Last DSIRE Review: 01/23/2013
||State Loan Program
|Eligible Efficiency Technologies:
||Clothes Washers, Dishwasher, Refrigerators, Dehumidifiers, Ceiling Fan, Equipment Insulation, Water Heaters, Lighting, Lighting Controls/Sensors, Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Central Air conditioners, Heat recovery, Programmable Thermostats, Caulking/Weather-stripping, Duct/Air sealing, Building Insulation, Windows, Roofs, Custom/Others pending approval, Whole House Fans, Personal Computing Equipment, Tankless Water Heaters, Combined Water and Space, Heaters, Hot Water Flow Restrictors, Automatic Flue or Vent Dampers, Intermittent Ignition Devices, Telecommunications, Skylights
|Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
||Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Municipal Solid Waste, Pollution Prevention
||Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Local Government, Multi-Family Residential, Agricultural, Institutional, Energy Star Partners
|Maximum Incentive:||Traditional Dollar and Energy Savings Loans:|
Multifamily dwellings with 3 or more units: $250,000
Home Electronics: $25,000;
Office Equipment: $50,000
Wind, PV, Fuel Cells: $125,000
Solar Water Heaters: $14,000
New Home Construction: $417,000
Case-by-Case Basis Loans
|Terms:||Effective interest rate varies between 2.5% and 5% depending on the technology and the origin of the funds. |
Payback term ranges between 5 and 15 years.
|Funding Source:||Oil Overcharge Funds; miscellaneous state, public power district, and federal funds|
The Dollar and Energy Savings Loan program makes available low interest loans for residential and commercial energy efficiency improvements. The Nebraska Energy Office administers this program, which applies mainly to energy efficiency improvements. However, renewable energy projects are eligible under one of two criteria. A project may be eligible if it is included in a list of "pre-qualified improvements." This list includes a variety of energy efficiency measures as well as the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles. Pre-qualified improvements have minimum efficiency standards which are listed on their respective forms. Projects not listed as pre-qualified improvements may be eligible with the submission of an energy audit that verifies that the project will have a reasonable payback period (varies by improvement type).
Much of this program’s success is due to the leveraging of State Energy Office funds through collaboration with individual Nebraska banks, savings institutions, and credit unions. Those seeking a loan under this program first approach their own financial institution, which approves the project on financial terms before contacting the State Energy Office for its approval. The State Energy Office then purchases either 50%, 65% or 75% of the loan at 0% to deliver an interest rate of 5%, 3.5% or 2.5%, respectively, to the borrower. All qualifying work should be completed within 5 months of Energy Office's commitment of funds to invest in lender's fund. To date the State Energy Office's investment of $11.1 million from its revolving fund has leveraged $218.5 million in loans through eligible Nebraska lenders.
Though they are eligible, loans for renewable energy projects have not previously been widely sought and only a handful of renewable energy projects have been funded to date. It is felt that the program has potential benefits for renewables in Nebraska as well as other states where this structure could be replicated.
The Nebraska Dollar and Energy Savings Loan program was created in 1990 using oil overcharge funds. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government awarded close to $31 million to Nebraska's State Energy Program in 2009. The Nebraska Energy Office routed $11 million of the total to the Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program in 2010 to finance additional 2.5% loans for commercial and industrial sector building improvements, including K-12 schools. The $11 million in ARRA funds were used to finance projects and repayments will flow back into the loan program and be used to finance new projects in the future, in accordance with ARRA requirements.