Financial Support & Incentives for Retailers

Nebraska has a long history of providing incentives for ethanol development — and the success of these programs is evident in the dramatic growth of the industry across the state.  Summer E15 sales in the U.S. increased 46% on a per-store basis in 2019 from summer sales the year before. Since May 2019, 40 terminals have added the blend to their offerings, as have 400 retail locations nationwide. (Source: Ethanol Producer Magazine)

The current incentive programs are focused on expanding the sale of ethanol fuels by helping fund retailer infrastructure that offers consumers the choice of higher ethanol fuel options, including E15 and E85.

Fuel retailers are challenged with providing fuel choices to consumers growing more concerned about the environment and public health. When retailers provide ethanol-blended fuel they are meeting this need, saving drivers money, and supporting our economy.

ALTERNATIVE FUEL INFRASTUCTURE TAX CREDIT

Fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, liquefied hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed through December 31, 2021, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Permitting and inspection fees are not included in covered expenses. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location.

Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. For more information about claiming the credit, see IRS Form 8911, which is available on the IRS Forms and Publications website. (Reference Public Law 116-260, Public Law 116-94, Public Law 115-123, Public Law 114-113, 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38, and IRS Notice 2007-43(PDF))

NEBRASKA CORN BOARD GRANTS

With growing interest in E15, commonly referred to as Unleaded88, the Nebraska Corn Board is offering grant assistance to Nebraska fuel retailers to upgrade their fueling infrastructure to dispense higher ethanol blends.  As retailers are now allowed to sell E15 year round with no labeling changes, states have recorded significant increases in sales. Iowa recently reported a surge of nearly 24% in E15 volumes in 2020. For more information or to apply, contact Jeff Wilkerson, Director of Market Development, Nebraska Corn Board, at 402-471-3112 or email.

RENEWABLE FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM

Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy has funds available for Nebraska fuel retailers to upgrade their fueling infrastructure to dispense higher ethanol blends.  Learn more here.

HIGHER BLENDS INFRASTRUCTURE INCENTIVE PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture invested $22 million to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales in 2021 under its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Through this program, transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities will be able to apply for grants to help install, retrofit, and/or upgrade fuel storage, dispenser pumps, related equipment and infrastructure to be able to sell ethanol and biodiesel. Cost-share grants and/or incentives will be made available for fuel ethanol/biodiesel blends such as E15 or higher.

In Nebraska, Aurora Cooperative will benefit from the program, with plans to replace 12 dispensers and 10 storage tanks at 10 fueling stations. This project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 791,510 gallons per year. Some Bosselman’s Pump & Pantry locations will also receive funding. USDA opened a second round of funding, and so far two additional Nebraska fuel retailers have applied, as well as two out-of-state retailers who have locations in Nebraska. A decision on how the remaining funds will be allocated will be made soon. Click here for more information about HBIIP.

For Nebraska, contact Jeff Carpenter, USDA Energy Coordinator/Rural Development, at jeff.carpenter@usda.gov or 402-437-5554, with any questions.