Summer 2000

Nebraska Energy Quarterly logo Nebraska Energy Quarterly gasoline pump

Keeping Warm Will Cost More This Year

Just as Nebraskans endured some of...

People who know say the price of wood...

More than 500 homes will see lowered energy...

Gasoline Price Rise Provokes Memories and More

Nearly every night in May and June, television...

Some Conventional -- as well as offbeat -- gas saving tips...

Soybeans: The Petroleum of Tomorrow?

While ethanol has captured the headlines as...

"As the prices of ag commodities...

Likely Power Sources in 2010

Scientists from the national laboratories, participants...

A New Source for Energy-Saving Ideas

The Energy Ideas Clearinghouse provides centralized access to...

Irrigation Loans in Drought Areas Expedited

The Nebraska Energy Office will expedite new loans...

A Solar Information Source

Did you know sunlight hitting the earth's surface...

The U.S. Department of Energy...

Electric Utilities Vow to Fight Change

In May, Governor Mike Johanns and representative...

A Profile of Nebraska Electric Systems

In spite of an annual growth rate of 3.7 percent...

5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

The Nebraska bank where a borrower conducts business recently merged...

Information Services and Resources

The Energy Efficiency and The Renewable Energy Clearinghouse...


Keeping Warm Will Cost More This Year

Just as Nebraskans endured some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation as summer began, many are now preparing for another seasonal energy price shock.

All natural gas companies serving the state have warned their customers: the price of natural gas will be a lot higher than last year and the likelihood of a third warm winter in a row is not good.

The federal government's energy prognosticator, the Energy Information Administration, is predicting this winter could be the most expensive since 1985 for those who heat their homes with natural gas. The Energy Information Administration reported daily spot wellhead prices for natural gas were averaging $3.50 to $4.50 per thousand cubic feet since June, nearly double the price of a year ago.

"The historic price patterns disintegrated this summer," Doris Jansky, who tracks energy trends for the Energy Office said. "One of the givens of the natural gas industry was a price peak in the coldest part of winter with the price bottoming out in the summer. That just didn't happen this year. The price stayed up all summer long." According to industry sources, many natural gas companies purchase a significant amount of gas in the summer when prices are cheapest, then store it for use during the winter heating season when prices are highest.

Local Odds

Some of the state's major utilities projected cost increases for the coming heating season, based on higher costs for natural gas and a return to normal winter weather patterns:

  • Metropolitan Utilities District in Omaha: Up 69 percent
  • KN Energy in central and western Nebraska: Up 50 percent or more
  • Other companies: Up 50-70 percent

Industry sources said the current price rise had its origins in 1998, when natural gas prices plunged below $2 for a million British thermal units. A warm winter exacerbated the falling price. Because of low prices, exploration for new reserves plummeted.

A Host of Reasons

Natural Gas Prices
Natural gas prices since January 1999

Elsewhere, the nation's economy was humming and electricity use was surging along with it. Utilities seeking new ways to meet the growing demand turned to environmentally cleaner - and cheap - natural gas. Since electricity use peaks in the summer with air conditioning use, the growth in natural gas use does not strain supplies during the heating season when natural gas use soars.

Natural gas use by electric utilities has been rising so fast, natural gas suppliers have been unable to transfer as much gas as normal to storage areas. According to the Energy Information Administration, injection rates for natural gas storage is running 20 percent below 1999 levels.

In short, static natural gas supplies ran into a raging demand which triggered the price explosion.

Propane's High, Too

Propane prices since January 1999
Propane prices since January 1999

The state's rural residents, some who use propane for heating, will not escape the rise in prices either. According to information gathered by the Energy Office, the price of propane in April had risen more than 28 percent over prices a year earlier. By August, the Nebraska average price for propane was 83 cents a gallon. Several propane dealers said prices are 45 percent higher than last year.

"Traditionally, the price of propane will peak between early March and middle April," Jansky said. "However, during extended cold periods when supplies could become tight, we have seen prices surge."

While propane supplies in the Midwest remain below the normal range for the period, suppliers believe inventories will be adequate. "During our monitoring of the industry," Jansky said, "we found suppliers were making a concentrated effort to fill customers storage tanks to forestall any supply shortages."

Some of the Same

Since propane is both present in natural gas and refined from crude oil, any increase in the cost of these fuels can be expected to show up in retail propane prices.

A return to seasonal winter temperatures would boost consumption which means consumers will be paying more to heat their homes. As the winter heating season draws near, expect propane prices to become more volatile, especially if supplies tighten.

