April 6th, 2015 by Dawn Killough
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown issued the first-ever mandatory water reduction order in the history of the State of California. The executive order directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year.
Homeowners and business owners will be the ones who ultimately must make the sacrifice, but there is financial assistance available to help pay for water saving improvements, such as drip irrigation and high-efficiency toilets.
The HERO Program allows property owners to make both water- and energy-saving improvements and to pay for them over time through their property taxes. Although HERO is best known for helping homeowners make energy efficient improvements, it can also be used to fund many of the water-saving improvements Governor Brown called for in his recent announcement.
“Our goal is to provide homeowners with affordable financing for projects that will reduce their water usage in their homes and yards by more than 25%,” said JP McNeill, CEO of Renovate America, program administrator for the HERO Program.
In order for homeowners to have access to the financing available through this program, the city or county in which they live must pass a resolution enabling the program to move forward. HERO is now available to more than 70% of California homeowners in almost 300 communities throughout the state, including major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.
“Property owners are fortunate to have new options for water conservation with simple financing packages like HERO,” said Jan Harnik, Palm Desert City Councilmember and chair of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. “The HERO program offers a wide array of water efficiency products, making it a valuable and viable solution for homeowners to reduce their water use and invest in their homes.”
“One of the great things about having HERO available in our community is that it brings energy- and water-saving improvements within financial reach for a lot of property owners who have dreamed of cutting down on water use, or going solar, but may have been unable to afford making these types of large-scale improvements,” noted San Diego Supervisor Dave Roberts.
Taking part in the HERO Program is 100% voluntary for both jurisdictions and property owners. The program is cost neutral to participating local governments. To learn more about the HERO Financing Program, and to apply, property owners can visit www.heroprogram.com or call 855-HERO-411 (855-437-6411).
Originally published on Green Building Elements.
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