From Alda to Wilber... Twenty teams of Nebraska elementary,
middle and high school teachers will receive grants of up to
$2,500 to create innovative energy-related projects in their
math and science classrooms.
Plants and Crops to Star in New Roles in the Future
In the next few years, could the state's Energy Office
help irrigators, environmentalists and power companies
reach the water use goals that are an essential part
of the Kingsley Dam relicensing? Or possibly help others
in parts of the state such as the Republican River Valley
where water use is or may become restricted?
Such a scenario could easily happen because of an obscure
change in one of the many programs operated by the federal
Department of Energy.
Five Become Seven
For the past several years, the federal energy department
has spent millions of dollars to finance research and
improvements in what the agency called, "Industries
of the Future." The industries were limited to just
five aluminum, chemical, glass, metal and steel. The
goal of the multi-year effort is to reduce energy
costs and prevent pollution through the development
of improved industry-specific technology.
Currently, these industries of the future use more than
80 percent of the energy consumed by industry and produce
90 percent of the waste by all industries in the United States.
In January of this year, the list of industries was
broadened to include forests and agriculture, under
the banner of "plant/crop-based renewable resources."
Earlier this year, the Energy Department awarded nearly
$2.5 million for future industrial projects in 17 states.
Millions of dollars of additional research funding is
invested separately in specific industry competitive grants.
The approaches used in Industries of the Future partnerships
bring national energy laboratories and educational institutions
together with industries to advance technological techniques
and develop new ways to use resources more efficiently.
Agricultural scientists and farmers are developing new
ways to improve methods to save water, soil, money and
energy. For example, a large expense for farmers in Nebraska
is irrigation and the energy needed to power it.
One of the goals of this effort is to replace fossil fuels
with plants as the main chemical building blocks to meet the
needs of society. Corn could become just such a building
block of the future. According to researchers, there is more
carbon in a barrel of corn than in a barrel of oil. But
today, we cannot technologically tap into the corn carbon
as we do with the carbon in oil.
In September, more than 100 scientists and others including
Nebraska Energy Director Bob Harris got together to chart the
near-term direction of plant research so the goal to unlock
carbon in plants could be achieved. The group hopes that
within 20 years, ten percent of all petroleum-based chemicals
will come from plants, and that by 2050, half of the chemicals
used will come from plants. Today, chemicals from plants
replace only two percent of fossil fuels used for these
Achieving these goals could utilize from one to five
billion bushels of corn annually. According to a September
forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the 1998
corn harvest is estimated at 9.738 billion bushels. If the
Industry of the Future 20-year goal becomes reality and
corn harvests remain unchanged, about ten percent of the
nation's corn production could be diverted for use as
Projects in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska
Farmers are saving money by increasing energy efficiency and
converting or replacing irrigation systems and water pumps.
Irrigation systems with energy efficient pumps
also save water by lowering evaporation and runoff
by watering crops only as much as needed and providing
the water with less wasted energy. Converted pumps run
at 80-90% energy efficiency and substantially lower
Surging to Savings
Another money and energy saver for agriculture is
surge irrigation. This type of irrigation sends
controlled pulses of irrigation water down the
crop furrows. In one project currently underway,
the controlled pulses are created by using inexpensive
photocells. These photocells allow for surges of water
to be alternated between sets of furrows and at alternate
Previous studies by universities in Utah, Texas and
Colorado found water use from surge irrigation can be
reduced by 12 to 50 percent. An additional advantage
is surge irrigation has significant cost savings over
installing a new low-energy precision application
system. According to a Texas A&M study, a surge system
cost $48.83 per acre while a new low-energy precision
application system was $238.72 per acre.
The Nebraska Cooperative Extension Service estimates
furrow irrigation is used on more than half the acres
in the state. While some farmers are switching from
furrow irrigation to center pivots to reduce labor
and improve performance, surge irrigation might be a
better option for some farmers. The water savings from
surge irrigation result in reduced pumping costs.
