HERO program offers eligible homeowners energy, water efficiency upgrades

Photo by Pam Lane, DowneyDailyPhotos.com

Photo by Pam Lane, DowneyDailyPhotos.com

DOWNEY – A local Downey family is saving energy and money, all thanks to the HERO program.

HERO is the largest program associated with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), working in partnership with the city to provide homeowners with the opportunity to make energy and water efficiency improvements to their homes. These improvements are then paid for over time through the homeowners’ property tax bill. 

The Downey city council has already established a public-private partnership with HERO, resulting in 55 new jobs through the increased demand for home renovation activity, an economic stimulus in the area of $11.2 million, and utility bill savings of $7.7 million set in place by homeowners over the lifetime of the renovations. 

To date, HERO is responsible for $6.47 million for efficiency and solar energy projects in 228 Downey homes.

One local residence, that of Manuel and Ana Garcia and seven of their relatives who are living with them, recently underwent several changes through the HERO program. 

“…It’s an old house, and a lot of the things that we have there are outdated,” said Karina Garcia, Manuel and Ana’s daughter.

Outdated could be described as an understatement, as before participating in HERO, the Garcia’s home had no central heating or cooling system. Instead, the family had controlled the temperature of their home with fans and space heaters, meanwhile accumulating hundreds of dollars-worth in spending on utility bills. 

According to Garcia, the transition was smooth, and the family was well informed the entire process. All work done to their home was done within a week and a half. Changes included the installation of solar panels and air conditioning.

Now, Garcia and her family are looking forward to reaping the financial benefits, all while enjoying the new additions to their home. They’re also recommending the program to all who will listen. 

“I’m really excited…yeah, it’s a lot of money now – it seems like it – but it’s a set amount that’s gonna help us later,” said Garcia. “We’re gonna be more comfortable with the AC and the heating, and more comfortable with the payment with the electricity. So everything is more comfort, more peace of mind…”

For more information, visit heroprogram.com


NewsAlex Dominguez