In late February, the Energy Office added more than $660,000 to the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan fund. All but $200,000 of the funds will be used to finance improvements in existing buildings. The $200,000 will be added to the mortgage revolving fund that provides lower cost financing for new homes that meet stringent energy use guidelines. Since local lenders that offer the loans provide half the money for a loan, the $460,000 that was recently added will finance about $920,000 in energy efficiency improvements.
These new funds were part of a plan for use of a larger amount, $789,674, in oil overcharge funds that were submitted by the Governor to the Legislature for review.
Oil overcharge funds are received by the state as a result of various court actions against oil companies that overcharged their customers during the period of federal price controls form 1973 to 1981. States can only use the money, within parameters established by the courts, to fund energy assistance and conservation programs.
Under the plan, the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program operated by the Energy Office also received $117,214 for making energy saving improvements in homes of needy Nebraskans. Native American tribal governments in the state will also receive $5,223.