Nebraska Laws and Incentives
Listed below are the summaries of all current Nebraska laws, incentives, regulations, funding opportunities, and other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality. You can go directly to summaries of:
Cellulosic Ethanol Investment Tax Credit
A qualified investor may receive a tax credit for 40% of an investment of up to $350,000 in a small business that is improving, researching, developing, or producing a proprietary product, process, or service related to cellulosic ethanol. A qualified investor is an individual, trust, or pass-through entity that meets certain requirements set by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. An eligible small business must employ up to 25 individuals, be headquartered in Nebraska, and employ over half of its employees in the state or have over half of its total payroll paid or incurred in the state. Up to $4 million in tax credits is available annually until 2022, and a single qualified small business may claim up to $1 million in tax credits. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 77-2715.07, 77-6301 through 77-6310)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) and Fueling Infrastructure Loans
The Nebraska Energy Office administers the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan Program, which makes low-cost loans available for a variety of alternative fuel projects, including the replacement of conventional vehicles with AFVs; the purchase of new AFVs; the conversion of conventional vehicles to operate on alternative fuels; and the construction or purchase of fueling stations or equipment. The maximum loan amount is $500,000 per borrower, and the interest rate is 5% or less. For more information, see the Dollar and Energy Saving Loans website.
Point of Contact
Energy Technical Advisor
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
Phone: (402) 471-2867
Biofuels Innovation Grants
The Nebraska Department of Economic Development's Bioscience Innovation Program provides funding assistance to qualified bioscience businesses for innovative biofuels projects. This program is available through December 1, 2021. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, including application deadlines, see the Qualified Action Plan. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 81-12,153 and 81-12,155.01)
Alternative Fuel Tax Refund
The Nebraska Department of Revenue will refund taxes paid on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and propane when the fuel is used to operate buses capable of carrying seven or more passengers within or near a municipality. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 66-6,100 and 66-6,109.01)
Ethanol and Biodiesel Tax Exemption
Motor fuels sold to an ethanol or biodiesel production facility and motor fuels manufactured at and sold from an ethanol or biodiesel facility are exempt from certain motor fuel tax laws enforced by the Motor Fuels Division of the Nebraska Department of Revenue. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 66-489 and 66-496)
Natural Gas Vehicle and Idle Reduction Weight Exemption
The maximum gross weight for any vehicle fueled primarily by natural gas may exceed the state's gross weight limit by the difference between the weight of the natural gas fueling tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable diesel fueling tank and fueling system, up to 2,000 pounds per vehicle.
The maximum gross weight limit and axle weight limit for any vehicle or combination of vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology may exceed the state's gross weight limit by up to 550 pounds per vehicle to compensate for the additional weight of the idle reduction technology.
(Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-6,294)
Natural Gas Vehicle Weight Exemption
The maximum gross weight for any vehicle fueled primarily by natural gas may exceed the state's gross weight limit by the difference between the weight of the natural gas fueling tank and fueling system and the weight of a comparable diesel fueling tank and fueling system, up to 2,000 pounds per vehicle. (Reference Legislative Bill 909, 2018, and Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-6,294)
All-Electric Vehicle (EV) and Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Rebate - OPPD
Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) offers residential customers rebates of $2,500 toward the purchase of a new EV and qualified Level 2 EVSE, $500 toward the purchase of qualified Level 2 EVSE, and $100 toward residential installation. Participants must purchase the EVSE through OPPD. For more information, including rebate availability, see the OPPD EV Rebate Program website.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicle Incentives - Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD)
Residential gas customers in the Omaha area served by the MUD are eligible for a $500 rebate for the purchase of a dedicated CNG vehicle. Rebates are in the form of a pre-paid fuel card and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants must provide proof of purchase for the vehicle to qualify. Additional restrictions may apply. Commercial rebates are available on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, commercial fleets in the Omaha area are eligible to receive financial assistance from the MUD Fleet Fund for up to 50% of the incremental cost of purchasing a dedicated CNG vehicle. Funding awarded will vary based on various factors, including annual fuel usage.
Point of Contact
Business Development Specialist
Metropolitan Utilities District
Phone: (402) 504-7185
Laws and Regulations
Ethanol Infrastructure Grant Authorization
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (DEE) will establish the Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program to provide grants for the installation, replacement, or conversion of ethanol fueling infrastructure. Eligible equipment must store and dispense 15% ethanol by volume (E15) or more than 70% or more ethanol by volume (E85) and comply with federal and state standards. Grants may cover 50% of the estimated costs of the project, up to $30,000, whichever is less, for a three-year cost-share agreement, or 70% of the estimated costs of the project, up to $50,000, whichever is less, for a five-year cost-share agreement. Nebraska DEE may award up to $1 million in grants in any calendar year. Additional terms and conditions apply. (Reference Legislative Bill 585, 2019)
Autonomous Vehicle Operation
A fully autonomous vehicle or a driverless-capable vehicle may operate without a driver present in the vehicle, if the vehicle is capable of operating in compliance with traffic and motor safety laws and regulations, is registered, and is insured. If a driver is present, the driver must be licensed properly in the event that manual control of the vehicle is necessary. Other conditions apply. (Reference Nevada Revised Statutes 60-3301 through 60-3311)
Low-Speed Vehicle Access to Roadways
Low-speed vehicles may only travel on roadways with a posted speed limit of up to 35 miles per hour (mph) but may cross highways with a posted speed limit of over 35 mph. A low-speed vehicle is any four-wheeled motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 3,000 pounds and a top speed of at least 20 mph but not more than 25 mph. A low-speed vehicle must be manufactured in compliance with federal standards for low-speed vehicles as referenced in Title 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, section 571.500. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-119.01 and 60-6,380)
Natural Gas Motor Vehicle Fuel Promotion
An eight member Natural Gas Fuel Board (Board) was created to advise the Nebraska Energy Office regarding the promotion of natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel. The Board will provide recommendations relating to the distribution, infrastructure, and workforce development necessary for widespread use of natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel; loans, grants, and tax incentives that will encourage the use of natural gas as a motor vehicle fuel by individuals and public and private fleets; and other matters as the Board deems appropriate. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 66-2001)
Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Registration
A fee of $75 is required for the registration of an AFV that operates on electricity, solar power, or any other source of energy not otherwise taxed under the state motor fuel tax laws. Compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and propane are not subject to this requirement. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-306 and 60-3,191)
Alternative Fuel Excise Tax
An excise tax of $0.095 per gallon or gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) is imposed on all compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and propane sold for use in registered motor vehicles. Additionally, each retailer of such fuel must pay an excise tax of $0.068 per gallon or GGE on all CNG, LNG, and propane fuel sold for use in registered motor vehicles. Additional taxes as specified annually under these statutes may apply. (Reference Nebraska Revised Statutes 66-6,102, 66-6,107, and 66-6,109)