By: Maria M. Hernandez, Floridaleedap@gmail.com
The PACE financing program is starting to gain momentum since it was adopted in Broward County in 2016; now more people are informed and are taking advantage of this innovative way of financing to improve the efficiency, resiliency and comfort of their properties without worrying about the upfront cost or strict approval financing requirements.
As a PACE certified contractor, I have witnessed the great benefits behind this excellent program; residential and commercial building owners are been able to transform their properties up to the latest codes, making it more resilient while reducing their properties insurance cost and increasing property value. At the same time, this program is helping the local economy: creating more jobs; opening doors of opportunities to contractors and subcontractors in the area. Now, with this program the homeowners will have peace of mind about the professional that is installing the new improvement, since this program requires the contractors to be licensed, insured and requires the permits by the City.
As a Green building, professional, I have witnessed the “Green” side of this program, not just because the homeowner is saving money but because they are reducing their carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption. One of the easiest ways to fight climate change is to start in our own homes by transforming our properties and making it more energy efficient. The results will reduce pollution while creating healthier environments. A positive impact with triple bottom line: Economy, People and Planet.
The rain and Hurricane season just is around the corner, is your property safe? If not, now is the right time to fortify your property. Here, I will emphasize in two mitigation projects that will protect your life, your assets and will offer you savings while protecting the environment. Using the PACE program, will allow you to do the projects now with 0 down payment, 100% Financed and you will have until 2018 for the first payment. In some cases, the payment is offset by the savings produces by the new technology. So, let’s get ready:
OLD ROOF RETROFIT: Now is the time to replace your old leaky roof to improve safety, protect your property from water damage and structural compromise. When re-roofing, it is important to consider other upgrades like adding a second water barrier that will give you more discount in your insurance premium. Also, this is the moment to strengthen the roof deck attachment and install hurricane straps which can help keep a home’s roof from blowing off. By implementing these techniques, you will lower your Insurance premium considerably, since 20% to 70% of your insurance could be going toward wind related damage risk.
A new roof also improves energy efficiency and increases property value. Your best investment will be in the installation of a high reflectance or cool roof, because it will reflect sunlight and heat away from a building reducing up to 15% of annual air conditioning energy cost. Also, reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions improving human health. Another implementation when installing a new roof could be the installation of day-lighting systems to bring natural lighting in dark rooms to save energy and with the integration of solar in the system, you will earn 30% tax credit.
OLD WINDOWS AND DOORS: The PACE program also, can help you to pay for the installation of hurricane shutters. By protecting the openings, you will receive a reduction in your property insurance. You also have the option to install hurricane impact windows and doors including the garage door to obtain the savings and more important to keep your family safe during the hurricane season.
The best option replacing a single pane window is to invest in the high-performance windows, also financed by the program. By installing Energy Star windows and doors, you will have a better protection and will shrink energy bill and carbon footprint at the same time. You will save 15% to 25% in energy bill, 32% to 43% in property insurance, also, you will save 1,006–6,205 pounds of CO2 which is equivalent to 51 to 317 gallons of gasoline a year. These windows are the best investment to increase your property value.
I believe the PACE program is more than just a financial tool to help property owners; it is the pathway for buildings transformation across the Nation and the accelerator to unleash the power of renewable energy in the SUNSHINE State.
For more information about the program or to retrofit your property with the PACE program, please, send an email to: Floridaleeap@gmail.com H & H Design and Construction. Maria M. Hernandez, is a certified Building Analyst CGC #1515987 and certified LEED AP- PACE Program.