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Ripon may turn to HERO to save energy
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The  Home Energy Opportunity (HERO) program is considered as one of the fastest growing energy efficiency financing solution in the country.

For eligible homeowners, it can provide them with a break for upgrades such as installing solar, water-saving products and windows. It allows for the financing of improvements to be repaid through their property tax bill thanks to partnering with local governments

Last week, Bob Manthey of Honey’s Air, Heating and Solar along with Mark Rogers with Renovate America gave a presentation at the Ripon City Council meeting. They are hoping Ripon hooks up with HERO.

“HERO is a property assessed clean energy financing program that makes hundreds of products available and affordable to homeowners who want to renovate their home with conservation in mind,” said Rogers, who indicated that Tracy is already on board and so will Stockton, Modesto and Oakdale.

This economic development program is available at no cost to the participating cities and counties. What HERO is able to do is finance improvements involving decreasing energy usage or water consumption along with anything to do with creating clean renewable energy.

The City of Ripon, in this time of drought and water consumption, reported 12 percent saving in water usage from last month, with the goal of achieving Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal for all communities at 20 percent.

Couple that with the latest water-consumption measures.

Mayor Chuck Winn asked if plumbing, sprinkler systems and artificial grass, for example, could be available within the HERO program.

Rogers gave an affirmative nod to Winn’s list, adding, “With many more available,” he said.

“This program is only available to existing home owners, and not new builds,” Rogers added. “It can benefit the community by creating jobs for local contractors and can generate revenue.”

Manthey is among those working with the HERO Program, which recruits and trains contractors.

Rogers also pointed out that this program has no up-front out of pocket costs. “All cost are built in and paid through a tax bill,” he said.

Winn likes those advantages. “It’s a one-stop shop for conservation items,” he said.

Council, in turn, directed staff to bring the HERO Program back for further action.