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Lathrop ciouncil looks at new energy upgrade option

For more than two years Lathrop residents have had an option when it comes to paying for home upgrades that allow their dwelling to become more energy efficient.

And a year later, they added a handful of other options for residents to make the program even more accessible.

If the Lathrop City Council signs off on the request when they meet night – the first scheduled item that will be discussed by the new council – there will be at least one more option on the table.

The California Municipal Finance Authority, an agency that is currently processing a Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE) contract for the Hampton Inn in Lathrop, has requested that the Lathrop City Council approve their program to allow for the business to utilize their services, and open it to the rest of the city as well.

Authorized by the State of California, Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) programs allows home and business owners who want to make energy efficient upgrades – solar units, air conditioners, water heaters, etc. – to finance the purchase and installation of said systems through their annual property taxes. If the purchase is not paid back per the contract that is signed, then it becomes essentially a lien on the property that is paid back when it is sold or transferred. The idea behind the program was to give California residents the opportunity to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient without having to worry about the upfront associated with doing so.

With two options on the table, the council can either choose to do nothing and keep the city’s HERO program the way that it is, or take the nine steps to allow CMFE to be included on the city’s list of approved agencies with which residents can do business. The series of agreements would clear the legal hurdles necessary for that to happen, and allow a number of PACE-authorized businesses and financing options to begin providing services to Lathrop residents.

And the new program will be much like what the city already has in place. Much like HERO is administered through the Western Riverside Council of Governments, the CMFA is a joint powers authority intended to assist local governments, non-profits, and businesses, and is currently being utilized by 300 municipalities across the State of California.

The Lathrop City Council meets on the second Monday of every month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 7 p.m. For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the agenda, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.