As of March 31, 2007: 23,516 loans for $188.8 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:
Can a hot tub be financed with a dollar and energy saving loan?
A:
A first time installation of a hot tub would not qualify since the loans are for replacements. To buy a new hot tub would represent an increase in an individualís energy use, not a reduction. hot tub

A replacement might qualify if an energy savings can be shown over the existing equipment. The borrower would need to complete Forms 32 & 33, Energy Saving Improvement Analysis and Energy Billing History. The instructions for these forms would be Steps to Obtain a Low-Interest Loan Using an Energy Saving Improvement Analysis. A hot tub replacement would be considered an "Other System" and would need to show a simple payback of 10 years or less as a result of the energy saved.

I can only think of two ways that a person could save energy with this type of system: a tub that has more insulation or a unit with a higher efficiency pump/motor. For the insulation to make a difference, the current unit would need to be an outdoor tub. The insulation would also need to be an integral part of the tub.

Whether or not these two would save sufficient energy to show a 10 year simple payback (payback without interest) is hard to say. Only by evaluating the actual situation and comparing the old equipment to the proposed equipment, and examining equipment use patterns. The borrower would need to submit engineering data for both the old and new systems for comparison, and a statement about the use patterns. The use patterns would then be compared to use patterns shown in the energy bills. Copies of energy bills are required in conjunction with the Energy Billing History. hot tub

There is a simple check that can be done before an Energy Analysis is started that may help decide: Find the cost of the new unit and divide by the simple payback years. That number is the dollar amount of energy that would need to saved each year to qualify for a loan. If the amount being spent is less than the amount needed to be saved, then the project would not qualify for a loan.

For example, if a new hot tub costs $3,000, dividing by 10 years — the maximum loan period — would mean that $300 a year would need to be saved. Since not all the energy currently used could be saved, a lot more than $300 would need to be spent for the current hot tub (the savings could only be some fraction of the total). If $325 a year is currently being spent on energy for the hot tub, it is not likely that $300 could be saved. On the other hand, if $1500 a year is being spent on energy for the hot tub, it is more likely that $300 could be saved from efficiency improvements.
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