A popular Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program has helped pay for more than 100,000 Energy Star-qualified improvements  — and nearly half (about 46,700) are doors, windows and skylights.

The next-largest category is HVAC with more than 32,500 Energy Star-certified air-conditioning units. Reflective roofs, water heaters, lighting fixtures and pool pumps make up the rest of the upgrades.

Renovate America’s HERO PACE financing program helps property owners make improvements and then pay for them over time at a fixed rate through a line item on their property tax bill. According to the Department of Energy, PACE programs can spread repayment over many years and can help some property owners deduct payments from their income tax liability. It also allows municipalities to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy without exposing general funds to risk.

“For tens of thousands of homeowners from California to Florida, HERO financing has enabled greater access to superior energy efficiency products,” said Renovate America CEO Roy Guthrie. “PACE financing programs like HERO are one of the most effective tools for upgrading our existing housing stock with Energy Star-certified products, helping homeowners save money and reduce emissions while increasing the overall efficiency of our communities and improving the reliability of our electric system.”

Since HERO launched in late 2011, more than 115,000 homeowners have used it to finance nearly $3 billion in efficiency upgrades to their homes. According to Renovate America, those improvements have cut utility bills by nearly $1 billion.

The Energy Star-certified improvements made with HERO are projected to save more than 8 billion kilowatt-hours of energy over the life of the products installed. That could power about 750,000 American homes in a year, according to Renovate America. The improvements are also expected to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly 1.9 million tons over their lifetime, which is roughly the same as removing about 370,000 cars off the road for a year.

 

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