June 22, 2017
Each year by the month of June, Paul and Rasha Cameau of Miami Shores are prepared for hurricane season. Fortunately, the couple’s home has avoided major storms in recent years. Back in 2005, however, their roof and windows were damaged by Hurricane Wilma—the most intense cyclone recorded in the western hemisphere until Hurricane Patricia hit in 2015.
It wasn’t until last year that the Cameaus’ roof began to leak. Faced with the news that they needed a replacement, which carried an $18,000 price tag, the South Florida residents began exploring their options. Rasha discovered Ygrene's PACE program, short for property assessed clean energy.
The financing option enables property owners to leverage the equity in their home to finance energy efficiency, hurricane protection and renewable energy upgrades for no up-front costs. Homeowners then pay for their project over time, as a line item on their annual property tax bill.
A ‘Lifeline’ for Property Owners
Gables Roofing, a Ygrene-certified contractor based out of Miami, replaced the Cameaus’ roof. "With so much rain coming down in South Florida lately, we are glad we can provide great service to our customers and a great way to pay for their much-needed roof repairs and replacements,” said Isamel Ramos of Gables Roofing.
He pointed out that PACE providers, such as Ygrene, offer a unique service to property owners who can’t access traditional financing to make home upgrades that are so essential in the area they live. “Ygrene has been a lifeline for a lot of property owners who would have not been able to pay for these improvements so close to hurricane season,” Isamel added.
Initially interested in financing a new roof, the Cameaus discovered they could also replace their windows and doors and install a high-efficiency HVAC unit. They even decided to install a solar tube in the roof to provide natural lighting in their living room and reducing the need for electric lighting.
Reducing Insurance Premiums While Saving Energy
The combination of the couple’s energy bill savings and the reduction of their insurance premiums is comparable to the cost of their total upgrades. Even better, they’ll pay for the improvements over a 20-year span. “Living in this hurricane-prone region makes home insurance expensive,” said Paul Cameau. “Ygrene’s financing made protecting our home with new impact windows and doors and a new roof affordable. Now our house is protected, and we are saving $3,700 in insurance premiums every year.”
Since spring of 2016, electricity prices in Miami Shores have increased about 5 percent, from 11.24 cents per kilowatt-hour to 11.76 c/kWh this year. The Cameaus had a different experience with their power bills after their upgrades were installed in 2015. “Our energy bills went down $100 every month since we changed our AC,” Paul said. “With all of this, our improvements are paying for themselves.”
Visit Ygrene to see how you can create a storm-resistant home and save energy, like the Cameaus.