Nebraska Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Nebraska Rebates and Incentives Summary

NebraskaAs part of America’s breadbasket, Nebraska has plenty of sunlight that keeps its crops growing. Sadly, as of yet, Nebraska’s legislature has not yet done much in the way of promoting this natural resource as a source of clean energy for its residents. Net metering does exist in Nebraska, but unfortunately, the rate is so low that only industrial-sized solar energy systems could benefit appreciably from it. Additionally, the cap for credits in this program is 1 percent of the total energy produced by the utilities companies, so after the cap is reached, you will not receive any credits at all. Contact your state legislature to see how you can go about trying to improve this program for all Nebraska residents.

If you are a Cornhusker, there are some renewable energy programs available for homeowners and business pioneers in the forms of loans and energy innovation grants. Additionally, most utilities companies in the major cities offer ways to take advantage of the net metering program. Nebraska has the potential to become a solar energy powerhouse that would rival its agricultural capacity, but it’s up to you to make sure that the state starts taking steps in the right direction

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Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

In September 2011 the Nebraska Building Energy Code was updated to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standards. As with the previous 2003 IECC standards, which had been in place since 2005, the Code applies to all new buildings, renovations, or additions to existing buildings. However, only those renovations that will cost more than 50% of the

Dollar and Energy Savings Loans

The Nebraska Dollar and Energy Savings Loan program was created in 1990 using oil overcharge funds. The program, administered by the Nebraska Energy Office, makes available low-interest loans for residential and commercial energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects. 

Renewable energy projects may be eligible for a loan under one of two circumstances. First, a project may be eligible if it is included in a list of prequalified improvements. This list includes a variety of renewable energy projects, including wind, photovoltaics, solar hot water heating, and fuel cells. Second, projects not listed as prequalified improvements may be eligible with the

Interconnection Guidelines

In May 2009 Nebraska established statewide interconnection and net metering rules for all electric utilities in Nebraska (see L.B. 436).

Process

The customer-generator must pay for costs incurred by the local distribution utility for equipment or services required for interconnection that would not be necessary if the qualified facility were not interconnected to the local distribution system, except the utility is required to provide at no additional cost to any customer-generator with a qualified facility a metering system that is capable of measuring the flow of electricity in both directions.

To be eligible, a qualified facility must meet all applicable

Lincoln Electric System (Residential) - Sustainable Energy Program

Lincoln Electric System (LES) offers several rebates to their residential customers who are interested in upgrading to energy efficient household equipment. 

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning January 1, 2019. 

Please see the program web site for more information and access to applications. Differing information given by Lincoln Electric System will supersede this information. 

Lincoln Electric System - Customer-Owned Generation

Lincoln Electric System offers a one-time capacity payment to the owner of the renewable generation based on the contribution of peak reduction by the renewable resource, valued at a traditional resource cost of $1,000 per kW-AC. Capacity increases or additions in future years will be eligible for the capacity payment. The total amount customers can receive is determined by the type and efficiency of the technology installed, for example:

  • Southern facing fixed-photovoltaic solar: the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) * $375.
  • Western facing or single or dual axis tracking fixed-photovoltaic solar: the unit’s nameplate DC capacity (kW) * $475.
  • Wind - no

Local Option - Property-Assessed Clean Energy Financing

The Property Assessed Clean Energy Act was signed on April 13, 2016. This law allows municipalities to create clean energy assessment districts. Municipalities that create such districts may enter into contracts with qualifying property owners and (if participating) third-party financiers to provide financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects on the qualifying property. The projects are paid back through assessments on the owner's property taxes.

MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

MidAmerican Energy offers basic energy efficiency incentives for residential customers in Nebraska. These incentives include gas heating equipment such as furnaces and water heaters. Free energy audits are also available through the program, which can include free improvements like a water heater insulation blanket, six feet of water pipe insulation, up to two energy-saving faucet aerators, and up to two energy-saving shower heads. Contact MidAmerican Energy for more information on this program or view the program web site.

