As of June 30, 2006: 22,800 loans for $182.1 million

Questions and Answers...

5% Dollar and
Energy Saving Loans

ben franklin
The Nebraska Energy Quarterly features questions asked about 5% Dollar and Energy Saving Loans.
Loan forms may be obtained from participating lenders, the Nebraska Energy Office, or the agency's web site by clicking on the “Loan Forms” button above.
Q: I plan to apply for a Dollar and Energy Saving Loan to replace the windows in my house. I also want to replace the propane hot water heater and propane radiant heat system with a corn furnace that would heat the water and circulate it through the radiant system & water system. Would these improvements qualify for the loan?
A: The new windows will need to have an NFRC tested whole or total unit U-value of 0.35 or less. If the brand of windows you select is not NFRC tested, the windows may still qualify, provided the frames and sashes are either vinyl, wood or aluminum with a thermal break, and there are at least two panes of glass with one pane having a low-E coating, and the space between the glass is filled with either argon, krypton, carbon dioxide, SF6 or some combination of these.

For the corn stove to qualify for a loan, you will need to complete forms 32, 33, and Steps to Obtain a Low Interest Loan Using an Energy Audit. The corn stove must show a minimum 15 year simple payback against the complete installed cost. Completing the form is, in essence, a "do-it-yourself" energy audit, where the current actual heating costs are compared with anticipated costs from a corn stove. You can obtain the forms from the Energy Office web site or from your lender.

Since this is a replacement type loan, the existing equipment will need to be removed. It cannot be kept as backup. There are some exceptions to this, and those exceptions are listed in the article below.

In order to complete your energy audit, you will need to establish an efficiency for the corn stove. This efficiency must be a tested efficiency. The type of efficiency would preferably be a seasonal efficiency, but a steady state efficiency could be used and reduced by 5 to 20 percent, depending on the components of the unit in question. For the purpose of calculating savings, you would need to use the 20 percent efficiency reduction, unless you could show an instantaneous pilot, proper sizing, short start-up and cool-down, thin wall heat exchanger with low thermal mass, and standard set point heating controls. You would need to obtain a copy of the seasonal or steady state efficiency test from the corn stove manufacturer.

When submitting the audit to your lender, or to the Energy Office, you will also need to provide a complete description of the existing system, including model numbers of your current heating and hot water heating units, and copies of your heating and cooling bills for the past year. You will also need to provide data to support efficiency ratings.

To complete your calculation, you will need to know the heating value of corn: 15 percent moisture is 380,800 British thermal units per bushel. Claims of 504,000 British thermal units per bushel are for corn at 0 percent moisture only. See the articles listed below from Penn State University.

1. Burning Shelled Corn — A Renewable Fuel Source

2. Can a Cornburning Stove be Financed?
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