News Releases

High School Gyms in Tonopah and Round Mountain Retrofitted with Energy-Efficient Lights

Sep 12, 2004

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist
Phone: (775) 834-3891

For Immediate Release

The high school gymnasiums in Tonopah and Round Mountain are getting new energy-efficient lights for free because of a program offered by Sierra Pacific Power Company's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Department

Starting the week of Sept. 20, existing metal halide lighting fixtures in the gyms will be removed and replaced with energy efficient T5 fluorescent lights, said Larry Rackley, a project manager with the utility's energy efficiency and conservation department. Gym lights in Gabbs High School were replaced earlier in the year by Sierra Pacific under the same program. Total cost of the installations at all three schools is approximately $40,000, according to Rackley.

"We are demonstrating a new technology, a new type of fluorescent light that's brighter, more efficient and longer lasting than earlier types of fluorescent lighting developed for gyms and other large spaces," explained Bob Balzar, director of energy efficiency and conservation for Sierra Pacific and Nevada Power Company. He said only two other gyms in Nevada have the new generation fluorescent lights.

They can be turned on and off instantly, unlike the metal halide or high pressure sodium bulbs which usually require several minutes to reach full power, and have more control options, such as occupancy sensors to turn the lights off when no one is in the gym, explained Balzar.

Rackley said the projected savings in energy costs for the Nye County School District with the new fluorescent tube lights is approximately $12,000 per year.

Through its"Pizza Challenge" program, Sierra Pacific rewards schools for taking energy conservation measures, such as turning off lights and computers in empty classrooms and setting heater thermostats at lower temperatures during the winter. At the end of the school year, the utility sponsors pizza parties for elementary and middle school students in recognition of their efforts.

This year, Sierra Pacific took the program a step further by installing the lights in the gymnasiums at participating high schools which achieved greater than 9 percent energy savings for the 2003Â- 2004 school year. Added Balzar,"This is an acknowledgement of the great energy savings achieved by students and teachers in Tonopah, Round Mountain and Gabbs."