Job Generator – Orange County Register

Clean energy jobs top 3 million in U.S., and HERO Program is a big driver

We Care Plumbing, Heating, Air and Solar, with offices in Murrieta and Orange, was one of the first contractors to sign up with Renovate America’s HERO Program when HERO launched in 2011.

Coming at a time when the housing market still was struggling to claw its way out of the recession of 2008, HERO not only had a big impact on homeowners, but also the economy, We Care officials say.

“HERO, as far as I’m concerned, was a major boom to the local economy,” says Larry Burg, Marketing Coordinator at We Care. “It put a lot of people back to work.”

Burg’s remarks come on the heels of a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy that shows that nationally, more than 3 million people now work for clean energy. These employees range from people who make homes, appliances and other products more energy efficient to specialists in advanced grid technologies and clean-power generation.

The 3 million number is based on 2016 data released in late February by the DOE in its second-annual “U.S. Energy and Employment Report.”

Since its inception in 2011, HERO has financed $2.25 billion in home energy and efficiency improvements in more than 92,800 homes. A total of 446 communities within 49 of California’s 58 counties have adopted HERO.

With HERO, homeowners can avoid any upfront costs by taking advantage of financing that requires no money down. And homeowners can pay for projects over periods of several years depending on the useful life of the product via voluntary assessments on their property tax bills.

“HERO gave homeowners the opportunity to make upgrades to their homes at a time when the mortgage banking industry still was upside down,” Burg says.

Innovative HERO financing has generated many new clients for We Care, founded in 2000 by Rusty Cochran and now serving all of the Inland Empire and Orange County, most of San Diego County and parts of Los Angeles County.

“The…

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