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 submission of an energy audit that verifies that the project will have a reasonable payback period (varies by improvement type).
The program works by leveraging of State Energy Office funds through collaboration with individual Nebraska banks, savings institutions, and credit unions. An individual seeking a loan under this program first approaches his or her financial institution, which approves the project on financial terms. The financial institution then gains approval from the Energy Office, who can purchase 50%, 65%, or 75% of the loan at 0% to deliver a low interest rate to the borrower.
Terms and Conditions
Under the program the simple interest rates are 5%, 3.5%, or 2.5% for the borrower, depending on the project. Prequalified projects are financed with a low-interest loan for up to 15 years for home and building improvements, 5 years for appliances, and 3 to 10 years for other prequalified projects.
Most loan applications are reviewed and processed within 10 working days. All qualifying work should be completed within 5 months of Energy Office's commitment of funds to invest in lender's fund.
As of August 2011, about 300 lenders at 900 Nebraska locations offer Dollar and Energy Savings Loans, and more than $250,000,000 has financed more than 26,000 projects.