Nebraska residential solar energy incentives

Dollar and energy savings loans:

-Residents of Nebraska that wish to make energy efficiency improvements on their homes are eligible to receive low interest loans administered by the Nebraska Energy Office.
-Homes and buildings that are 5 years or older are eligible. Newer buildings will not qualify for these loans.
-Energy efficiency improvements that qualify include equipment and technologies for solar water heating, solar space heating, solar PV, landfill gas, biomass, geothermal electric, hydroelectric and renewable fuels.
-Eligible projects must either be included in the “pre-qualified improvements” list or be approved by submitting an energy audit of the project that confirms it will have a practical payback period.
-Interest rates for these loans are no more than 5% with a maximum payback term of 5 to 15 years depending on project.
-Loan amounts vary.

Net metering:

-Net metering is available to customers who have facilities that generate electricity through solar, wind, methane, biomass, hydropower or geothermal systems.
-The power produced by the renewable energy system is used to offset the kilowatt hours consumed each month. The incentive shows up as a credit on the customer’s monthly bill.
-Customers keep all renewable energy credits connected to the electricity their system generates.
-Systems must have a capacity of 25 kilowatts or less to be eligible for net metering.

Residential renewable energy tax credit:

-This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for.
-Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008.
-The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability.
-This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion:

-This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities.
-The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income.
-Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-efficient mortgages:

-This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.