State and Local Policy Database

Nebraska

State Scorecard Rank

42

Nebraska

9.5Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 2.5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

The state runs the Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program and benchmarks energy use in public buildings, but it has not pursued other lead by example initiatives. Research and development focused on energy efficiency is conducted at several institutions.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for Nebraska is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Nebraska) and State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. The state does enable Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE), but it does not have any active PACE programs.

Clean-burning Motor Vehicle Fuel Rebates: Through this program, the Nebraska Energy Office offers rebates for the purchase and installation of new equipment to convert motor vehicles to run on a qualified clean-burning fuel; the purchase of vehicles originally equipped to be propelled by a clean-burning motor vehicle fuel; and the purchase and installation of new property directly related to the compression and delivery of natural gas from a private home or residence for noncommercial purposes into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle propelled by compressed natural gas. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

All new construction paid for with state funds (and remodeling projects that cost more than 50 percent of the replacement cost of the building), must comply with the Nebraska Energy Code, the 2009 IECC.  Staff members from the Energy Office review the plans for compliance, or the designer/contractor may opt for the speedier certification path, which replaces actual plan submission. However, the project is still reviewed for code compliance.  

The state’s Administrative Services’ Building Division now benchmarks all existing state facilities using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

The state does not use the term “efficiency” in mandating fleet purchases. The state does require (LB 974) that more than 50 percent of the passenger fleet be intermediate, compact or subcompact: “After August 24, 1975, all state-owned vehicles that are passenger cars purchased, leased, rented, or approved for purchase, lease, or rent by the bureau shall be of the intermediate, compact, or subcompact class. Not less than fifty percent of such state-owned vehicles shall be of the compact or subcompact class unless the costs to operate and maintain such vehicles are not to the advantage of the state or such requirement fails to meet the intent of sections 81-1008 to 81-1025.”

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

There is enabling legislation (N.R.S. 66-1063) for the use of ESPCs by public entities in the state. Notwithstanding the procedures for public lettings in sections 73-101 to 73-106 or any other statute of the State of Nebraska relating to the letting of bids by a governmental unit, a governmental unit may enter into an energy financing contract with an energy service company pursuant to sections 66-1062 to 66-1066. In 2016, the Legislature passed LB 881, modifying some ot eh existing statutes. N.R.S. 66-1062 was amended to allow for more types of energy conservation measures. The legislation takes effect August 2016.

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR) is a fifteen-year initiative between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) established in 2006  to conduct research on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation, and to expand economic opportunities and improve quality of life for Nebraska and the nation. The Center supports both basic and applied research and has a broad mandate to explore a range of renewable energy opportunities (including biofuels, wind, and solar energy), as well as opportunities for energy conservation.  To date, $10 million has been contributed to the initiative.

The Energy Savings Potential (ESP) program is a collaboration between the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Omaha Public Power District. Since 2006, OPPD has allocated $500,000 a year for research on consumer behavior and ways to reduce energy consumption. Past research has studied low-income energy usage, neighborhood energy action efforts, real-time energy monitoring and commercial customer energy efficiency program adoption.

University of Nebraska Utility Corporation (NUCorp) is a partnership between Lincoln Electric System and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to develop new projects for identifying, financing, implementing and tracking demand-side management and energy efficiency projects at the university.

Last Updated: July 2016

Buildings
Score: 5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Nebraska is a home-rule state. The Nebraska Energy Code (NEC) requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the 2009 IECC. The state has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure compliance with building energy codes.

Residential Codes List All

Nebraska is a home-rule state, but its residential energy code, referred to as the Nebraska Energy Code (NEC), is mandatory statewide. Residential buildings are required to comply with the 2009 IECC with administrative amendments. Local jurisdictions can adopt any code that is more stringent than the NEC, and two municipalities have adopted the 2012 IECC: Gretna and Fremont. Nonetheless, 100% of new homes fall under the 2009 IECC as the NEC is the minimum standard. The Energy Office has conducted a study on the impact of the 2015 IECC, and is awaiting the final report.

Last Updated: June 2016

Commercial Code List All

Nebraska is a home-rule state, but its commercial energy code, referred to as the Nebraska Energy Code (NEC), is mandatory statewide. Commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007, with amendments. Local jurisdictions can adopt any code that is more stringent than the NEC, and two municipalities have adopted the 2012 IECC: Gretna and Fremont. The Energy Office has conducted a study on the impact of the 2015 IECC, and is awaiting the final report.

