Loans Since 1990:  14,421 for $100.9 million

6% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans                    
120 Days to Complete a Project

What is the length of completion time allowed for improvements financed with Dollar and Energy Saving Loans?

Under loan guidelines, projects must be completed within 120 days after the Energy Office has signed a loan commitment agreement with the lender. The certifications on the application also contain this provision.

What happens if a project is not completed within 120 days?

Borrowers should notify their lender if a project is not completed by the deadline and the reason for the delay. Borrowers should also inform the lender by what date the project will be finished. In turn, the lender should supply written notice to the Energy Office of the delay, why the delay happened and when the project will be completed. If the reason for the project's delay is beyond the control of the borrower, an extension is typically issued.

A borrower insists that his or her project cannot be completed within 120 days. How should this be handled?

With proper planning and scheduling, the overwhelming majority of projects can be completed within four months. However, if a borrower maintains the project will take longer, then the improvement should be financed another way, not with a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan. In the past, some borrowers believed loan funds might not be available when they wanted to begin their project, so loans were processed many months before a project was even scheduled to begin. "Temporary unavailability" of loan funds has not occurred since 1997, so this rationale is no longer applicable.

Nearly 1 in 10 Projects Inspected

Should borrowers plan for their project to be inspected by the lender or the Energy Office?

Yes. Lenders have two options for verification of the project: an on-site physical inspection (for which a fee can be
charged) and by obtaining proof of purchase documentation from the borrower. Borrowers are encouraged to read the loan application before signing it. One of the certifications requiring a signature informs the borrower the Energy Office and the lender may review at any time the improvement to the property and any records associated with the project. Typically, Energy Office staff inspects nearly one of every ten projects.

A borrower has refused to allow the lender or Energy Office staff access to the property for an inspection. What will be done in this case?

The loan application signed by the borrower gives both the lender and the Energy Office the power to perform an on-site inspection. Refusal by a borrower to allow for an inspection will result in a request to pay off the loan balance immediately. If a borrower is unwilling to allow such an inspection of the property, he or she should find other ways to finance their planned improvements. Inspections are performed to verify to state and federal officials that Dollar and Energy Saving Loans are being used only the purposes for which these funds were intended.

Changing Minds and Projects

What if a project or equipment is changed after the Energy Office approves financing the improvement?

The borrower should notify the lender of any changes in a project before changes are made. The lender is then responsible to immediately notify the Energy Office. Staff in the Energy Office must verify that any changes being made are still eligible for financing. Failure to notify the lender, or the lender to notify the Energy Office, prior to the changes being made will result in the borrower being asked to provide detailed documentation of the changes and costs. If the Energy Office finds the changes cannot be financed by the agency, the borrower will have two choices: make further changes
to the project so that it can be financed or repay the cost of the ineligible improvements.

Buying a Home on a Limited Income

Can the Energy Office provide any financing to limited income Nebraskans who may want to purchase a home and make it more energy efficient?

The Energy Office does offer a Weatherization Assistance Program Mortgage Loan Supplement which can provide some financing for those Nebraskans with incomes of $12,075 to $41,475 for a household of one to eight, respectively.

Income Guidelines

Household Minimum Size                 Annual Income

1                                              $12,075

2                                              $16,275

3                                              $20,475

4                                              $24,675

5                                              $28,875

6                                              $33,075

7                                              $37,275

8                                              $41,475

For each additional household member add $4,200. Households containing a member who receives either Aid to Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income are automatically eligible to participate.

With the supplement, the prospective new homeowner can install energy efficiency improvements such as attic and wall insulation, replacement furnaces, caulking and weatherstripping identified in a home energy audit. While the cost of the improvements are added to the overall mortgage amount of the house, the Energy Office purchases a sufficient amount of the mortgage from the lender at zero interest to allow the borrower's monthly payment to remain unchanged. For more information about the mortgage supplement, contact Pete Davis in the Energy Office.

Return to the Winter 1999 Newsletter