your property tax bill, which is delivered and collected by the County. You will see a line item titled HERO Financing on your property tax bill. If you make property tax payments through an impound escrow account, your lender will adjust your monthly payment to include the amount due for HERO Financing.
HERO provides financing for eligible energy efficient, water efficient, and renewable energy products. HERO finances 100% of the cost to purchase and install eligible products. HERO offers low, fixed interest rates with amortization periods of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years and, unlike other financing options, there are no credit score requirements and repayments are made through your property taxes, with the interest being tax deductible. Additionally, if the property is sold before the HERO assessment is paid in full, the remaining payments can legally be passed on to a new property owner (please see the “Real Estate Transactions” section below for more details).
Condominiums may be eligible depending on the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s) of the complex as well as the physical design of the unit. Condominium owners who apply for HERO Financing may need to obtain written authorization from condominium management stating that the property owner is allowed to install the proposed Eligible Products.
Mobile homes (and manufactured homes) are eligible if they are permanently attached to the real property and pay real property taxes (not DMV fees). The mobile home owner must also be the owner of the underlying land. Since an AVM value is often not available for mobile or manufactured homes, the tax assessed value or recent appraisal value may need to be used for the debt-to-value and Eligible Product costs calculations.
There are more than 900,000 products that are eligible for HERO Financing. Generally, energy and water efficient products and renewable energy systems are eligible. Please explore the list of Eligible Products at www.heroprogram.com for more information. If you wish to install a product that is not on the list contact us at 1-855-HERO-411 (1-855-437-6411) to get an application.
Homeowners who meet the minimum criteria below are eligible for HERO Financing. Specific eligibility requirements for residential properties include the following:
- All mortgage-related debt must not exceed 90% of the value of the property.
- Mortgage payments must be current at the time of application, and property owner(s) must not have had more than (1) 30-day mortgage late payment over the past twelve months.
- Property taxes must be current and there must be no more than one late payment in the past three years.
- No outstanding involuntary liens, such as tax liens or mechanic’s liens.
- Property owner(s) must not have had any active bankruptcies within the last seven years, and the Property must not be an asset in an active bankruptcy. However, if a bankruptcy was discharged between two and seven years prior, and the property owner(s) have not had any additional late payments more than 60 days past due in the last 24 months, the property owner may be approved.
- Mobile homes must be permanently attached to the property and the owner of the underlying property must be the applicant and be subject to real property taxes
For more information, please go to www.heroprogram.com.
Costs & Rebates
The interest rates for HERO Financing vary depending upon the term, with terms ranging from 5 – 20 years. HERO Financing is recorded as an assessment on the property and is paid through a homeowner’s property tax bill.
Certain items on your property tax bill may be deductible.
You are urged to consult a tax advisor regarding the deductibility of such payments.
Yes, however, the property owner will not be paid for their own labor and must sign a Self-Install Agreement. If the property owner is also a contractor who has registered with the Program and are installing products on their own house, they may be reimbursed for the labor costs of their work crew, but not for their own personal time and labor.
Only contractors registered with the HERO Program or a property owner who has signed a Self-Install Agreement may install HERO Financed Eligible Products. Contractors can register instantly at www.heroprogram.com as long as they have a valid California State Business License.
The HERO Program only requires that you comply with the building permit requirements for your city or county, whichever has jurisdiction over your property. If required, you (and your contractors) are responsible for obtaining permits and completing inspections, including final inspection sign-off, from the appropriate City or County building department. You should speak with your contractor for further information.
While a residential energy/water audit is not required to participate in the HERO Program, it is recommended in certain cases particularly when you are looking to do whole home improvements for the purpose of maximizing your energy and water cost savings. An energy audit by a certified auditor may be the best way for you to determine which Eligible Products are needed in a home. In addition, the cost of the audit is eligible for HERO Financing along with the Eligible Products themselves.
HERO Financing is a simple 4 step process:
- Apply – Find out how much your home is approved for.
- Select – Choose the eligible products and select the contractor for your job.
- Sign – Sign your financing documents.
- Complete – Finish the installation.
For more information on the HERO Financing process please visit www.heroprogram.com.
Real Estate Transactions
Is there any additional or specific paperwork required for a home with a HERO assessment that should be considered in the buying/selling process?
If a homeowner decides to pay off the HERO assessment at close of escrow, are there fees to consider
No, there are no prepayment penalties associated with the HERO Program, regardless of the HERO assessment date. However, given that HERO Assessments are paid through property taxes at specified intervals, the homeowner may have interest payments due until the next tax interval. Please contact HERO Property Advisors at 1-855-CAL-HERO to assist with a prepayment schedule for your HERO Home.
To find out if a listing has a HERO assessment, first ask the listing agent. If the property is not listed with a licensed real estate agent, you may contact the seller of the property and ask if they have selected HERO to finance property improvements. At the time you enter into escrow, the HERO assessment will appear on the preliminary title report, which lists all property taxes on the property.
Yes. Selling a home with a HERO assessment entails providing clear disclosures. Listing agents should disclose to interested buyers that there is an additional tax assessment on the property tax bill while also explaining how the energy and/or water savings help offset such an assessment. HERO Property Advisors are available to assist in this process and may be reached at 1-855-CAL-HERO.
How does HERO help ease transactions for real estate professionals, lenders, homeowners and buyers who may be unfamiliar with PACE assessments?
Because PACE Programs present an innovative financing option, HERO has established HERO Property Advisors, a dedicated division of the Program, to provide transactional assistance to real estate professionals and lenders as well as homeowners and buyers. Please call, or direct any of these individuals to call, a HERO Property Advisor at 1-855-CAL-HERO at any point before or during the transaction.
Yes, HERO properties can be sold or refinanced at any point. Remaining HERO assessments can be paid off or legally transferred to the new owner. Over 3,000 HERO Homeowners have refinanced or sold their homes, and the HERO assessment has been successfully transferred in the majority of those transactions. This process has recently been streamlined for HERO Homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals with the assistance of our in-house dedicated group of experts, HERO Property Advisors.
However, homeowners should be aware that lending criteria can change and vary between banks. Some banks and/or purchasers require the outstanding assessment balance to be paid off when a homeowner refinances or sells a home, which can be done without a prepayment penalties.
Should such concerns arise, HERO Property Advisors can assist you in their resolution through a variety of solutions tailored to your unique situation. Real estate professionals and lenders, as well as homeowners and buyers, can contact HERO Property Advisors at 1-855-CAL-HERO for assistance at any point.