Ygrene vs. HERO: Know Your Home Energy Efficiency Financing Programs

ygrene vs HEROBack when I was a kid, my buddies and I used to have these long arguments about which superheroes could beat which other superheroes in a fight, as if the answers were the most important things in the world. We’d go on and on and on about things like whether Batman was smarter than Iron Man, or whether The Flash could beat Superman in a race—and you know what we figured out for all our efforts? Absolutely nothing, besides that talking about superheroes was a whole lot of fun.

Years later, now that I’m looking back on those days, I realize that there was never going to be a right answer, that we were just discussing what made our favorite characters different from one another. That actually made me think of a situation I deal with now in my professional life: the differences between the various home energy efficiency upgrade financing options that are available to residents of the great state of California, including, most prominently, the Ygrene vs. HERO financing options.

These are two similar programs, to be sure, but they’re both rising in popularity among Sacramento homeowners, flying in like Superman to save the day and help them make affordable upgrades to their houses on everything from windows to heating and cooling tech.

In order to determine which of them is the better choice for you, though, you need to know as much about each as you can. That’s what I’m here to talk about today: Ygrene vs. HERO financing, and the similarities and differences between the two.

Ygrene vs. HERO: The 411 on Each Financing Program

I’ve talked about the best California HVAC and energy efficiency financing options in the past. But, I think it’s worth a brief refresher on each before we dive into the question of Ygrene vs. HERO.


HERO is a local government-approved program that offers up to 100% financing to homeowners looking to make water and energy-efficient home renovations, from installing solar panels to new HVAC systems.


Offering 100% financing with no money down, Ygrene is a great program for homeowners looking to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. The best part is that the balance gets tacked on to your property tax, so paying back the loan is super simple.

Now that we know the basics, we can dive into the similarities and differences between each of them.

Ygrene vs. HERO: The Similarities

The simple truth is, there are far more similarities between the Ygrene and HERO programs than there are differences, including:

comparing ygrene vs HERO energy efficiency financing programs

  • What the programs cover: The upgrades that these two programs cover are essentially the same, featuring a long list of energy efficiency upgrades such as insulation, better windows, ductwork, more modern heating and cooling choices, and even some upgrades related to water conservancy and storm protection. There really isn’t much (if any) variation between the home upgrades the two programs cover.
  • How the programs work: Both of these programs offer homeowners 100 percent financing with no money down, which, as you’d expect, is part of what makes them so appealing to most folks. They both have no-payment periods early on, and when you do start paying them back, you pay them back through your property taxes. And if you happen to move before paying back either of these loans, they both get transferred to the new homeowner.
  • Where these programs are available: Fortunately for us, both of these programs are available in Sacramento, as well as in many of the surrounding communities. To get an exact idea of where, I recommend working with a trained HVAC professional who can help you make sure that where you live is covered by one or both programs.

Ygrene vs. HERO: The Differences

Given that there are so many major similarities between these two programs, the actual differences are somewhat minor. They are, after all, two of the best home energy efficiency incentive programs in California, so it stands to reason that they’d share a good deal in common, and, indeed, they do. But there are some differences that might make one or the other a better choice for you.

The right HVAC professional will have all kinds of experience working with both programs, enough to seamlessly guide you through either program from the moment you pick out the home upgrade project you’d like to make, until you have the work completed.

Really, the differences largely come down to minor logistical nuances, like having different online applications. Not to sound like a broken record, but this is where bringing in an experienced contractor and energy efficiency expert early in the process can really help. The right HVAC professional will have all kinds of experience working with both programs, enough to seamlessly guide you through either program from the moment you pick out the home upgrade project you’d like to make, until you have the work completed. That’s why I highly recommend that your first order of business should be finding the right professional partner to help guide you.

I think the major takeaway here today is that, on the surface, these programs might seem identical, but a trained HVAC professional can help guide you through the subtle differences and nuances of their application processes—and help make sure you pick out the exact program that’s right for you. I just can’t stress enough how important finding the right experienced partner is.

Here at Bell Brothers, we’ve been working with both programs since they first came to Northern California, helping homeowners just like you find the right upgrades and financing to make their homes as energy efficient as possible, saving them money on their monthly utility costs in the process. If any or all of that sounds good to you, I highly recommend giving us a call today. Our trained HVAC and energy efficiency pros would love to help!

At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would be happy to help you make your home more energy-efficient by helping you pick between programs like Ygrene and HERO, as well as any of the others available here in California. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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