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

Are low-interest loans always available to finance improvements?

To date, the state of Nebraska has invested $20 million more than 40 percent of all the oil overcharge funds received in low-interest loans for energy saving improvements.

This $20 million continually revolves. Borrowers send loan payments to their lenders, who in turn, submit a portion of those payments to the Energy Office, usually quarterly. The repayments to the Energy Office are then invested in loans to new borrowers.

If the $20 million did not revolve, the Energy Office would not have been able to finance $85 million in improvements in the past seven years.

Strong demand for these loans, especially in the spring and fall, can create periods when the Energy Office has no money for new loans. Generally, these periods are temporary and clear up in fewer than 30 days.

Unfortunately, during these periods, loan applicants cannot proceed with their improvement projects. If the loan applicant cannot wait, the project must be financed with a conventional loan or with the applicant's own funds. The only exceptions to this policy are for emergency approval for a furnace replacement during the winter or an air conditioner installation for medical reasons during the summer.

Can Nebraska businesses that have more than 25 employees or more than $2.5 million in annual sales obtain a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan?

Some businesses previously unable to obtain these loans may now do so. Manufacturers can become Climate Wise partners. Climate Wise is a voluntary local/state/federal effort to reduce energy use and prevent pollution. Other types of businesses can become Rebuild Nebraska partners. Both types of partners can obtain Dollar and Energy Saving Loans for energy efficiency and waste reduction projects after an agreement and plan have been submitted.

Can Dollar and Energy Saving Loans finance siding and roof repairs on homes?

Neither siding or roofs on homes, in themselves, can be financed with the Energy Office's loans. However, either of these improvements can be included in an insulation project if a required level of insulation is added to the wall (for siding) or the attic (for a roof).

If R-10 or more insulation is being added to an exterior wall and the siding is necessary to protect the insulation from weather damage, then siding can be included with the insulation project.

If R-30 or more insulation is being added to a ceiling or attic and the existing roof needs to be repaired or replaced to protect the new insulation, then the roofing costs can be included with the insulation project. If the roof is not currently leaking, then the roofing project cannot be financed by the Energy Office. Any insurance payments received by the borrower for roof repairs must be deducted from the cost of the project.

If only insulation is being added to a building, then just Form 2 needs to be completed. If a siding or roofing project is included, then Form 2 plus Form 2 Siding or Form 2 Roofing must be submitted.