Studies have indicated that for each inch of water
saved, pumping cost savings may exceed $150 for a
quarter section of a crop. Surge irrigation has other
advantages as well elimination of tailwater and reduced
leeching of pesticides and fertilizers. The use of
photocells in the three-state project might increase
even those substantial savings.
For more information about Industries of the Future
or the agricultural projects across the nation,
contact Doug Faulkner, phone 202-586-2119,
Information about the irrigation projects that
are underway in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska can
be obtained from Conrad Bauer, Energy
Conservation for Colorado Agriculture, phone
970-332-3173; Bob Zebroski, Colorado
State Soil Conservation Service, 1313 Sherman
Street, Room 219, Denver, Colorado 80203,
phone 303-866-3351; or Ron Scheier,
High Plains Pilot Project, 210 West 10th,
Goodland, Kansas 67735.
For information about irrigation system options
in Nebraska, contact Laverne Stetson at
402-472-2945 or Paul Jasa at 402-472-6715.
According to a 1996 survey by the Nebraska Department
of Agriculture, 8.1 million acres of cropland are
irrigated in the state. Nebraska ranks second nationally
after California in the number of acres of irrigated land.
According to the University of Nebraska's Institute for
Agriculture and Natural Resources, corn is grown on about
70 percent of the irrigated acres.
Merrick County had the most irrigation wells, 4,273,
in 1997. In land area, Hamilton County has the most
acres under irrigation, 272,000, followed closely by
Dawson County with 268,000 acres and York County with
Historically, Nebraska irrigators relied on electricity
and diesel fuel to power more than 60 percent of the
irrigation systems. The balance of the systems are
fueled by natural gas, propane and gasoline.
In the past eight years, the Energy Office has financed
more than $5 million for 319 energy efficiency projects
on irrigation systems located across the state. The
improvements have varied from installation of low-pressure
pivots and conversion of high-pressure to low pressure
pivots, to replacement of existing pumps and motors.
Irrigation projects have been financed by the Energy
Office in nearly half of the state's 93 counties. Irrigation
system improvements in just five counties have accounted for
half of all the financing, $2.55 million.
Checking your home's insulating system is one of the
fastest and most cost-efficient ways to use a whole-house
approach to reduce energy waste and maximize your energy
dollars. A good insulating system includes a combination
of products and construction techniques that provide a
home with thermal performance, protect it against air
infiltration and control moisture. You can increase the
comfort of your home while reducing your heating and
cooling needs by up to 30 percent by investing just a
few hundred dollars in proper insulation and weatherization
Batts, Rolls and Boards
First, check the insulation in your attic, ceilings,
exterior and basement walls, floors and crawl spaces
to see if it meets the recommended levels. (Exterior
walls can be checked by removing a telephone or cable
TV wall plate, or by drilling a small hole in a closet
wall or other inconspicuous location). Insulation is
measured in R-values the higher the R-value, the better
your walls and roofs will resist the transfer of heat.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends ranges of
R-values based on local heating and cooling costs and
climate conditions in different areas of the nation.
In Nebraska, the following minimum insulation levels
are recommended for areas in homes. In many cases it may pay
to exceed these minimum values:
Minimum Insulation Levels in Nebraska:
Ceilings below ventilated attics gas, oil or
electric heat pump R-38(13" of batt or blown-in
Electric resistanceR-49(16" of batt or
Floors over unheated crawl spaces and basementsR-19(6.5" of batt insulation or
3" to 6" of foam board insulation)
Exterior walls (wood frame)R-19(6.5" of batt insulation or
3" - 6" of foam board insulation)
Crawl space walls and band jointsR-11(3.5" of blown-in insulation)
Although insulation is made from a variety of materials,
it usually comes in three types batts, loose-fill and rigid
foam boards. Each type is made to fit in a different part
of your house. Batts are made to fit between the joists of
your ceilings, walls or floors. Batts are usually made of
fiber glass or rock wool. Fiber glass is manufactured from
sand and recycled glass, and rock wool is made from basaltic
rock and recycled materials from steel mill wastes. Batts
can be laid over the ceiling in the attic. Loose-fill
insulation, usually made of fiber glass, rock wool or
cellulose, is blown into the attic or walls. Cellulose
is made from recycled materials, such as newspapers, and
treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
Rigid foam boards are made of polyurethane, polyisocyanurate,
and extruded or expanded polystyrene. These boards are
lightweight, provide a small amount of structural support
and generally have an R-value of 4 to 7 per inch of thickness.