What to Do

There are a number of ways to reduce the financial bite on your wallet. "Fall really is a time when people should begin to prepare their home for winter. Just as you get your car ready for the first freezing temperatures, you should do the same for your home," Jansky said. The list of heating bill cutting options she recommended:

  • Contact your natural gas supplier to see if the utility offers a budget payment plan where one pays a fixed monthly amount throughout the year. The amount is calculated on the previous year's usage.
  • Add insulation; R-49 in attics, R-38 in cathedral ceilings and R-18 in walls e Install or replace worn weatherstripping
  • Check and replace old caulk
  • Plug any holes in exterior walls

Other tips on reducing energy use in your home can be found in Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home.

Copies are available from the Energy Office or the information is accessible on the Internet at Energy Savers

Limited Income Options

If you - or someone you know - has a limited income and experiences difficulty paying utility bills, contact your local Nebraska Health and Human Services Office to see if bill paying assistance is available.

Another source is free weatherization of your home. This federally-funded service has been used by more than 50,000 Nebraskans since 1978. More information about this service can be found on page 2, or by contacting Pete Davis in the Energy Office at Pete Davis

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Wood Prices Higher, Too

a fireplace

People who know say the price of wood used for fuel will be going up along with other fuels.

According to the Nebraska Forest Service and several firewood suppliers in Nebraska, consumers should expect to pay more than $120-$150 which was the cost of a cord of wood last year. Cost increases are being attributed to increases in other types of fuel.

Generally, wood prices do not change from year to year, but rather over a five- to ten-year period.

A cord is a standard volume measure for fuelwood. Typically, a cord of wood measures 4 feet x 4 feet x 8 feet.

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539 Homes to Get Energy Saving Improvements

Eligibility for the free home improvements is limited to households with incomes at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

Households containing a member receiving either Aid to Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income are automatically eligible.

Household Size Maximum Income
1 $10,438
2 $14,063
3 $17,688
4 $21,313
5 $24,938
6 $28,563
7 $32,188
8 $35,813
For each additional member add $ 3,625

More than 500 homes will see lowered energy bills thanks to a $1.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to make the homes of low-income and elderly Nebraskans energy-efficient.

Typically, the types of improvements made to homes include wall and attic insulation and checking the energy efficiency and safety of furnaces, stoves and water heaters.

According to the Energy Office, energy use after home weatherization falls by about 20 percent. Most of the improvements made in the home will last 15 to 20 years, and so will the savings.

Since 1978, more than 50,000 homes in Nebraska have been made more energy efficient under this federally-funded effort.

Weatherization services are offered in all 93 Nebraska counties. The Energy Office contracts with nine, nonprofit community-based organizations, primarily community action agencies, to provide these services.

Weatherized Homes in Nebraska
Number of homes weatherized in Nebraska

For more information about free home weatherization, contact your local community action agency, or Pete Davis in the Energy Office at Pete Davis.

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Gasoline Price Rise Provokes Memories and More

Nearly every night in May and June, television news reporters were advising viewers where the cheapest gasoline could be found. It was as if nothing had changed since 1973, when the nation experienced an earlier oil price shock.

Nebraskans, like most Americans, had become complacent about energy costs. In July 1999, regular gasoline was selling for $1.21 a gallon. A year later, the price was $1.75, the fifth highest in the nation. Further east in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, the price was over $2 a gallon. Everyone wanted to know why.

A number of petroleum experts made these observations about the situation:

  • Demand for refined petroleum products has been rising.
  • Refining capacity has not kept pace with growth, requiring reliance on imported refined products, where possible.
  • The number of distinct, state-specific or regionally-used gasolines has increased dramatically.
  • The price of a barrel of oil rose from $11 in 1998 to more than $30 in 2000. For each dollar rise in the price of a barrel of oil, gasoline prices generally rise 2.5 cents.
  • Refiners have reduced product inventories, and cannot respond as quickly to market changes such as increased demand.
  • A new cleaner-burning gasoline used in some of the nation's smoggiest cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit went on sale June 1. This new gasoline was more difficult to produce. As a result, supplies of other types of gasoline became scarcer, causing prices to rise.

By August, the average price of regular gasoline in Nebraska had dropped to $1.47. However, there were conflicting indicators regarding the future direction of prices: oil prices hovered at $34 a barrel, a 10-year price peak, and the American driving season ends after Labor Day, and gasoline prices typically decline as demand diminishes.

