Renewable Energy

Learn How this Resource is emPowering Lincoln

SOLAR emPOWERED is Mayor Beutler's Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative's solar energy information resource.

Our goal is to

  • increase awareness of solar opportunities for home and business owners,
  • help make 'Going Solar' as easy as possible for people in Lincoln, and
  • share how the City of Lincoln is reducing its costs with solar energy.

We are helping local businesses and homeowners get SOLAR emPOWERED.

Our Support for Solar Energy

The City is working to make installing solar power in Lincoln as easy as installing a new furnace or new water heater. Our goal is to streamline processes and remove barriers to make the experience more user-friendly and the process more understandable. Also, we want residents of Lincoln to take advantage of the financial support available from the city, state, and federal governments.

Support through Solar Incentives:

Solar energy is encouraged by Lincoln Electric System (LES). Our local publicly owned utility is committed to adding renewable energy to its portfolio, and is leading the state in solar energy support by:

  1. Providing "net metering" for excess production from solar energy systems,
  2. Paying net metering rates for solar energy capacity up to 100 kWh, far above the state minimums, and
  3. Allowing LES customers to now qualify for a one-time "capacity payment" of up to $500 per kilowatt of peak-demand reduced.

Support through Solar Financing

The State of Nebraska provides a loan program for Solar Power. The maximum incentive for photovoltaic systems is $125,000 and $14,000 for solar water heaters. Interest rates vary between 2.5% and 5% with payback periods of 5 to 15 years.

Support through Tax Credits

You can receive both state and federal tax credits if you install Solar Power. The federal credit is for 30% of the cost of an installation, greatly lowering your cost

Saving Tax Payer Dollars

The cost of solar installations dropped 52 percent between 2010 and 2012, making it a far more cost-effective solution. This is a smart investment for Lincoln because it lowers the city's energy bills, saving taxpayer dollars. It also demonstrates how practical and easy it is to 'Go Solar' and creates more awareness of solar energy's potential to create jobs.

In the last year, the City funded solar projects at the Jayne Snyder Trail Center and the Lincoln Police Department (LPD) with funding from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. LPD's photovoltaic system was installed in June on the Center Team Station's southern roof. The building was chosen for the installation because it is one of the City's most energy efficient buildings, with a geothermal heating and cooling system. The LPD installation used $48,440 in federal funds, and the Trail Center installation used $30,700 in federal funds.

Solar Information and Community Groups