Rigid board insulation is made to be used in confined
spaces such as exterior walls, basements, foundation and
stem walls, concrete slabs and cathedral ceilings. In most
cases, these boards must be covered with a fireproof material
such as 1/2" gypsum board.
Things to Note
Consider factors such as your climate, building design and
budget when selecting insulation R-value for your home.
Get several bids from different contractors if you intend
to hire the work. Ask for references and check with your
local Better Business Bureau before making a final decision.
Use higher density insulation, such as rigid foam boards,
in cathedral ceilings and as sheathing on exterior walls.
Ventilation plays a large role in providing moisture control
and reducing summer cooling bills. Install attic vents to
help make sure that there is one inch of ventilation space
between the insulation and roof shingles.
Keep insulation at least three inches away from recessed
lighting fixtures or other heat-producing equipment
unless they are marked "I.C." designed for
direct insulation contact.
Follow the product instructions for installation and wear
the proper protective gear when installing insulation.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to insulate
your home is to add insulation in the attic. To find
out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the
thickness of insulation. If there is less than R-19
(six inches of fiber glass or rock wool or five inches
of cellulose) you could probably benefit by adding more.
If your attic has ample insulation and your home still
feels drafty and cold in the winter or too warm in the
summer, chances are you need to add insulation to the
exterior walls as well. This is a more expensive measure
that usually requires a contractor, but it is usually
worth the costs if you live in a cold climate such as
Nebraska. As a general rule, it is more cost effective
to add insulation where there is none, rather than
increasing insulation in areas that already have some.
How Do You Know If Your Home Needs Insulation?
The answer is probably "yes" if you:
Have an older home and haven't added insulation. In a recent
survey, only 20 percent of homes built before 1980 were well
Are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot in the summer
adding insulation creates a more uniform temperature and
Build a new house or addition, or install new siding or roofing.
Pay excessive energy bills.
Are bothered by noise from the outdoors insulation helps
muffle the sound.
Are concerned about the affect of energy use on the environment.
Notice snow melts from the main part of your roof more rapidly
than from the eves.
Information for these consumer tips is based on
Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money
at Home by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Are you writing a paper on solar power and you want
to find out how many companies produced solar thermal
collectors from 1980 to 1990? Does your boss want to
know how many barrels of oil were produced in Richardson
County in 1978? Perhaps you want to compare Nebraska's
energy consumption to that of other states? Answers to
these and many other questions are closer than you might
There are countless web sites that offer energy-related
data. Government web sites have a lot of information and
data that can assist in your research. Many of these sites
also contain reports on conservation, production and
consumption trends as well as numerous other subjects.
For the most recent state and local energy data, access
the Nebraska Energy Office's web
Currently, the web site is getting a major face lift.
The agency's web site displays data and information in
a variety of areas such as energy prices and consumption
by type of energy within economic sectors.
There is also a page with "links" to the
Department of Energy's
Energy Information Administration,
where you will find a wealth of data and useful reports.
This site offers the most current national energy statistics
available, except for state-specific data which can lag
three to four years behind national figures.
Honing the Search
The large number of web sites and the varying
quality of information can make using the web
for research a daunting proposition. How can
you find other web pages that pertain to the
subject you are researching?
There are several "search engines" available
that allow you to find web sites that contain information
for which you are looking.
To use a search engine you simply type in the words
(e.g., a name) of what you are trying to find. These
search engines do a good job of finding web pages
that contain these words. Unfortunately, they do not
necessarily distinguish among pages that contain
exactly what you want and those that merely have
the words you typed.
