PACE Alive and Well // Part 2: Wiping Out Waste with a Whole-Home Upgrade
[Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a series that describes how PACE financing is revolutionizing the home performance contracting industry.]
Mauzy Heating, Air & Solar, a three-generation family business serving the greater San Diego region, has been a registered HERO contractor since the program launched in San Diego in February of 2014. HERO is the leading provider of residential PACE financing in the country. Company President Matt Mauzy found the HERO program to be a natural partner. “In addition to doing a comprehensive energy audit on a home,” Matt explains, “we are able to offer HERO financing for the homeowner to install everything from solar panels to efficient heating and air-conditioning units, updated doors and windows, new roofing, and more.” This opportunity for an expanded scope of work on HERO-financed projects is a significant business builder for participating contractors.
Homeowners often choose to have multiple projects done at once, to take advantage of the beneficial terms of HERO financing, increase home comfort, and maximize the long-term savings on their energy bills. In addition, customers can afford to invest in higher-efficiency home energy products and systems that will provide them with a higher return on investment in the long run. The energy savings for these jobs can be impressive, and the contractor benefits from the use of higher-quality products with price points to match.
La Mesa, California, homeowners Ann Marie Provancha and Lamar Brown hired Mauzy and used HERO financing to bundle multiple home energy upgrades and installations. Their 1964 house had never been upgraded and was an energy and water guzzler. For example, they had to run the tap for several minutes to get hot water. They also wanted to improve their home’s overall efficiency, to benefit the environment and their budget. “We were looking to do the upgrades; it’s just that they were priced out of our current position,” says Lamar. Through HERO, Lamar and AnnMarie installed an instant (tankless) water heater, solar panels, artificial turf, an energy-efficient HVAC system, and several floor-to-ceiling windows.
The postinstall reduction in energy costs has provided AnnMarie and Lamar with remarkable savings on their gas and electric bills. Preinstall energy costs were $400–500 a month in summer and $900–1,000 in winter; and that was with no A/C. The postinstall monthly bills average just over $200. The homeowners estimate that they’re saving $7,000 a year just on electricity. They are also reaping savings on their water bill from the instant water heater and artificial turf Mauzy installed. “The tax benefits for us were particularly important,” says Lamar. Like other property taxes, HERO financing payments may be tax deductible.
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