The Nebraska Energy Quarterly features questions asked about 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans. Loan forms may be obtained from participating lenders or the Energy Office.


Questions and Answers...

5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

Are these improvements eligible for a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan: repairing or replacing a roof, adding siding, or replacing exterior doors and windows on an eligible building?

The replacement of doors and windows with the same sized or smaller units is an eligible, pre-qualified project if the replacement units meet minimum energy efficiency standards, or if the project is supported by an energy audit, accepted by the Energy Office, which shows costs would be recovered by savings within 15 years.

Roofing and siding projects are not pre-qualified projects by themselves, but may be included as a part of a pre-qualified project for ceiling, attic or wall insulation.

If at least R-30 of insulation is being added to a ceiling or attic of a home or building and if the roof needs to be repaired or replaced to make sure the newly added insulation is not damaged by the elements, the roofing cost may be included.

If R-10 insulation is being added to frame wall or R-5 to a masonry wall, and new siding is being installed to protect the insulation from the elements, the siding cost may be included.

A project involving adding insulation in conjunction with roofing or siding and supported by an energy audit, accepted by the Energy Office, showing the cost of the project will be recovered by energy dollar savings in 15 years or less, would also be eligible for a loan.

Which application forms are needed to replace doors and windows or for projects in conjunction with adding insulation as pre-qualified projects?

All these projects require a completed Form 2, plus one other form:

Since the contractor signs the supplemental forms on roofing and siding with insulation and window and door projects, can the form serve as the contractor's bid?

Form 2 Roofing, Form 2 Siding, and Form 2 Window/Door supplement the information required on Form 2 and provide additional information about the project so the Energy Office can determine the eligibility of the project. Borrowers still must obtain a bid from the contractor for the work to be done to submit with the loan forms.

Recently, A borrower was told by a contractor that if windows were to be replaced in a home or building and financed with a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan, all the windows had to be replaced. Is that true?

No. There is no requirement that you replace all your windows at one time. Home or building owners may undertake any of a variety of energy efficiency improvements at any time they choose, provided they qualify for a loan to do the work through a participating lender.

There are borrower maximums in the loan program - for instance, $25,000 on a single family dwelling - but the borrower has the option to seek financing for the cost of whatever project, simple or very complex, he or she wants to do at one time.

If a cooling system breaks down during warm weather, can emergency approval be obtained to install a new system before the loan process has been completed?

If the cooling system breaks down any time during April through October, you can request emergency approval from the Energy Office through your lender to install qualifying equipment prior to the loan process being completed and the Energy Office committing funds to the project. However, your lender must provide the Energy Office with a written statement from your doctor verifying there is a medical reason the cooling system must be installed immediately and information on the system being installed.

In these situations, the Energy Office will review the request and notify the lender whether or not emergency approval has been granted, usually the same day. After Energy Office approval, the project may be undertaken and the loan paperwork submitted as soon as the system is installed.

If emergency approval to replace my cooling system has been received, may heating and water heating systems be replaced at the same time?

The Energy Office allows this, if all units meet the minimum standards and have been approved at the same time as the cooling system. It is usually easier and less expensive to install all of the systems at the same time, which saves borrowers' added expenses.

What types of buildings are eligible for energy efficiency improvements with a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan?

Any home or building constructed before 1995 and located in Nebraska would be eligible. This includes single family homes, multi-family and commercial buildings, and buildings used in an agricultural operation.

Return to the Spring 2000 Newsletter