Last Updated: June 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: Nebraska has completed a gap analysis produced by BCAP which is online at OCEAN. Nebraska has also completed a strategic compliance plan produced by BCAP.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: The Energy Office completed an evaluation of recently built homes for energy code compliance in 2012. One hundred homes in 18 counties (only 44 homes were needed for a statistically valid sample) were evaluated by a RESNET Certified Home Energy Rater. In aggregate, the state average of energy code compliance was 64.7 percent. The highest compliance score was 83.67 percent, the lowest was 42.55 percent. Regional compliance rates were also calculated. By using a larger sample, the agency was able to evaluate homes in smaller code jurisdictions which was essential in designing specific training to address code jurisdiction staff deficiencies. The Energy Office also assisted in a code compliance study conducted by the Institute for Market Transformation. The study of 42 Nebraska homes in the three metropolitan counties (where 75 percent of new residential construction occurs) was completed in June 2013. The study also provides an assessment of the effectiveness of the localized, customized, one-on-one training being provided to codes staff members by an Energy Office contractor (retired codes official). This study estimated that the training provided had increased compliance by about 9 percent, or a state wide average of 75 percent compliance.
  • Utility Involvement: The state’s three largest publicly-owned electric utilities – Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska Public Power District and Omaha Public Power District – have a long history of providing very strong support (financial and in-kind) for building energy code upgrades, training, and code compliance activities. In the most recent example, Omaha Public Power District provided $10,000 in support of the Great Plains Energy Codes Conference. In the past, all of the utilities have provided financing, conference facilities and other types of support.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: Nebraska formed a Codes Compliance Collaborative in March 2013 with the assistance of BCAP/OCEAN and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. There are approximately 35 active participants (code officials, homebuilders, state and local policymakers, utility representatives, architects and designers, HVAC professionals, home energy raters, educators,  a lender, suppliers, advocacy groups, and a representative from a general contractors organization) who are working on the structure of the collaborative, tasks and missions and funding. The Collaborative meets at least quarterly and continues to work at the committee level on issues of relevance such as training and funding sources.
  • Training/Outreach: The state actively recruits codes officials, builders, designers and other professions for workshop opportunities. The Energy Office provides customized, localized one-on-one technical assistance to local code jurisdictions. This effort, begun in 2012, utilizes the findings of the code compliance evaluation of 100 homes to identify deficiencies in each code jurisdiction. A specific training course is developed by a highly-respected, retired code official who then works one-on-one with local code staff to strengthen the identified areas of weakness. To date, nearly all of the state’s 29 code jurisdictions have received the customized training and additional sessions were provided in the metropolitan counties for intensive plan review compliance.

Last Updated: July 2015

CHP
Score: 0 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

The state does not have policies in place that encourage the deployment of CHP. No new CHP systems were installed in Nebraska in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Nebraska Interconnection Standard

Description: Nebraska’s interconnection standard only applies to systems 25kW and smaller, and only to those powered by renewable fuels such as biomass.

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

There are currently no state policies that provide incentives for CHP deployment.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently no additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.

Last Updated: June 2016

Utilities
Score: 1.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Nebraska's 162 electric utilities are all publicly-owned. There is utility-sector energy efficiency activity statewide. Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, and Lincoln Electric System account for the majority of utility program spending and efforts; other energy efficiency activities are at 84 other utilities. The Nebraska Energy Office administers a loan program for energy efficiency improvements using federal and trust funds.  

There are 16 publicly-owned and four investor-owned natural gas utilities in Nebraska. Nebraska’s natural gas utilities do not offer energy efficiency programs at this time.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last updated: August 2015

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

All electricity customers in Nebraska are served by publicly owned utilities. More than 80 electric utilities offer a variety of energy efficiency programs for their customers: Nebraska natural gas utilities do not offer energy efficiency programs at this time.

There also are loan programs available to customers in the Nebraska Public Power District.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: July 2015

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

While there is no EERS in place, the three largest electric utilities have established savings goals for customer demand-side management programs.  Additionally, all three of the largest electric utilities in the state have integrated resource plans as well as a number of smaller municipal electric systems. Those utilities in the state that receive annual allocations of federal hydropower produced electricity (which met 6.9 percent of the state’s electric need in 2010) must periodically submit a multi-year integrated resource plan (IRP). These plans must detail ways that the utility will reduce electricity use through energy efficiency and demand side management activities.

Last Updated: July 2015

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place. However, the Omaha Public Power District has self-imposed participation and DSM goals.

For more information on Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, click here.

Last Updated: July 2015

Utility Business Model List All

There is currently no policy in place that decouples utility profits from sales. 

There is currently no policy in place that rewards successful energy efficiency programs.

Last Updated: July 2015

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: TRC, UCT, PCT, RIM
  • Uses a deemed savings database: yes

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs is not formally required in Nebraska, and the rules for benefit-cost tests are not specified. Evaluations are administered by the utilities and are conducted statewide and for each of the utilities. Nebraska uses three of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/ProgramAdministrator (UCT), and Participant (PCT) test. Nebraska specifies the TRC to be its primary test for decision making. The benefit-cost tests are required for portfolio and total program level screening. 

Last Updated: July 2015

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific required spending or savings requirements identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

Not applicable.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

Level of coordination is unclear from publicly available data.

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

There are not self direct or opt-out programs in Nebraska. 

Last updated: July 2016

Data AccessList All

Nebraska has no policy in place that requires utilities to release energy use data to customers or third parties. 

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation
Score: 0.5 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

Nebraska has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land Use Integration: No policy in place or proposed.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: No policy in place or proposed.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Nebraska has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2016