SPRINGFIELD,Mo--There's a new way for you to pay for improvements to your house and save money on your utility bills at the same time.
Homeowners now have access to an energy efficiency loan program called the HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy Program - or PACE.
With the addition of Greene County and the cities of Nixa and Ozark in Christian County, one third of all Missourians now have access to the HERO program. It's basically a loan added to your tax bill and you have 20 years to pay it off.
The HERO program provides an option to homeowners to choose more efficient improvements.
Jeff Barber is a Housing and Environmental Design Specialist with the University of Missouri Extension and tells KOLR10 ,"Some of these measures can have a substantial savings which once those savings are realized can be diverted in and used to pay for the this special assessment on the property tax."
And by stimulating home renovation activity, Barber says the program lowers utility bills and enhances comfort in the home.
"You're going to be spending money, but now what you're doing investing money in your property rather than just simply paying for heat to go up the chimney or water to go down the drain."
This program funds up to a 100% of the home improvement.
"Give people the tools to make spending or to do spending is going to overall invest in their greatest asset which in this case is probably their home."
Mike Rankin is a homeowner in Springfield and is looking into to the program while he renovates.
"The utility bills never come down year after year so when you look at investments it's not now, it's about the incremental cost over a number of years," explains Rankin.
He's hoping the upgrades will cut his utility bill in half.
"We had a couple of big homes and we experienced the big bills so when we go in to renovate a home we actually look at the efficiency of a home to."
But Barber says if nothing is done to improve your home. "They're going to continue to pay high utility bills. What this allows them to do is through conservation, efficiency, and potentially renewable energy is to reduce those bills, save money, and then divert those funds instead of just simply paying utility bills, into investing in their property."
It's also good for contractors who do the labor.
"It's a house by house, business by business endeavor to save this energy to save this money and ultimately reinvest locally."
Barber says Branson will soon be offering the HERO program by this summer.
Homeowners interested in applying for HERO financing or want to learn more can Click Here
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