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Gasoline-Saving Tips to Combat High Price$

Some conventional - as well as offbeat - gas saving tips gleaned from a variety of sources:

  • Fill-up the gas tank in the morning. Experts at Parade say a driver will get a little more gasoline per gallon if the gas tank is filled when temperatures are cooler. Over time, the extra bit of fuel mounts up.
  • Use the air conditioner when it makes sense. Running the air conditioner greatly increases gasoline use. If rolling down the windows will cool the vehicle off, don't turn on the air conditioner. On sunny hot days, park the vehicle in a shady spot.
  • Roll-up the windows. When traveling down the highway, less energy is expended running the air conditioner than it takes to overcome the aerodynamic drag from open windows. At speeds less than 40 miles an hour, especially in town, the reverse is true.
  • Avoid speeding. Not only will you avoid getting a ticket, but driving at reduced highway speeds can save fuel. If you can, keep speed constant by using the cruise control. If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, use the overdrive setting which shifts the vehicle to a gas-saving mode around 50 miles an hour.
  • Buy regular gasoline. A number of drivers purchase premium gasoline even though their vehicle does not need that much octane. While high compression or high horsepower vehicles need premium, most vehicles do not. Savings can add up every time you fill-up.
  • Check the trunk. While certain items are essential - a spare tire, the tire jack and any emergency supplies - other items can decrease fuel efficiency. Check the trunk and remove any heavy items that may not be needed.
  • When idling makes sense. If the engine will be idling for two to three minutes - waiting at a fast food drive-through, for example - more fuel will be used than with restarting the engine.
  • Perform regular maintenance. Changing oil every 3,000 miles or so is recommended. Changing dirty air and oil filters and worn spark plugs also improves gas mileage.

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Soybeans: The Petroleum of Tomorrow?

soybeans

While ethanol has captured the headlines as "the" renewable fuel alternative to gasoline, other plant-based resources such as soybeans are also making in-roads into petroleum's dominance.

Earlier this year, the state's Soybean Board released information that more than one million gallons of soy-blended diesel fuel had been produced from the state's crops. Since 1990, the Board has assisted in on-road testing the fuel in state and local trucks and buses.

One of those participating in the tests has been Omaha Public Power District, which has been using a 20 percent soy and 80 percent diesel blend in its trucks. According to the utility, about 4,500 gallons of 100 percent soybean fuel - which will be blended with 18,000 gallons of diesel fuel - will be purchased from an Iowa producer.

Soy oil is also being used and tested by different utilities in other ways. Two consumer-owned utilities - one in Nebraska and one in Iowa - are testing a soy-based transformer oil, called "BioTrans," to replace mineral oil. "This product, will not only provide environmental and business benefits, but additionally support our farm economy in Nebraska since we would be purchasing a soybean-based product, and Nebraska has a lot of acreage planted in soybeans. This is a natural alliance between public power in Iowa and Nebraska and the farming community," Bill Mayben, chief executive officer of Nebraska Public Power District, said.

Bruning Feed and Grain, north of Hebron in southern Nebraska, has developed a drip oil from soybeans for use in lubricating center pivot irrigation pumps. But, the oil has proven to be ideal for aquaculture pumps, as a concrete release agent and as a dust control for gravel or dirt roads.

For more information about this product, contact Tina Domeier at 800-232-6623, or visit the web site at Bruning Grain.

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Good News for Farmers

"As the prices of ag commodities have remained low the last couple of years, farmers know how important it is to find new markets and new uses for their products. And the fuel market is proving a natural one for agriculture.

"This is no more evident than in how ethanol has helped corn producers. Estimates are that the ethanol market adds between 5 and 15 cents to the price of each bushel of corn.

"Perhaps to a lesser degree, the soy fuel can give similar support to soybean prices."

Editorial, Grand Island Independent, June, 2000

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Likely Power Sources in 2010

Scientists from the national laboratories, participants in crafting America's energy resource options for tomorrow, recently predicted changes in the energy arena and how they could affect our lives.

"We're on the cusp of some major, fundamental changes in energy. In fact, it's already starting," said Steve Millett, forecast manager for Battelle. The Battelle Memorial Institute is a federal government contractor operating four of the nation's energy laboratories.

No Jetson Jetmobiles

The Jetsons
The Jetsons, courtesy Hanna Barbara

The group of scientists from the national energy laboratories identified the top ten most economically impactful energy innovations by the year 2010 as part of a regular process to analyze present and future developments in a number of industries, including energy.