Nebraska Public Power District - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

The Nebraska Public Power District offers rebates to homeowners who purchase energy efficient heat pumps, upgrade their insulation, install LED lighting, and/or have their cooling system tuned-up. The High Efficiency Heat Pump Program offers rebates for both air-source and geothermal heat pumps. Once the installing contractor has installed the heat pump, they must conduct a Performance Verification Test of the system. Results from this test must be attached to the program application. If the installed heat pump is 14 SEER or higher, the installing contractor can also receive a $50 rebate.

The Cooling System Tune-Up Program offers a $30 incentive to

Net Metering

In May 2009 Nebraska established statewide interconnection and net metering rules for all electric utilities in Nebraska (see L.B. 436).

Eligibility and Availability

Utilities are required to provide interconnection and net metering for a customer-generator’s “qualified facility,” which generates electricity from an energy source of solar, methane, wind, biomass, hydropower, or geothermal and has a rated capacity at or below 25 kilowatts (kW). Utilities are required to offer net metering until the aggregate generating capacity of all customer-generators equals 1% of the utility's average monthly peak demand for that year. A utility may enter into other arrangements with customers

Omaha City - Wind Energy Conservation System Requirements

There is no longer a specific wind energy conservation system permit, instead wind energy conservation systems are classified under special use permit procedures. The purpose of the special use permit is to provide for projects which have unusual site development or operating characteristics, potentially negative effects on surrounding neighborhoods, or substantial impact on Omaha's development objectives or realization of its comprehensive plan. These provisions are designed to incorporate complete review of these projects and to specify conditions by which these projects may be compatibly and soundly developed.

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Generation Facilities

Note: In May 2015, L.B. 424 was enacted, which adds solar, biomass, and landfill gas tangible personal property to this exemption effective January 1, 2016. This exemption is only applicable for wind energy tangible personal property prior to this date.

Personal Property

In 2010 Nebraska created a nameplate capacity tax that replaced the Nebraska Department of Revenue's central assessment and taxation of depreciable tangible personal property associated with wind energy generation facilities (see L.B. 1048). In 2015, eligibility was extended to solar, biomass, and landfill gas (see L.B. 424).

The nameplate capacity tax is $3,518 per installed megawatt

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Community Renewable Energy Projects

Note: Enacted March 2015, L.B. 412 created the following requirement: "To the extent feasible, a C-BED project developer shall provide, in writing, notice of incentives pursuant to the Rural Community-Based Energy Development Act for local ownership and local participation in a C-BED project to each property owner on whose property a turbine will be located and to the elected governing body of each municipality or political subdivision in which a turbine will be located."

In May 2007 Nebraska established an exemption from the sales and use tax imposed on the gross receipts from the sale, lease, or rental of personal

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Property

Nebraska allows for a refund of the sales and use taxes paid for a renewable energy system used to produce electricity for sale. To qualify, the investment must be at least $20,000,000. The law describes eligible sources of renewable energy as including, but not limited to, wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, and transmutation of elements. This refund does not apply to the first 1.5% of sales tax charged by a municipality.  

Note that partial recapture of benefits is possible if the taxpayer or tax-paying entity does not maintain the number of equivalent employees as they had in the base year. 

Solar and Wind Easements

Nebraska's solar and wind agreement provisions allow property owners to create binding solar and wind easements, among other types of agreements, for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight and wind. The initial term of a wind agreement may not exceed 40 years. Additionally, a wind agreement will terminate if development has not commenced within 10 years of the effective date of the wind agreement. If all parties involved agree to extend this period, however, the agreement may be extended. Wind developers are required to ensure decommissioning funds are available for inactive systems.

Local Ordinances and Zoning

Southern Power District - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Southern Power District (SPD) offers rebates for the purchase and installation of efficient air source heat pumps, water heaters, attic insulation, and HVAC tune-ups. All equipment efficiency standards and program requirements must be met in order to receive rebates. Program forms and applications are available on the program web site listed above. Contact SPD for more information on these incentives.