LA County Moves Forward with Green Improvement Program

Green House Family

Los Angeles County homeowners in 38 cities interested in making their homes greener now can apply for a financing program through which certain energy improvement costs are paid through property tax bills.

For example, qualified homeowners who want to install solar panels or a more efficient heating and air conditioning system will be able to take out loans for their purchase, and repayments will be made over time through tax assessments.

Studies suggest that homes with such improvements tend to sell at higher prices.

Currently, the main program providing energy efficiency upgrades in California, based in West Riverside County, is called HERO. In addition, a statewide conglomerate called CaliforniaFIRST plans to start offering PACE programs in 170 cities across the state this summer.

The Board of Supervisors approved moving forward with establishing the HERO Program in 38 cities including Carson, Gardena, Inglewood, Lawndale and Hawthorne. The Board also expect recommendations by the end of summer on how to roll-out a Countywide PACE program.

“This program is good for property owners, it’s good for the economy and it’s good for the environment,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who sponsored the motion. “It is good news that Los Angeles County is moving forward with it.”

Statewide, nearly 13,000 residential assessments have been established and more than $260-million in residential improvements have been completed. In addition, the program has spurred 6,000 jobs.

In San Diego County for example, residential and commercial property owners from Carlsbad to Escondido to the county’s unincorporated areas have agreed to offer this incentive to improve environmental standards and encourage residents to reduce water usage and increase solar energy use.

Interested Los Angeles County residents can check with their city councils to see if they are eligible.