The ten new energy innovations likely to impact the lives of Americans the most in the next ten years:

  1. A Shifting Energy Industry Structure: Substantial innovations in the energy industry and its energy technologies are occurring. Deregulation of the natural gas and electric utilities will continue, resulting in more competition and more mergers. Small, independent utilities will decline and be swept up into the emerging super utilities. Oil companies will become energy companies, competing in both the mobile and stationary energy markets. New players, such as automobile companies, may emerge as formidable influences in the energy industry. The convergence of the electric, gas, telecommunications and water industries likely will result in one-stop shopping.
  2. Honda
    Honda, courtesy Honda Motors
  3. Hybrid Vehicles: With $2 a gallon gas prices still fresh in the minds of consumers, the idea of hybrid cars doesn't sound so bad. Mileage of seventy-miles-per-gallon will create a lot of converts. The first generation of these vehicles is already here in a sporty two-seater from Honda. Hybrid vehicles use smaller, more efficient internal combustion engines and use power from electric batteries for an extra boost during acceleration. "U.S. automakers have produced a next-generation of hybrid concept cars that will pave the way to 80 miles per gallon, five-passenger sedans," said Tony Schaffhauser of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. However, while making progress in the next 10 years, full transition may require decades.
  4. 3. Smart Energy Management Systems: In the way that computers and the Internet are radically changing our economy today, they will change energy systems even more so in the future. Computers, the Internet and Global Positioning Systems will increase the efficiency of transportation. They will reduce congestion and traffic delays and be used in heating, air conditioning, household appliances and business equipment and play vital roles in efficiency of energy production and distribution systems such as pipelines, refineries, power plants and transmission lines.
  5. Distributed Power Generation: Some experts are saying the current national power grid may not be able to meet skyrocketing demand. Power grids of this scale are on the way out. Major blackouts due to storms and overloading of the grid will become a thing of the past. "People and businesses are demanding more reliable power sources," said Bobi Garrett, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Power may be generated locally for neighborhoods and individual residences and businesses. This will be done via micro-turbines, internal combustion engines and fuel cells. There will be an increased use of natural gas because it is clean, cheap and available.
  6. Fuel Cell Car
    Zero-emmission fuel cell car
  7. Fuel Cells: There has been a lot of progress in fuel cell technology over the past 10 years, but much more needs to happen over the coming decade. Fuel cells will become increasingly popular for transportation and for portable and stationary power generation over the next decade. Before being accepted by the public, fuel cells must be made smaller and cheaper.
  8. Gas to Liquid Conversion: Scientists predict the development of chemical engineering processes to transform hydrocarbon compounds from gases to liquids. This will permit more flexible use and storage of fuels. One example is the conversion of natural gas to diesel fuel for transportation. "Gas to liquids technology offers an exciting, economically attractive opportunity to convert natural gas from remote locations - which otherwise would be wasted - into easily transported and inherently clean fuel," said Denny Stephens, a research scientist for Battelle.
  9. Advanced Batteries: Batteries will continue a 20-year trend of advancements into the next decade. These next-generation batteries will be based on lithium polymer technology and will have about three times as much energy capability as those currently on the market. These developments will play a more crucial role as we make the transition to hybrid and electric vehicles. Consumers will also see better batteries for laptop computers and cell phones.
  10. Energy Farms: The use of bio-engineered crops for fuels will be hurried along by the genetic revolution that permits cultivation of crops to produce fuels such as ethanol. "We will grow gasoline, so to speak, to lessen our dependence on imported oil," Millett said.
  11. small solar panel
    Small solar
    panel
  12. Solar Energy: We have heard about this for a long time, and it is still hanging tough. That is because it is considered the ultimate sustainable energy form. It is also difficult to capture and store large quantities in a cost-effective manner. But Battelle experts see substantial improvements over the next decade.
  13. Methane Hydrate Crystal Mining: Geologists have discovered rich deposits of frozen natural gas crystals on the ocean bottom. "Tapping this reserve would be a quantum leap in our ability to provide energy for the future. Although some new government programs are exploring recovery methods and associated ramifications, there haven't been any commercial attempts to retrieve this vast reserve," said Gary Brawley, a Battelle manager. It is expected that this energy source will emerge in the next decade to add to our natural gas production.

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A New Source for Energy-Saving Ideas

The Energy Ideas Clearinghouse provides centralized access to comprehensive and objective information, education, resource and technical assistance for increasing energy efficiency. The experts at the Clearinghouse have loaded the web site with more than 1,000 resources covering a range of topics from adjustable speed drives to xeriscaping.