For example, a recent search on a popular
search engine for "energy data" provided
200,941 web pages that contain the words
"energy" and "data." Clearly,
not all of these pages have information relevant
to energy data and not all have exactly what you
are trying to find.
Adding more words to the original search can
help reduce the number of web pages the
search engine finds. But the way some search
engines operate, adding more words will increase
the number of sites found!
What can you do? The key to using a search engine to
find specific information is to be a smart search engine
user. Most search engines allow you to customize how your
study is conducted. Furthermore, the better search engines
provide users tips and other tools that can assist in
targeting information. Look for a "search options"
button or link that allows you to enhance your quest. There
are also "composite" search engines that scan
several general search engines simultaneously! This can
be a useful first step to help you find specific information
and eliminate useless web sites.
Search Engine Tips
Use ideas and concepts instead of just keywords
Use more than one word in your search
Use descriptive, specific words as opposed to general ones
Explore ways to employ advanced search options
Know when to say when. Limit the amount of time you spend
"surfing" for information
Know when to ask for help
Keep in mind that some information may not be available on the web
General Search Engines
Excite at www.excite.com
provides plenty of ways to customize and limit your search.
The Energy Office's and Energy Information Administration's
web sites are listed on this page, as well as some tips and
a list of popular search engines.
If you have questions about gathering energy data and
finding other energy information on the web, please contact
Jonathan Strand in the Energy Office, phone 402-471-3538,
In April, a comprehensive strategy to develop new
markets for products made with recycled content was
launched by the state. The initiative, called Market
for Recyclables: Nebraska's Blueprint for Action,
outlines specific steps to foster the development of
products that utilize recycled materials.
The plan has five parts and each part of the plan has
New product development
Develop and market new products made from recycled materials.
Create a statewide technical research database that compares
performance standards between recycled and non-recycled
Use early market research to find potential new product markets
Utilize public and private financing for product development
research and expansion of manufacturing capacity.
Promote demonstrations of new value-added recycled content
Encourage purchasing managers and consumers to buy recycled
Encourage public and private purchasing managers to increase
the amount of recycled content purchases.
Encourage the public to become familiar with and purchase
recycled content items.
Increase the use of recycled content products by stressing
the products' performance advantages.
Develop new purchasing programs to promote buying recycled
Research present and possible public policies which help or
hinder the development of markets for recyclable products.
Market information and assistance
Improve the quality of and access to information about
recycling, emphasizing strategies that will help those
who market recycled content products.
Provide direct state financial and technical assistance to
producers using recycled materials.
Provide consumers with objective and accurate information
on recycled content products.
Make certain recycling is sustainable from supply through
end markets, with emphasis on financial sustainability.
Provide management assistance to recycling businesses to
improve their operations.
Provide recycling entrepreneurs with access to local, venture,
state and other financial advisors.
Encourage localization of unique recycled products.
Review existing financial assistance efforts to maximize their
effectiveness and increase utilization.
Encourage cooperative efforts across broad geographic areas.
Provide manufacturers with regional availability of materials.
Increase efforts to promote regional marketing.
Explore the possibility of providing financial assistance based
on volume of materials handled, population served and regional
"While the number of collection sites and amount of
materials recycled in Nebraska continues to grow, the
challenge remains to develop markets for those materials,"
Governor Nelson said in announcing the effort. "This
blueprint highlights the important role the recycling industry
plays in job creation and economic development, as well as
what people may consider to be its more traditional role
of maintaining the environment through the preservation
and reuse of natural resources."
According to the State Recycling Association, Nebraskans
recycled more than 350,000 tons of materials in 1997. The
blueprint charts a path to increase end-use demand for
recycled products with the goal to stimulate the collection,
processing and manufacturing components of recycling to
"complete the recycling loop."
A 1997 survey conducted by the state's Department of Economic
Development chronicled the impact of recycling on the state's
138 public and private recyclers have invested more than $80 million since 1990.
