A new program launches Thursday that will allow homeowners in Jackson County to more affordably finance home energy improvements.
The program is dubbed HERO, for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity. It helps homeowners lower utility bills by replacing heating and air conditioning systems, upgrading windows and doors, adding insulation or solar panels and other enhancements.
The program provides an incentive for people to make energy efficiency improvements, which can sometimes be more expensive up-front but cost effective over time. The financing is tied to the property and not the property owner.
HERO funds 100 percent of the home improvement, requiring no up-front cash. Repayments are spread out over time. The payments are based on the useful life of the product, up to 20 years, and are made through an owner’s property tax bills. Any remaining balance may be able to be transferred to the new buyer when a home is sold.
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More information is available at www.heroprogram.com.
The program is modeled on one in California, which has helped fund more than $1.75 billion in home energy efficiency upgrades in more than 70,000 homes. It’s available to cities that join the Missouri Clean Energy District, and that currently includes the Kansas City portion of Jackson County, plus other communities in Jackson County. It may eventually be expanded to include the Kansas City portion of Clay and Platte counties and other cities on the Missouri side of the metro area.
Kansas has not yet passed enabling legislation for the program, so it is not yet available there.