an attempt to have more Santa Monica businesses and homeowners proactively
install more energy efficient and renewable energy systems within their
respective homes, the City Council unanimously approved last Tuesday night as part of its
consent calendar to make homeowners eligible to participate in a financing
program to cover the costs of such improvements.
as the California Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity (HERO) Program and part of
the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program, property owners in
Santa Monica will, according to City staff, now be able “to borrow the cost of
energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems by placing a
voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.”
PACE financing available to Santa Monica property owners has the potential to
stimulate the installation of energy efficiency improvements and renewable
energy systems,” City staff stated.
commercial and residential property owners in Santa Monica are eligible to
participate in the HERO program. Any and all participation in the program is
voluntary, according to City staff.
the financial burden of installing energy efficiency improvements and renewable
energy systems would fall entirely on the property owner, no costs would be
endured by City Hall.
who choose to participate in the program would receive financing through a bond
attached to the property.
property owners repay the cost of the improvements through an assessment levied
against their property which is payable in semi-annual installments on property
tax bills,” City staff stated. “A lien is filed against the property as
security until the assessment is re-paid. The assessment remains with the
property should the owner transfer or sell the property before the loan is
to City staff, the HERO program was launched in 2012 and funded more than $25
million in energy and water efficiency and renewable energy investments in
4,000-plus homes within its first year.
statewide program, council members had to adopt a resolution to allow Santa
Monica property owners to participate in HERO. Such a resolution was attached
to the consent calendar item.
program specifically aims to help property owners install energy and water
efficiency improvements, renewable energy systems, and electric vehicle
financing through a program such as the California HERO Program mitigates two
key barriers that often prevent property owners from installing energy
efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects,” City staff stated.
“It eliminates the need for property owners to pay out of pocket up-front costs
for improvements, and … it establishes a loan obligation that is attached to
the property and not to the individual borrower.”
its report to council members, City staff stated the financing program could
help spur the economy.
availability of PACE financing can be a catalyst in spurring the local economy
by creating energy retrofit jobs and stimulating construction activities,” City
staff stated. “Energy retrofit improvements to existing buildings would allow
property owners to reduce energy and water use as well as greenhouse gas
emissions. Participating property owners would reduce operating costs for electricity,
natural gas and water and improve the comfort and safety of their homes and
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