Everything You Need to Know About the HERO Program

By Home Bay

Posted on August 31st, 2016

Considering participating in the HERO program and want to learn more about it? Thinking about selling your HERO approved home and want to understand how the process works? Whatever the case, this post has the info you need. Learn all about this energy-efficiency incentive program and what you need to know if you’re selling a HERO property.


What Is the HERO Program?

HERO stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity. It is a financing option currently available in 48 California counties that helps homeowners make energy-efficient upgrades to their home. For approved homes, HERO finances 100% of the cost of both the purchase and installation of eligible energy-saving products, including solar panels and drought-resistant products. The cost of these improvements are then re-paid through your property tax bill.

Here are a few more details on the program from the HEROs website:

  • Property Tax Assessment:
    HERO payments are made through a line item on your property tax bill.
  • Terms Up to 20 Years:
    HERO offers flexible repayment terms of 5-20 years.
  • Based on Equity:
    HERO is an assessment on your property, with no impact on personal credit score.
  • No Upfront Costs:
    We finance the total cost of your project, including all fees and labor costs.
  • Potential Tax Benefits:
    The interest on HERO payments may be tax deductible.Here’s a look at a few of the 63 approved projects types HERO currently covers:

    Thinking about participating in the HERO program? Visit this page to find out if your home qualifies.

Selling a HERO Program Home

Let’s review a couple commonly asked questions from sellers:

  1. Must my HERO assessment be disclosed to the buyer?
    Yes – if you’re participating in the program, your HERO assessment must disclosed on the preliminary title report when you sell a home. You should also note the assessment within your sellers disclosure packet.

  2. If I sell my HERO home, will my balances transfer to the seller?
    Yes, you can sell a home before the HERO assessment has been paid in full and your potential buyer doesn’t have to qualify for or re-apply for the program. During escrow, all or part of any remaining HERO balance can be transferred to the new owner. Subordination of the HERO assessment is also available if required by a lender.

    That said, we most commonly see the HERO assessment paid in full out of the seller’s proceeds at the close of escrow.

As a homeowner, this program gives you a great incentive to pursue eco-friendly improvements that can save you greatly on your utility bills. As a seller, being able to transfer your HERO program benefits will make your home more desirable in a competitive market. To learn more about the loan or about selling a HERO home, check out the program’s FAQ page.

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Posted in Homeowner Advice, Selling a House