In 1996, capital investment from 104 recyclers was in excess of $42 million.
Capital expenditures by the recycling industry over the next five years
is projected to exceed $120 million.
Recycling related jobs totaled 1,224, of which four of every
five employees worked for private businesses.
Each year, two state entities: the Department of Environmental
Quality and the Nebraska Environmental Trust provide $6 million
in grants to recycling efforts across the state.
The Energy Office's Ann
Selzer is one of 12 members of the state's Recycling
Economic Development Advocate Support Team that was created in
For more information on the state's plan, Blueprint for Action,
contact Pat Langan at the Department of Economic Development
at 471-3766 in Lincoln, toll free at 800-426-6505 or email
Nebraska Benefiting From Ethanol and Wind Research...
State's Energy Heads See Latest in Renewables
Chief executive officers and staff from most of the state's
largest utilities, Nebraska's governor and Energy Office members
learned about the latest in wind, ethanol, solar and building
technologies at the nation's premier research facility in Colorado
Several years ago, Nebraska's Energy Office began working closely
with staff at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a variety
of projects," said Nebraska Governor Ben Nelson.
"Because of these earlier efforts, Nebraska is in a unique
position to become a leading laboratory for cutting-edge renewable
technologies. The state is blessed with a variety of resources
that could propel
Nebraska into becoming a major exporter or renewably-generated
energy within the next decade."
From the Top Down
Governor Nelson, at left, and others on the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory tour learn about the
Alternative Fuels User Facility's fermentation pilot
plant and how researchers and industry are finding
ways to produce ethanol from non-grain feedstocks.
The governor was joined at the Laboratory by Bill Mayben
of Nebraska Public Power District, Terry Bundy of Lincoln
Electric System and Larry Marquis of NMPP Energy as well
as staff and board members from Omaha Public Power, Loup
Public Power in Columbus and the Municipal Energy Agency
of Nebraska. Natural gas officials included Jerry Radek
from Metropolitan Utilities District in Omaha, Larry Hall
and Stu Wheeler of KN Energy and staff from Utilicorp.
"Nebraska's close ties with the Laboratory is one of
the reasons Lincoln Electric System and Nebraska Public
Power District will be testing the latest in wind technology,"
Nelson said. The utilities will be constructing wind turbines
to generate electricity at sites near Lincoln and Springview.
The Laboratory is also pioneering in ethanol production
and solar research. "We believe the next several
years of research will provide cost and technology
breakthroughs in ethanol production," Nelson said.
From Alda to Wilber...Science and Math Teachers
Twenty teams of Nebraska elementary, middle and
high school teachers will receive grants of up to
$2,500 to create innovative energy-related projects
in their math and science classrooms.
The 20 schools will share about $33,500. Nearly
$48,000 in grants had been requested by 28 schools.
The energy grants were selected through a competitive
process, awarded by the Nebraska Science and Math
Initiative, and funded by the Energy Office.
"This is a great way for students to learn
about energy and improve their math and science
skills as the same time," Ann Selzer of the
Energy Office said. According to Selzer, each
proposed project was reviewed by an award-winning
teacher, utility representatives and a University
of Nebraska-Lincoln scientist. Selzer said the
energy projects will be used in the classroom this
Four Years, Nearly $500,000
Since 1994, 208 science and math teacher teams
have received grants of more than $229,000. These
grants are part of a larger educational effort
financed by the Energy Office from oil overcharge
funds. Oil overcharge funds are a result of several
court actions against oil companies that overcharged
their customers during the period of federal price
controls from 1973 to 1981. The courts ordered that
some of the funds be distributed to the states as
restitution to injured customers.
The Energy Office's educational efforts in
partnership with the Initiative began in 1994 with
a $500,000 commitment to support teacher training and
project grants. Since that time, more than 2,500
elementary teachers have attended workshops that
provided ideas on how science and math classes can
integrate easily understood energy concepts.
"This has been a multi-year effort that has
changed how students and teachers see the relationships
among science, math and energy," Selzer said.
