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  • Green Driver State Incentives in Nebraska

    Nebraska offers green-minded drivers a handful of money-saving incentives. The goal: Encourage more NE drivers to adopt eco-friendly driving habits. Whether you own a hybrid, electric car (EV), or alternative fuel vehicle (AFV)—or are in the market to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle—keep reading for more on auto insurance discounts, AFV loans, compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle rebates, federal tax credits, and more.

    Nebraska Vehicle Emissions Testing

    Many states exempt some eco-friendly vehicles from smog checks, but in Nebraska, all vehicles can skip the emissions test. Reason being, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not require emissions testing as part of its vehicle registration process. However, your vehicle might need an inspection, especially if you cannot present a Nebraska Certificate of Title or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO). For more on requirements and exemptions, refer to our page on NE vehicle inspections.

    Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Fueling Equipment Loans

    The Nebraska Energy Office, along with the state's lending institutions, finance dedicated alternative fuel* projects through Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans.

    Types of Loans

    Under this program, you can get a loan to help you:

    • Replace vehicles that run on traditional fuels with alternative fuel vehicles (AFV).
    • Buy new, dedicated alternative fuel vehicles (meaning, those unable to run on gasoline or diesel fuel); five-year loan term for new AFVs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 8,500 pounds and seven-year loan term for new AFVs with a GVWR of 8,500 or more.
    • Convert vehicles that run on traditional fuels to operate solely on alternative fuels; three-year loan term for conversion equipment.
    • Establish a fueling station; ten-year loan term.
    • Buy fueling equipment for dedicated AFVs; ten-year loan term.

    *For a full list of qualifying fuel types see the last subsection titled What is an Alternative Fuel.

    Keep in mind that you must make minimum monthly payments.

    Who May Apply

    If you are one of the following legal Nebraska residents, you may apply for an alternative fuel project loan:

    • Nebraska taxpayer.
    • Nebraska partnership.
    • Nebraska-chartered corporation.
    • Subdivision of the NE government.
    • Someone who has maintained a permanent residence and lived in Nebraska for more than 6 months.

    How to Apply

    As a legal resident of Nebraska, you can apply by:

    1. Obtaining a bid or quote to present to your lender.
    2. Downloading and completing a Dedicated Alternative Fueled Vehicle and/or Fueling Equipment and Facilities Projects Application.
    3. Paying a visit to a local lender offering loans under this program.

    What is an Alternative Fuel

    For the purposes of this program, alternative fuels include:

    • Ethanol.
    • Methanol.
    • Electricity.
    • Compressed natural gas (CNG).
    • Liquefied natural gas.
    • Propane.
    • Any other fuel that the United States Department of Energy recognizes as an alternative fuel.

    Federal Tax Incentives for Buying a Fuel-Efficient Car

    To entice American taxpayers to go green, the government offers numerous federal tax credits for buying a fuel-efficient vehicle such as one of the following:

    • Electric car (EV).
    • Hybrid.
    • Plug-In hybrid (PEV).
    • Diesel.
    • Other Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV).

    For full details on these tax breaks for eco-friendly vehicle owners, consult fueleconomy.gov's Tax Incentive Information Center. And as always, be sure to consult your preferred tax preparer or an agent from your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center if questions arise regarding how to take advantage of tax incentives.

    Nebraska Weight Limit Increase for Idle Reduction Technology

    Nebraska grants a weight limit increase for vehicles equipped with idle reduction technology. Specifically, these vehicles may exceed the maximum gross weight limit and axle weight limit by up to 400 pounds to compensate for the extra weight that the idle reduction technology adds. For full details, refer to Nebraska Revised Statutes 60-6, 294.

    NE Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicle Rebate

    Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) of Omaha offers $500 rebates to those who buy new, dedicated compressed natural gas vehicles. The application process varies slightly, depending on whether you own a residential-use or commercial-use vehicle. Read on for specifics.

    Rebate Requirements

    To be eligible, you must meet the following rebate requirements:

    • Your vehicle must be a new, dedicated CNG vehicle.
    • Your vehicle must be for residential use only; For commercial vehicle rebate info, scroll down to the last subsection.
    • You must fuel your vehicle at a designated fueling station (listed at the bottom of the rebate application).

    MUD might conduct further verification if deemed necessary. Also, the company issues rebate checks on a first come, first served basis.

    How to Apply (Residential-Use Vehicles)

    • Download and fully complete the CNG Residential Application; MUD will not process incomplete rebate forms.
    • Make a copy of your proof of purchase.
    • Mail both of the above to:

    Metropolitan Utilities District
    Attn: Markting Department
    1723 Harney Street
    Omaha, NE 68192

    Processing the application takes MUD 4-6 weeks. Once approved, you’ll receive a check for $500 in the mail. Call (402) 504-7185 if you have any questions.

    Rebates for Commercial CNG Vehicles

    Owners of commercial-use CNG vehicles can also apply for the rebate, but using a different application. Call (402) 504-7185 to receive one.

    NE Auto Insurance Discounts for Eco-Friendly Driving and Green Vehicles

    Get a break on what you pay for your car insurance for having green driving habits and/or driving a fuel-efficient vehicle. Consult your Nebraska car insurance company about potential green vehicle auto insurance discounts such as:

    • Hybrid auto discounts.
    • Alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) discounts.
    • Economy car discounts.
    • Low-mileage discounts.
    • Pay as you drive discounts.

    Keep in mind, not all auto insurance providers offer the same discounts. Plus, your specific circumstances might also affect how much you save. For example, you might receive a 10% discount on car insurance for owning or leasing a hybrid car, while maintaining low mileage can earn you up to a 30% auto insurance discount.

    If your current NE auto insurance carrier doesn’t reward eco-friendly driving, find one that does. Compare auto insurance rates online and save some green for going green.

    Keep Up with the Latest Nebraska Green Driver Incentives

    Earth-friendly driver incentives and related green vehicle laws are ever-evolving. In addition to combing through this page for perks, consult your local Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center for the latest.