Financing America’s Home Energy Revolution


By Roy L Hales. Originally published on

Renovate America has financed more than $950 million worth of solar power, energy-efficient HVAC/windows/roofing, water capture systems, and artificial turf projects since 2011. Their HERO PACE program has already been been used by 38,000 homeowners adopted by 347 Californian communities. Rumour has it that HERO will expand into other states next year. Homeowners who use this program do not have to put any money down, and can take up to 20 years to pay for improvements through their property taxes, but the trades must be paid immediately. This takes a lot of money. Renovate America raised another $90 million in Equity Investment. Financing America’s Home Energy Revolution takes a lot of money.

More than $600 Million in PACE Bonds

To date, Renovate America has securitized more than $600 Million in PACE bonds. The fourth and most recent securitization of HERO bonds was $160 million in Class A Notes were rated AA by Kroll.

The security for investors is that PACE liens are tax assessments, which remain with properties even when it changes hands.

Beyond California

Up until now, the vast majority of PACE projects have been in California. That is about to change. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is developing guidance, so that PACE programs can to work together with mortgage

At the National Energy Summit, President Obama said.

“We’re going to make it even easier for individual homeowners to put solar panels on their roof with no upfront cost.  So specifically, we’re going to take steps to expand the use of a tool we call PACE, which helps you pay for solar panels through the future savings on your energy bills.  So we’re taking steps that allow more Americans to join this revolution with no money down.”

Renovate America

So far, we do not know which state, or states, Renovate America  intends to enter. They have played an important role financing California’s solar revolution at some point in 2016 they intend to expand beyond the states borders.

Renovate America is the largest PACE provider in California. They have saved homeowners more than $1.7 billion in estimated future energy costs and more than 1.6 billion gallons of water.  In the process, more than 7,500 local jobs were created. They have played an important role financing California’s solar revolution.

“Renovate America is transforming the home improvement marketplace in every region it enters,” said John Fisher, Co-Founder and Partner of DFJ Growth. “They’re setting a higher bar for consumer protection in the industry, training the local contractor workforce, automating the lending process, and making energy and water savings technology more accessible to homeowners.”

DFJ Growth led the latest round of equity investment, which will be used to finance the growth of Renovate America’s geographic footprint.

Josh Raffaelli, Managing Director at Silver Lake Kraftwerk, said his firm decided to invest because, “Renovate America’s HERO Program is the largest and most innovative residential PACE program in the U.S. ”

Some of the other were RockPort Capital Partners, Valor Equity Partners, DB Masdar, and 400 Capital Management.


The following endorsements, from Californian communities in the HERO PACE program, taken from the press release announcing this funding:

“Renovate America has been a great partner,” said Howard Choy, General Manager of the Office of Sustainability for Los Angeles County.  “Cities and counties recognize the importance of conserving water and energy, as well as supporting job growth and lowering emissions.  The HERO Program helps us realize these objectives.”

“At every step, Renovate America has worked to help local governments achieve their goals – from energy and water efficiency to establishing the strongest consumer protections for people making improvements to their homes,” said Rick Bishop, Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments.

“The HERO Program has swept across California because local government wants to be a part of the solution,” said Ray Wolfe, Executive Director of the San Bernardino Associated Governments. “Each year, our need for water and energy conservation becomes more and more important.  The HERO Program is helping local government address these needs.”