The Nebraska Energy Quarterly features questions asked about 6% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans. Loan forms may be obtained from participating lenders or the Energy Office.

Questions and Answers...

6% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

Rebuild Nebraska is a federal/state effort to recruit businesses and multi-family housing owners to voluntarily agree to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and reduce waste. The building and system improvements planned by Rebuild partners can be financed with Dollar and Energy Saving Loans. When can contracts for these projects be signed and the work begun on the improvements?

Rebuild Nebraska projects as well as Climate Wise projects being made by manufacturers may not be contracted for or undertaken prior to the Energy Office signing a Commitment Agreement for its share of the funds with the lender, if the improvements are being financed with a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan.

If the borrower begins the project before a Commitment is signed, the borrower will not be able to finance the improvement with a low interest loan.

If timelines prohibit the borrower from waiting until the Energy Office has signed a Commitment Agreement with the lender, the borrower should seek funding for the project with a conventional loan or through other community, state, or federal financing that may be available.

Besides Dollar and Energy Saving Loans, are there other ways for commercial and multi-family building owners and manufacturers to finance energy efficiency and waste minimization projects?

There are numerous financing options from self-financed to federal grants and loans available to building owners and manufacturers.

The Energy Office's Financing Your Improvements explores several basic ways of financing improvements and details 36 specific options currently available in Nebraska as well as contacts for more information. To obtain a copy of Financing Your Improvements, contact Jack Osterman in the Energy Office.

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?

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 and the replacement was a justified emergency the equipment was "red-tagged," emitting carbon monoxide or the heat exchanger was cracked that couldn't be postponed until the Office re-opened.