Energy Efficiency Standards
Nebraska does not have any statewide mandate for energy efficiency savings. Unique among states, Nebraska's electric utilities are all public power districts (PPDs), cooperatives, or municipal utilites and are not regulated by the state commission, though they do report to the Nebraska Power Review Board for planning purposes.
Nebraska requires its public utilities to engage in integrated resource planning (IRP), considering options including energy efficiency and conservation, co-generation and district heating/cooling, and renewable resources. Utilities must include least-cost options with minimized life cycle costs and priority given to energy efficiency measures.
Additionally, a representative of the Public Power Districts (i.e., the Nebraska Power Association, NPA) must file 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. This plan has not been updated since 2012 and does not address demand-side resources. The 2022 NPA Load and Capability Report summarizes the existing renewable and demand-side resources in the state.
Rate Structures & Incentives
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
Similar to cost-recovery, 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.
Because utilities in Nebraska answer directly to their ratepayers, performance incentives for utility energy efficiency programs are unnecessary.
As there is no mandatory energy efficiency standard in Nebraska, there are no noncompliance penalties.
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 utilities is done through the Nebraska Power Association.
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.
State Energy Plan or Vision
The 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan sets forth the state's vision for future energy use. Its stated goals are to "ensure access to affordable and reliable energy for Nebraskans to use responsibly; advance implementation and innovation of renewable energy in the state; [and] reduce petroleum consumption in Nebraska’s transportation sector." One of the strategies it enumerates is to increase the use of demand-side management and energy efficiency within the unique all-public-power energy sector in the state, though the vast majority of its strategies are supply-side investments. The opportunity for demand-side management in the agricultural sector, specifically in irrigation, is emphasized.
Nebraska’s 2012 Statewide Coordinated Long Range Power Supply Plan was completed in order to comply with the Nebraska Power Review Board’s request for such a plan to inform the Board on the status of future electrical loads and resources on a statewide basis.
State Agency Energy Reduction Requirement
Nebraska does not have any policies in place to require or encourage the reduction of energy use by state agencies.
EE in State Buildings
With the recent legislative passage of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code, new state buildings, buildings constructed with state funds, as well as all newly built houses and buildings must meet or exceed requirements of the 2018 IECC.
Nebraska’s Administrative Services’ Building Division benchmarks all existing state facilities using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
Key Policymaker Contacts
- Unicameral Leadership
- Unicameral Committee on Natural Resources
- Nebraska Governor
- Nebraska Public Service Commission
- Nebraska Public Power District
- Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy