State and Local Policy Database

Nebraska

State Scorecard Rank

43

Nebraska

9.5Scored out of 50Updated 10/2019
State Government
Score: 2.5 out of 6
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. The state does enable Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing (PACE), and in May 2017 the Omaha City Council passed an ordinance designating a city-wide PACE district and establishing a commercial PACE program.

The Dollar & Energy Savings Loan program uses a participation model to provide low-interest loans to Nebraska homeowners and businesses for energy efficiency, alternative energy and waste minimization projects.  In 2017 cost of qualified portion of project totaled $8.47 million, of which state share was $5.69 million (so non-state share $2.78 million).

Last Updated: July 2018

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

We were unable to determine if the state's energy plans or electrification strategies establish specific policies or equity-related metrics to ensure access for underserved customers or if they include specific measures to prioritize clean energy workforce development.

Last Updated: September 2020

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Nebraska does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

Carbon dioxide reductions are tracked through the weatherization program and in residential loans provided through the Dollar and Energy Savings Loan program. The utilities do not currently include emissions reductions within benefit-cost testing calculations.

Last Updated: July 2020

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2018

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 2018 IECC. Staff members from the Energy Office review the plans for compliance, or the designer/contractor may also follow the regulations established by the Nebraska Board of Architects and Engineers certification, which replaces actual plan submission. Regardless, 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. The Dept. of Administrative Services has been collecting utility data from the state agencies in a database since calendar year 2014. However, the database does not reflect any requirement, voluntary measures for the benchmarking of energy use in public buildings. The State University System has been tracking the energy use in its buildings on several of its campuses.

Last Updated: July 2020

Fleets List All

The state does not use the term “efficiency” in mandating fleet purchases. The state does require 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 2020

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 of the 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 Reviewed: July 2020

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 2018

Buildings
Score: 6 out of 8
Buildings Summary List All

Nebraska is a home-rule state. Effective July 1, 2020, the Nebraska Energy Code (NEC) requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the 2018 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 2018 NEC/IECC beginning July 1, 2020, with administrative amendments. Local jurisdictions that adopt thermal and /or energy codes may make modificiations to the NEC following review by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. In 2017, the Energy Assistance Division of the Nebraska Energy Office, now the Dept. of Environment and Energy, conducted an energy impact study on the adoption of the 2018 IECC. 

Effective July 1, 2020, the Nebraska Energy Code will be based on the 2018 IECC with adminiatrative amendments. 

Last Updated: September 2020

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, starting July 1, 2020, must comply with the 2018 IECC/NEC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1 - 2016, with administrative amendments. Local jurisdictions can adopt any code that is more stringent than the NEC. The Energy Assistance Division of the Nebraska Dept. of Environment and Enegy, is awaiting the results of a compliance study on commercial building compliance with the 2009 IECC.

Effective July 1, 2020, the Nebraska Eneergy Code will be based on the 2018 IECC with no amendments.

Last Updated: September 2020

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: In 2011, Nebraska worked with BCAP to publish a gap analysis and strategic compliance plan.
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In late 2017, the Energy Assistance Division of the Nebraska Energy Office, now the Department of Environment and Energy, completed residential construction data collection in accordance with protocol established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program’s field requirements to document baseline practices. Key Item Analysis showed that:

1. All of the observations met or exceeded the Envelope Air Leakage requirement of the 2009 IECC and the average result of the 67 homes tested was 2.48 ACH50, which exceeds the requirement of the newly adopted 2018 IECC. 
2. The average High-Efficacy Lighting count in the 67 homes tested was 68.73%, which exceeds the requirement of the 2009 IECC, but will need improvement to meet the 90% requirement of the newly adopted 2018 IECC.  
3. Although most homes in Nebraska are constructed with 100% of the ducts located within the building envelope, those homes that were tested show that duct leakage and proper sealing applications should be a focus in Nebraska. 
4. The average Ceiling Insulation R-value in the 75 homes inspected was R-42.84, which exceeds the R-38 prescriptive requirement of the 2009 IECC, but will need to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the newly adopted 2018 IECC. 
5. Similar to the Ceiling Insulation discussed above, the average Wall Insulation U-factor in the 75 homes inspected was U-0.06, which doesn’t quite meet the U-0.057 prescriptive requirement of the 2009 IECC, but a large number of Nebraska jurisdictions and builders utilize RESCheck tradeoffs to allow them to utilize 2x4 wall construction. 
6. The average Basement Wall Insulation R-value in the 20 homes inspected was R-11.07, which slightly exceeds the R-10 prescriptive continuous insulation requirement of the 2009 IECC, but will need to be adjusted to meet the increased requirements of the newly adopted 2018 IECC.

Copies of the PNNL evaluation is available here

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy is currently working with the DOE Building Energy Codes Program, under the direction of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), to measure the impact of energy codes on commercial buildings and identify opportunities for savings through increased 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: The Nebraska Energy Code Compliance Collaborative (NECCC) was created in March 2013 to support achievement of the goal of full compliance with building energy codes that meet or exceed the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. The Collaborative meets at least quarterly and continues to work at the committee level on issues of relevance such as training and funding sources. The NECCC was very active in providing information to the legislature which led to the adoption of the 2018 IACC.
  • Training/Outreach: State Statute 81-1620 requires the State Energy Office to establish a training program to provide initial technical assistance to local code officials and residential and commercial builders upon adoption and implementation of a new Nebraska Energy Code.  That program must include the training of local code officials in building technology and local enforcement procedures related to implementation of the Nebraska Energy Code and the development of training programs suitable for presentation by local governments, educational institutions, and other public or private entities. In conjunction with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Dept. planned and participated in a codes training conference. Additionally, the Department sponsored five well-attended code training webinars that reached approximately 500 individuals.

Last Reviewed: September 2020

 

CHP
Score: -0.5 out of 3
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 2018.

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: September 2018

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: September 2018

Deployment IncentivesList All

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

Last Updated: September 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently no additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.

Last Updated: September 2018

Utilities
Score: 0.5 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: July 2018

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 are also 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 2018

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% 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 2017

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place. Each of the state's major public power utilities have self-imposed energy efficiency targets, including Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, and Lincoln Electric System.

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

Last Updated: July 2017

Utility Business Model List All

There is currently no policy in place that decouples utility profits from sales. (As utilities in the state of Nebraska are by statute 100% publicly owned, there are no profits from which to decouple the variable energy rate component.)

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

Last Updated: July 2017

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test
  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: ratepayer impact measure test

Evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs is not mandated at the state level but rather is conducted by each of the local public power regulating entities.. Generally, benefit-cost tests are applied to the portfolio level, rather than individual measure, for screening.

According to the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), Nebraska uses a Utility Cost Test (UCT) as its primary cost effectiveness test for decision making. In addition, Nebraska uses the Ratepayer Impact Measure test (RIM) as a secondary test, requiring the portfolio to achieve at least 0.6 on the RIM test.

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Nebraska is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP).

Last Updated: January 2020

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 were identified.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

No specific adjustments or exceptions to general cost-effectiveness rules are in place for low-income programs.

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

Utilities collaborate closely with local and regional community-action and state agencies as well as the Nebraska Energy Assistance Network (NEAN) to fund and coordinate low-income assistance including weatherization and billing assistance.

Last updated: July 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

There are no self-direct or opt-out programs in Nebraska. 

Last updated: July 2017

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: 1 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 Reviewed: July 2019

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.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: No freight plan or goals in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
Nebraska does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, nor does it consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners. Last Reviewed: July 2019
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019