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Smart home energy financing

CaliforniaFIRST

Financing California homeowners trust

Thousands of California homeowners have chosen Renew Financial’s $0 down financing to make their home improvements possible. With fast approvals and fixed rates, it’s the smart choice to make your home more energy or water efficient.

We only finance high quality products that meet state and national standards for energy efficiency, so with Renew Financial, you know you’re getting quality products for your home. We’ll help you afford to upgrade your furnace, go solar, replace your roof, get a tankless water heater, and more, with government-approved PACE financing.

Why choose CaliforniaFIRST?

  • 100% financing with no upfront out-of-pocket costs
  • Fast in-home approvals
  • Borrow up to 15% of property value
  • Flexible repayment terms: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
  • Balance may transfer to new owner upon sale, subject to lender approval

Quick and easy process

  • Select a Renew Financial Registered Contractor who will help you through the process every step of the way.
  • Apply online or by phone at 844-589-7953. Approvals can happen in minutes!
  • Sign financing documents electronically. No need to go to the bank.
  • Your contractor will install your energy or water efficiency improvements.
  • We will pay your contractor directly once you are fully satisfied that the work is done.
  • Repay the financed amount on your property taxes. No separate bill to remember!
 

Eligible Projects

Water Efficiency

Reduce your home's water usage with efficient indoor plumbing, beautify your property with drought tolerant landscaping, and more.  

Renewable Energy

Generate your own electricity with a solar or wind system, heat your pool with a solar hot water heater, charge your electric vehicle, and more. 

Energy Efficiency

Upgrade to a new heating and cooling system, install new windows and doors, insulate your home, and more.

See All Projects (694.15 KB)

Testimonials

  • I knew that I needed to get a new hot water heater, and I said, If I'm gonna get a new hot water heater, I'm gonna get an energy-efficient tankless water heater. It's outside the house, it's not taking up a big chunk of space in the back hall. Nice, attractive small unit, but most importantly, it's more energy efficient.

    Larry Chaset, Alameda County
  • My husband is retired, and I'm working mainly as volunteer; we didn't want to tie up our cash flow, so CaliforniaFIRST was a very good choice.

    Kyoko Takayama, Alameda County
  • One really important benefit of the program was the increase in our property value, and, of course, the savings on a monthly basis on our energy bill. It really was one of those win-win situations.

    Glen Barnhill, San Mateo County
  • You have no idea what this house felt like. During the winter, it was freezing. We had to huddle in one part of the house. It was just horrible before, and now, we are--it's like heaven.

    Linda Rich, San Mateo County
  • After the renovation, our house is now at a very stable temperature. We don't even hear if the furnace comes on. We are using less gas, not producing too much carbon dioxide. It's just amazing.

    Kyoko Takayama, Alameda County
  • I like that the assessment was done on the home itself, the ease of the application process, the fact that it was able to be done online and electronically signed. I didn't have to have anything mailed or go in in person. I think that was very easy.

    Anjurle Duchaussee , Solano County
  • We installed a central heating system. We also insulated underneath the house, and it's made a tremendous difference in the comfort and cost of heating the house.

    Glen Barnhill, San Mateo County
  • The benefits of this renovation have really impacted our life. We've always loved our home, but we really love it now.

    Linda Rich, San Mateo County
  • Our house was built in 1927, and before the renovation, temperature in the house fluctuated a lot. After the renovation, our house is now at a very stable temperature. We don't even hear if the furnace comes on. We are using less gas, not producing too much carbon dioxide. It's just amazing.

    Kyoko Takayama, Alameda County
  • Our home is more comfortable now because the plumbing system works better.

    Gretchen Dumas, Alameda County
  • My home is more comfortable now with all of those renovations being done. It's not too cold now in the winter, it's not too hot in the summer, it's just right.

    Anjurle Duchaussee , Solano County
  • The thing I liked best about the CaliforniaFIRST program was that it was about as easy as it could be. Press the button on the computer, and by the time the call was over, they said, You're approved. That's the kind of people I like to do business with. 

    Larry Chaset, Alameda County
  • One of the best parts of this project for us was the financing through CaliforniaFIRST. It was very easy for us to do the paperwork, and we were quickly given an answer and told that we were qualified for it.

    Glen Barnhill, San Mateo County
  • We're retired, and as a result, we live on a fixed income. With CaliforniaFIRST financing, we were able to put it on our tax bill. In our case, we pay it twice a year, and that enabled us to pay for the cost of the improvements.

    Glen Barnhill, San Mateo County

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FAQ

How do I know if my city or county is participating in CaliforniaFIRST?

CaliforniaFIRST is currently available in more than 40 counties, with 330+ participating local governments (cities and unincorporated county areas) located throughout California. See the list of all participating jurisdictions.

CaliforniaFIRST may only accept financing applications from property owners located in jurisdictions that have opted in to the program. Local governments around the state can join CaliforniaFIRST by passing a simple “opt-in” resolution. See our For Governments page for more information. 

What are the benefits of CaliforniaFIRST?

CaliforniaFIRST solves many of the financial hurdles facing property owners wanting to install energy and water improvements:

  • Competitive, fixed interest rates
  • Up to a 25-year payback term
  • Projects may result in decreased utility bills from reduced electricity and water usage
  • Qualifying for financing is not based on personal credit scores
  • The PACE lien payment obligation may transfer to the new owner if the property is sold
Can CaliforniaFIRST finance solar leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)?

Yes, certain pre-paid solar leases and PPAs can be financed through CaliforniaFIRST, except in LA County. Please call for more information.

Do I need to complete an energy audit of my home to qualify?

No, but it is encouraged. In certain cases, a property owner may want to have a qualified auditor evaluate his or her home to determine the most cost-effective measures to reduce the home's energy use. The costs of an energy assessment also can be financed with your loan.

How are tax credits, rebates, and other incentives incorporated into CaliforniaFIRST financing?

Property owners are encouraged to pursue available Federal Investment Tax Credits (ITCs), utility rebates, and any other incentives. All or a portion of total incentives may be subtracted from the amount financed under the program; however, it is not required that the financed amount be reduced by the estimated value of the incentives.

Once property owners receive their rebates and tax credits, those funds may be used to pay down the PACE assessment balance; the balance would then be re-amortized, resulting in lower annual PACE assessment payments.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

CaliforniaFIRST staff are available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday to answer additional questions by email or by phone at 844-589-7953.

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