For more information about energy education in Nebraska
schools, contact Marilyn Lammers at the Nebraska
Math and Science Initiative, 126 Morrill Hall, Box 880350,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0350, phone 402-472-8965, fax 402-472-9311,
1998 Science and Math Energy Grant Winners
Alda/Public — $1,076
Teacher: Margaret Christensen
Project: The Importance of Water
Brainard/East Butler — $1,000
Teachers: Sharon Bruner, Charlene Havlovic, Leslie Holthus and Joan Petrzilka
Project: Done in the Sun: Solar Energy
Elkhorn/Middle School — $1,536
Teachers: Carol Engelmann, Scott Fox, Donna Nelson and Carol Richart
Project: Building the Best Solar Car
Farnam/Eustis-Farnam Public — $2,500
Teachers: Cathy Larson and Kelli Beck
Project: Too Hot to Handle
Lincoln/Clinton Elementary — $2,500
Teachers: Pat Closson, Denis Ebeler, Sue Galvin, Margaret Honeycutt and Sue Kirby
Project: Simple Machines: Making Work Easier for Us
Lincoln/Mickle Middle School — $975
Teachers: Mark Bigham and David Hartman
Project: The Sight, Sound and Convenience of Energy
Niobrara/Public — $2,201
Teachers: Mary Eiler and John Niemoth
Project: Water Drainage System
Pleasanton/Public — $1,200
Teachers: Leatta Hand, Larry Johnson
Project: Bridges, Coasters, Structures: An Energy Comparison
Waverly/Hamlow Elementary — $2,500
Teachers: Dianne Krieser and Chris Roffers
Project: Energy of Simple Machines: From Past to Present
Brainard/East Butler — $1,435
Teachers: Mary Lou Meister, Sherri Nielsen and Jill Reinsch
Project: Energy We Use
David City/St. Mary's — $955
Teachers: Linda Maly Jody Pelan
Project: Wind and Wheels
Exeter/Public — $1,060
Teacher: Julia Polak
Project: Losing Your Marbles
Lincoln/Clinton Elementary — $2,200
Teachers: Margaret Honeycutt, Sue Kirby and Beverly Wertz
Project: Making the Electrical Connection for Our Future
Lincoln/Faith Lutheran Elementary — $2,403
Teachers: Krista Barnhouse, Holly Kamprath, Liz Schultz and Nancy Thyparambil
Project: Energy Across the Curriculum: Development of a School-Wide Energy Education Program
Lincoln/Pius X High — $2,479
Teachers: Jeff DeVries and Michelle Strand
Project: Electricity and Alternative Forms of Energy
Omaha/Bancroft — $934
Teachers: Mary Solberg
Project: Energy It's So Exciting!
Rushville/High School — $1,452
Teachers: Beth Hunter, Sherry Retzlaff and Jamalee Stone
Project: Investigations in Physics and Mathematics in Using Roller Coasters
The Nebraska Energy Quarterly
features questions asked about 6% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans.
Loan forms may be obtained from participating lenders or the
Questions and Answers... 6% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans
Why have requirements for windows changed?
For the first seven years that Dollar & Energy Saving Loans
were available, the only requirement for a replacement window
was that the window have two panes of glass and the window
opening area not increase. In 1997, the Energy Office reviewed
the program requirements for the most common projects because
changes in building practices and technology improvements had
made some of the requirements obsolete. A standard,
double-pane window is a project that is so common it no
longer encourages people toward "energy efficient"
improvements. Since improving energy efficiency is the primary
purpose of the loans, the window requirements were raised.
A new Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR is now required for window
and door replacements. What information is really needed
for a window loan?
