OAKLAND and SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — Homeowners in San Bernardino County will now be able to make cost-saving, environmentally friendly upgrades after the county’s Board of Supervisors voted last week to opt in to the CaliforniaFIRST program.

CaliforniaFIRST is Renew Financial’s flagship PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing program and is geared toward residential and commercial properties.

More than 200 cities and counties across California have adopted the program and now property owners in San Bernardino County can immediately take advantage of this affordable and easy process to finance energy efficient and water conservation upgrades.

CaliforniaFIRST makes energy and water efficiency projects more accessible for California homeowners by providing project financing that is then paid back as a line item on their annual property tax bill.

The program allows homeowners to choose a participating contractor and install an array of custom-tailored clean energy and water efficiency projects.

“We are committed to providing California homeowners with a simple way to finance energy- and water-efficiency upgrades, improving their properties while saving energy, water and money,” said Cisco DeVries, CEO of Renew Financial, the administrator of CaliforniaFIRST. “PACE is responsible for thousands of home improvements across the state that have resulted in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. We are thrilled to expand to new areas and provide more Californians the opportunity to save money and improve the value of their homes.”

About CaliforniaFIRST
The CaliforniaFIRST Program is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for residential and commercial properties. Administered by Renew Financial, a national clean energy finance company, CaliforniaFIRST allows property owners to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on homes or businesses through the issuance of a municipal bond, which can then be paid back as a line item on their property tax bill. CaliforniaFIRST financing doesn’t rely on a credit score and does not require any money down, opening the program to a wide range of Californians.

About Renew Financial
Renew Financial was founded in 2008 by Cisco DeVries, who originated the idea of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing model. Endorsed by President Obama and named by Scientific American as one of the top 20 ideas that can change the world, PACE enables property owners to finance the entire cost of energy and water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their homes and businesses, and then repay those costs on their property tax bill. Renew Financial has a partnership with SolarCity targeted at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) utilizing PACE, and PACE is also a central component of a major White House clean energy and energy efficiency initiative unveiled in August 2015. Renew Financial recently acquired AFC First Financial Corporation, a residential energy efficiency lender based in Allentown, PA., and EcoCity Partners, which administers PACE programs in Florida. Renew Financial’s other financing products including the Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL), which opens the residential energy efficiency finance market to large institutional investors.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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