As of September 30, 2006: 23,030 loans for $184.1 million
Questions and Answers...
5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans
The Nebraska Energy Quarterly features questions asked about 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans.
Loan forms may be obtained from participating lenders, the Nebraska Energy Office, or the agency's web site by clicking on the “Loan Forms” button above.
Q:
What must be done to qualify for a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan when furnaces fail in the winter or are "red-tagged" as unsafe to operate? Changes Are Coming February 1st

The Energy Office has just completed an extensive revision of the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan Program's forms, project criteria and brochure. The effective date for all loan program changes is February 1, 2007.

These revisions were necessary to incorporate new standards for many projects to reflect changes in the state’s Energy Code, improved equipment technology and the inclusion of ENERGY STAR® as the standard for some pre-qualified projects. The program has also been expanded to include financing for items such as dehumidifiers, certain commercial appliance replacements, skylight replacements, heat or energy recovery ventilators and fireplace inserts as pre-qualified projects and for ENERGY STAR®-certified home electronics and office equipment. The maximum for ENERGY STAR®-certified equipment is $10,000 for home electronics and $25,000 for office equipment.

Newly-revised brochures detailing the types of improvements you can finance, borrower maximums, procedures for getting a loan, emergencies, getting a loan for other improvements or equipment, and loan particulars and incidental costs, along with new application forms for projects and technical analyses may be requested from the Energy Office. This information may also be found on the Energy Office's website. The new forms to apply for a loan to implement pre-qualified projects or conduct a technical analysis as well as the forms for a do-it-yourself technical analysis are also on the website.

If you have questions or need assistance in any way, you may contact the Energy Office at 402- 471-2867 or by email.
A:
In situations such as these, the lender needs to provide the Energy Office with an explanation of the emergency furnace problem and the specifics on the new equipment to be installed. As soon as this information is received from the lender, the Energy Office verifies the new equipment meets the requirements for a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan, then notifies the lender that the borrower may proceed with the replacement furnace. However, the lender still needs to submit all the applicable loan paperwork to obtain a commitment of Energy Office funds for the furnace. Replacement equipment must not be installed prior to the lender receiving notification from the Energy Office that the replacement equipment qualifies. Should the emergency situation arise when the Energy Office is closed, the replacement may be installed, but the lender needs to contact the Energy Office as soon as the office opens to verify the equipment that was installed meets loan criteria. Extreme caution should be used by lenders in these cases to make certain that equipment meeting Energy Office standards has been installed. Lenders also must be sure that the replacement was a justified emergency due to the equipment being "red-tagged:" emitting carbon monoxide or a cracked heat exchanger.
Q:
Who fills out the application forms for the Dollar and Energy Saving Loans?
A:
The forms were developed for the borrower to complete with information provided to them by their contractor. The contractor's bid needs to have sufficient enough detail to allow the borrower to fill out the application form completely and accurately. Contractors or lenders familiar with the program may be able to assist the borrower in completing the forms. The borrower also may contact Jody or Bruce in the Energy Office at 402-471-2867 with any questions they have on completing the application form. To obtain forms online, go to the Energy Office web site, select the type of improvements you want to make and print out the necessary forms needed.
Q:
I have a $12,500 energy loan for replacement windows from my local credit union. Is the interest that I pay on this loan tax deductible?
A:
The question you asked should be answered by your tax consultant. As far as our office knows, interest paid on a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan is not in and of itself deductible for federal or state income taxes. However, how the loan is secured may result in the interest paid on the loan being tax deductible. For instance, if the loan is secured by a residence or it is a business or agricultural operating expense, then the interest may be deductible. This determination needs to be made by the tax preparer reviewing the appropriate IRS or Nebraska Department of Revenue rules and regulations.
Q:
Are the low-interest loans for energy improvements available for multi-family housing in with as few as two or as many as seven units? What if some of the multi-family buildings are houses converted to apartments?
A:
Multi-family units are eligible for Dollar and Energy Saving Loans. For the purposes of the program, a multi-family unit is considered to be any building with two or more dwelling units. The maximum loan amount under the program for a multi-family unit is $75,000.
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