The National Fenestration Rating Council is a non-profit,
public/private collaboration of manufacturers, builders,
designers, code officials, consumers, utilities and
regulators. The Council has been charged with establishing
a national energy performance rating system for windows
and doors as required by the Energy Policy Act
of 1992. Products that have been tested for heat loss,
both by computer simulation and actual, physical test,
are considered "NFRC certified." There are
about 30,500 certified products in the 6th edition
of the Council's Directory. A new edition is due out
Loans for windows now require window products (including
windows, glass doors and skylights) have an overall R-value
of at least 2.5 (U factor < 0.40), based on NFRC tests,
or windows have construction features which typically result
in a qualifying R-value. There are several ways to document
qualifications of a window product for which you have received
Submit a copy of the National Fenestration Rating Council
temporary certification label (see example) for the
specific window product to be installed. This is the
Identify the window product (manufacturer, NFRC product
line and individual NFRC product number) so it can be
referenced in the NFRC Directory.
Submit manufacturer's data showing the window product
is "NFRC certified," or the window has been
tested by an independent laboratory using NFRC test methods
(both computer simulation and physical heat loss measurement).
Submit manufacturer's product literature showing the
window product has the required construction features listed
on Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR. If the manufacturer's literature is
for a group of products, mark the particular product you
intend to install. If you are using this method, place a
checkmark in the "construction features" column
of Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR. Otherwise, mark "measured
Then complete the form and attach it to your loan application.
Copy the total cost for all window products to Line 7 on Form 2.
Accurate completion of these forms will avoid delays that can
result from the Energy Office contacting lenders for additional
Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR also includes doors.
What type of information is needed for the loan application?
Sliding glass doors and patio doors are considered window
products, not doors. Solid doors (also called exterior or
slab doors) with only a little glass are dealt with in the
lower part of the table on Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR. The NFRC
has a test method by which door systems (including door,
frame and any glass) can be certified. The test, however,
has not yet been utilized by a majority of the manufacturers.
The loans require exterior door systems to have an overall
R-value of at least 4.0 (U factor < 0.25), based on NFRC
tests, or doors have construction features which typically
result in a qualifying R-value. Like windows, door
qualifications can be documented by submitting the NFRC
label, complete NFRC identification, proof of NFRC
certification or equivalent, or proof the required
construction features are included for the specific door
you want to install.
The form is completed just as for window products, and
the total exterior door cost listed on Line 14, Form 2.
How about overhead or garage doors?
These types of doors are treated just like exterior doors on the form.
Since there is no NFRC certification for overhead doors, they must
qualify based on their construction features.
Where should screen doors be listed on
Screen doors are not included on Form 2 WINDOW/DOOR since their
purpose is not to insulate, but to block the wind and hold an
insulating air space next to the exterior door. Screen doors
should be listed on Form 2, Line 6.
Can larger replacement windows and doors
As always, the area of (rough) openings for replacement windows
and doors cannot be greater than the area of the old openings.
Where windows and/or doors are being moved, combined or split,
the total area of openings in a building must not increase.
What if the window or door I want doesn't
meet the requirements?
You always have the option of submitting an energy audit
calculations to demonstrate the energy cost savings of the
desired window or door will repay the project cost in 15
years or less. It is very unlikely the calculated payback
will be that quick, but if you have a special situation,
contact the Energy Office for the Energy Audit Forms 32 and 33.
In September, the U.S. Department of Energy named Omaha
and its 38 area organizations and businesses as the
nation's 66th "Clean City."
A "Clean City" is a voluntary, local
partnership between industry and government that
expands the use of alternatives to gasoline and
For several years, an informal interest group
has worked in greater Omaha to promote and increase
the use of electricity, ethanol, natural gas and
propane to replace traditional transportation fuels.
This past summer, the Omaha Fire Department received
approval to purchase six cars that operate on 85 percent
ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. These vehicles will be
the first alternate fuel ones purchased by the city.
In April, business analyst John Herold of Stamford,
Connecticut calculated the cost of popular consumer
items in comparison to the cost of gasoline and
crude oil, at $1.08 a gallon and $15.25 a barrel
The Cost of Popular Consumer Items Compared to
Gasoline and Crude Oil
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This material was prepared with the support of
the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grant No.
DE-FG47-92CE60410. However, any opinions, findings,
conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein
are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the views of DOE.