At Energy Ideas Clearinghouse, one can find:

  • Publications
  • Programs and projects
  • Technical solutions
  • Codes and Standards
  • Software
  • National and regional news
  • Upcoming events.
Lightbulb of energy ideas
Lightbulb of energy ideas

The Clearinghouse is operated by the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program and is underwritten by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a nonprofit group of utilities, government bodies and interest groups.

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Irrigation Loans in Drought Areas Expedited

Drought affected counties
Drought affected counties in Nebraska

The Nebraska Energy Office will expedite new loans for agricultural irrigation systems and related improvements in counties where drought conditions are prevalent.

"The Energy Office has financed 434 agricultural projects totaling more than $7.4 million in the last ten years," Governor Johanns said. "A significant number of these projects were irrigation systems or improvements such as low pressure pivots and replacement motors."

According to the Energy Office, most agricultural projects will require a technical energy analysis of the project being proposed. "The one page application is very simple," Jack Osterman from the Energy Office said. "We only need to know the basics of the project, how much energy is used and how much energy use will be reduced."

The Governor said the agency would expedite reviews of the energy analyses and loan applications for irrigation systems because of the impact of the drought on the state's crops. "These reviews will be done right away," the Governor said. "Normally, this review would take a couple of weeks."

Improvements financed with the loans must save enough in energy costs to recover the cost of the improvement within ten years. The length of the loan can vary up to the simple payback of the project and is negotiated with local lenders. Interested Nebraskans can get loan forms from participating lenders, from the Energy Office in Lincoln, or at the agency's web site.

No state or federal tax dollars are used for these loans.

Web Site Access Speeds Loans

To find out more about 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans contact any one of the 293 banks, savings and loans or credit unions in the state that offer the loans.

Information can also be obtained from the Energy Office or visit the agency's web site at: Nebraska Energy Office.

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A Solar Information Source

Did you know sunlight hitting the earth's surface in one hour is enough to supply humankind with enough energy for one year?

This is just one interesting fact students and teachers can learn at the web site Solar Partners.

The goal of Global Solar Partners is to bring together teachers and students worldwide to share ideas about energy in a sustainable future.

Among the resources at the site:

  • Global Solar Exchange Unit. This unit is designed for students 12 to 16 and older to research aspects of solar energy in their own communities and then exchange the information and ideas with other studies around the world. This is a short, focused project, typically lasting three to six hours.
  • Plug in the Sun. This classroom activity study guide is for students 11 to 16. International educators and solar energy experts developed Plug in the Sun. This downloadable file also contain six real-life case studies of photovoltaic applications from around the world.

Global Solar Partners is a project from the Association for Science Education with sponsorship from BP Solarex, a unit of BP Amoco.

World solar energy map
World solar energy map

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Consumer Site

Department of Energy
Department of Energy Department of Energy
Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has launched an improved, consumer-friendly web site on energy information.

Located at www.energy.gov, the upgraded site presents energy-related information in new ways: health, house, transportation, school, business, community, world and the future.

A special feature, Kidzzone, approaches energy topics from a youthful perspective.

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Electric Utilities Vow to Fight Change

Public Power Nebraska logo
Public Power Nebraska logo

In May, Governor Mike Johanns and representatives from the state's largest electric utilities announced a multi-media effort to stymie any effort to change publicly-owned electric systems in Nebraska.

"If any one of us were to suggest breaking up public power in this state, I think there would be a war," Johanns said. "Publicly-owned power systems continue to provide a great return on our investment with reliable service."

The Nebraska Power Association, a group of electric utilities, will conduct an educational effort to remind Nebraskans of the benefits of public power. The effort supports the findings of a three-year study of the state's electric system.

A Long, Long Time to Never

The study recommended Nebraska only adopt retail choice when specific market conditions exist that could benefit the state's consumers. In response, the 2000 Nebraska Legislature directed the Nebraska Power Review Board to monitor developments in the region's electric industry. The Board must also submit an annual report regarding the specific conditions that would warrant retail choice in the state. The Governor said "I can't imagine it in my lifetime," when asked if the state's electric industry will be privatized.

Nebraska is unique - it is the only state totally served by a consumer-owned public power system that delivers electricity as a nonprofit service. Publicly-owned power guarantees Nebraska residents enjoy local control with some of the lowest rates in the nation.

Nationally, significant change has come to America's electric industry as a result of the Federal Energy Policy Act, passed by Congress in 1992. The law established greater competition at the wholesale level, created open access to electric transmission lines and fostered retail competition, where customers can choose their power supplier. Retail choice options are available in about half of the nation.

