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Energy Efficiency Policies and Practices in Nebraska

Utility Sector

Utility sector policies are those policies that directly affect the way that the state's electricity and natural gas utilities do business and serve the energy needs of their customers.  These policies include utility forecasting and planning requirements for energy efficiency, requirements for energy efficiency delivery to customers, regulatory mechanisms to determine utility revenues for energy efficiency services, processes for working collaboratively with other utilities and energy stakeholders to advance energy efficiency, requirements for evaluating energy efficiency programs and portfolios, and policies to promote the development of the next generation of energy grids.


Resource Planning

Nebraska Code Section 66-1060 directs public utilities in Nebraska (all of the state's electric utilities are public power districts or cooperatives) to practice Integrated Resource Planning, considering options including energy efficiency and conservation, cogeneration and district heating/cooling, and renewable resources, and to include least-cost options with minimized life cycle costs and priority given to energy efficiency measures.

Additionally, under Nebraska State Statute 70-1025, the "representative organization" (in this case the Nebraska Power Association, NPA) files a coordinated long-range power supply plan with a 20-year forecast horizon on a schedule determined by the Nebraska Power Review Board, no more often than biennially, as well as an annual load and capacity report. The NPA's latest Long Range Planning Report was filed in 2012. It does not address the use of demand-side resources to meet energy needs. The NPA's 2010 Research and Conservation Report details energy efficiency measures that the NPA members have undertaken but the lack of inclusion of demand-side measures in the long range report indicate that demand-side resources still are not valued the same as supply-side energy resources by the NPA.

► Overview of Resource Planning policies in the Midwest


Energy Efficiency Standards

Nebraska does not have any statewide mandate for energy efficiency savings.  Unique among states, Nebraska's electric utilties are all public power districts (PPDs) or cooperatives, and are not regulated by the state commission, though they do report to the Nebraska Power Review Board for planning purposes.

► Overview of Efficiency Standards policies in the Midwest


Rate Structures & Incentives

Cost Recovery

Nebraska's unique utility structure means that the electric utilities are consumer-owned and operate on a not-for-profit basis. Energy efficiency program spending is authorized by the utility's board and costs and savings are passed directly to the ratepayers. There is no need for cost-recovery mechanisms under this utility structure. Individual utility boards determine their rate structures and how to pay for efficiency programs.

Lost Revenue Recovery

Nebraska's unique utility structure means that the electric utilities are consumer-owned and operate on a not-for-profit basis. Energy efficiency program spending is authorized by the utility's board and costs and savings are passed directly to the ratepayers. Lost revenue charges, surcharges, or extra returns are not necessary for public power and not-for-profit cooperatives to adopt cost-effective energy efficiency rates and programs.

Utility Incentives

Because utilities in Nebraska answer directly to their ratepayers, performance incentives for utility energy efficiency programs are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Noncompliance Penalties

As there is no mandatory energy efficiency in Nebraska, there is no need for noncompliance penalties.

► Overview of rate structures & incentives in the Midwest


Stakeholder Collaboration

Every electric utility in Nebraska is either a public power district or a cooperative. As such, their boards answer directly to their key stakeholders. Statewide coordination between utilties is done through the auspices of the Nebraska Power Association.

► Overview of stakeholder collaboratives in the Midwest


Program Evaluation

Cost-Effectiveness Testing

Utilities in Nebraska primarily use the Total Resource Cost Test (TRC) for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs, as well as using the Program Administrator Cost Test (PACT) and the Participant Cost Test (PCT) in their program screening. There are no statutory or regulatory requirements.

Net vs. Gross

The use of net and gross measures of energy efficiency savings varies by utility and program in Nebraska. There are no statutory or regulatory requirements.

Technical Resource Manual

There is not a statewide technical resource manual for Nebraska.

► Overview of efficiency program evaluation in the Midwest


Smart Grid

The Smart Grid Information Clearninghouse identifies the following smart grid projects in Nebraska:

Recovery Act-funded smart grid projects that benefit Nebraska, as identified on SmartGrid.gov include:

► Overview of smart grids in the Midwest


 

Read the report that accompanies these pages:
Energy Efficiency Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Midwest:
A Resource Guide for Policymakers (2014 Edition)

►more information about the Resource Guide