CaliforniaFIRST PACE Financing

CaliforniaFIRST is a type of government-backed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing administered by a company called Renew Financial that allows homeowners to receive funding for energy efficiency home improvement projects.

CalFIRST Snapshot

  • Approval not based on credit score or income.
  • Substantial tax benefits.
  • 100% financing. No money down.
  • Borrow up to 15% of property value.
  • Flexible repayment periods: 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.
  • May increase property value.
  • Fast, in-home approval.
  • No pre-payment penalty and free re-amortization.
  • Balance can transfer to new owner if you sell your home.
  • Financed amount will not appear on your credit report and will not impact your future debt-to-income ratio.

No Money Down, No Banks, and Your Credit Score is Not a Factor

A PACE Program like CalFIRST is unique because it allows your home, not you, to qualify for upfront funding that is used to complete your energy efficient home improvement projects. What this means is, CalFIRST financing is an assessment on your property – not a loan based on your credit score. In addition, CalFIRST financing does not require any money down, making it easy and affordable to finally get the home improvement projects done that your home needs. You simply repay the funding on your property taxes over the course of a period of up to 20 years.

Save Energy, Save Money on Utility Bills, and Increase Your Property Value

Best of all, the affordability factor doesn’t stop with obtaining CalFIRST PACE financing. Because your home is now energy efficient, your utility bills will be lower than ever. Energy efficient home improvements may also increase your home’s property value, making this not only a short-term win, but also a long-term win that will continue paying dividends for years to come.


What is the HERO Program?

HERO is an acronym that stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity. As the most popular energy efficiency financing program in the US, HERO has joined forces with local governments to make energy efficient products affordable for property owners, allowing more people to save money as well as energy. HERO financing can be obtained for both residential and commercial properties.

HERO financing works differently than other types of financing, making energy efficiency an easy choice. Eligible energy efficient, water efficient, and renewable energy products qualify for HERO financing. With no credit score requirements and fixed interest rates with amortization periods of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years, there is a HERO financing option that suits everyone. Repayment is made through property taxes and can be passed on to a new property owner if you decide to sell your property before the repayment period is over.

There are some criteria that must be met in order to determine if a property owner is eligible for HERO financing, such as the following:

  • Mortgage-related debt must not be more than 90% of the property’s value.
  • Mortgage must not be delinquent (all payments must be up to date).
  • There must not have ever been more than one 30-day late mortgage payment over the past 12 months.
  • Property taxes must be current with no more than one late payment over the past 3 years.
  • No outstanding involuntary liens (i.e. tax liens or mechanic’s liens).
  • No active bankruptcy from the past 7 years.
  • The property must not be included in any active bankruptcy.
  • To be approved with a discharged bankruptcy on record, there must not be any late payments that have been more than 60 days overdue from the past 24 months on the applicant’s credit report and the bankruptcy must have been discharged between 2 and 7 years ago.
  • A mobile home is only eligible if it has been permanently attached to the property and therefore is subject to traditional property taxes.

Remodel USA is registered with the HERO Program and fully qualified to install HERO upgrades. Ask us how we can help you apply for the HERO Program and get your energy efficient project started!

About HERO and Remodel USA

HERO is an award-winning energy efficiency financing program that is positively impacting the lives of many different people. By partnering with local governments to provide 100% financing for home owners for select energy efficiency projects, HERO is helping home owners save energy as well as money on their energy bills. This influx of energy efficient homes is benefitting the environment as a whole and stimulating our economy by creating a new sector of jobs.

Remodel USA is proudly partnered with the HERO Program to complete all of your energy efficient projects using HERO financing. Contact us for details on how to get started with your HERO project.

In 2014, 3.5 Million Homes Started Participating in the HERO Program

Last year, over 3.5 million housing units became eligible to use the HERO Program to finance water and energy efficiency upgrades. In particular, 117 new communities joined HERO in 2014, which means there is now a total of 228 communities participating in the HERO Program. In the state of California alone, 49% of the communities are now involved with HERO.

This rapid growth is quite an accomplishment and very exciting for home owners looking to save money while becoming energy and water efficient. As a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program, HERO is focused on helping the environment as well as the economy by switching home owners to an energy efficient lifestyle.

Since the HERO program started, here are some impressive numbers from November 2014 (from the HERO website) showing how HERO has positively impacted the environment and economy:

  • 653,000 tons projected lifetime emissions reduced
  • $716 million projected lifetime utility savings
  • 3,200 local jobs created
  • $653 million in economic stimulus created

As the country’s fastest growing financing solution that specializes in residential energy efficiency improvements, 2015 has certainly shown even faster growth than 2014 for HERO. The official 2015 numbers won’t be released by HERO until the beginning of 2016, but we will post them on our blog when we receive them.

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