However, recent surges in price and power shortages have lead policymakers in some states where retail choice was available to reconsider how the industry is structured.

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A Profile of Nebraska Electric Systems

Electricity generation and resulting carbon dioxide emissions
Electricity generation and resulting carbon dioxide emissions

In spite of an annual growth rate of 3.7 percent from 1988 to 1998, the state's electric industry remained a net exporter, capable of producing more electricity than Nebraskans needed. That is just one of many aspects of a federal overview on the state's changing electric industry.

According to the study, the average price for electricity of 5.3 cents a kilowatthour placed the state ninth lowest when compared with other states. Nebraskans paid an average of 6.46 cents for electricity used in their homes, while the state's industries only paid 3.60 cents for the same amount of power. Commercial users paid 5.45 cents on average for a similar amount of electricity.

Plants in the state that generate electricity range in age from 21 years for a petroleum plant to 50 years for some of the hydroelectric facilities.

Over the ten years covered by the study, the number of separate electric entities in the state declined from 166 to 162, reflecting the merger of several rural systems. While the number of systems declined, the number of retail customers increased from 786,214 in 1988 to 874,386 in 1998.

The profile of the state's electric industry also includes amounts of generation and emissions from the power plants as well as state rankings in these categories.

This profile of the state's electric industry is based on the Energy Information Administration's 1998 State Electricity Profiles.

A complete copy of the Nebraska profile in either pdf or html formats can be found at: EIA State Electric Profiles.

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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...
Ben Franklin on a $100 bill

5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

The Nebraska bank where a borrower conducts business recently merged with an out-of-state bank. Can the borrower still get a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan from the new bank?

No. Dollar and Energy Saving Loans may be made only by Nebraska banks, savings institutions and credit unions.

Once a bank, savings institution or credit union ceases to be a Nebraska financial institution, loans cannot be made by the institution. The names and locations of participating lenders in the state are available from the Energy Office and are also accessible at the Energy Office web site at Loan Search.

Interest rates have been rising in the past few months. What is the current interest rate on Dollar and Energy Saving Loans?

The maximum interest rate which participating lenders may charge on Dollar and Energy Saving Loans is 5%. This interest rate for loans has been in effect since last year.

Have there been any recent changes in the loan particulars?

The Energy Office made a few changes:

  • An outdoor combustion air inlet duct or a heat recovery ventilation system (also known as a heat exchanger), items 16 and 17 on Form 2, can be installed without any other improvements.
  • Replacement windows and glass doors are now required to have a minimum whole unit R-Value of 2.86 or more, or a U-Value of .35 or less (Listed on Form 2).
  • When installing space cooling or heating equipment, all new ductwork must be installed with gaskets or mastic in accordance with manufacturer's installation instructions. Duct tape is not permitted (Listed on Form 3).

Some borrower maximums have changed:

  • A single family home maximum eligible loan amount has increased from $25,000 to $35,000.
  • Any size business or nonprofit now may borrow up to $100,000 for improvements.
  • Commercial and multi-family building owners who sign up as a voluntary Rebuild Nebraska partner may borrow up to $150,000 for improvements.
A borrower wanted a home energy rating of his home to identify energy efficiency improvements that could be made. Who performs these ratings?

The Energy Office certifies home energy raters under the Nebraska Home Energy Rating System. You may obtain a listing of certified home energy raters in Nebraska by contacting the Energy Office. The borrower would then need to contact raters in their area for availability and costs. The cost of the rating could be included in a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan, if used to get a loan for improvements identified in the rating report.

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Information Services and Resources

telephone icon computer icon letter icon

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse provides fact sheets, brochures, videos and publications on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

letter icon

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse,
P.O. Box 3048,
Merrifield, VA 22116

telephone icon

Phone between 7am-4pm CT,
Monday-Friday. 1-800-363-3732
or for the hearing impaired call
1-800-273-2957 8am-6pm.
Fax 1-703-893-0400

computer icon

Internet: Office of EERE

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Ongoing


Mission

“The mission of the Nebraska Energy Office is to promote the efficient, economic and environmentally responsible use of energy.”

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Americans with Disabilities Act

In accordance with the American Disabilities Act, the state will provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in any program or activity listed in this publication, please contact the Energy Office at 402-471-2186 to coordinate arrangements. Upon request, this publication may be available in alternative formats.

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U.S. DOE Grant

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.

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