News Releases

Sierra Pacific's Sure Bet for Schools Program Saves Dollars for Nye County School District

Jul 7, 2005

Contact: Faye Andersen (775) 834-4822

Tonopah Middle School is getting brighter, more energy efficient lights for the school's gymnasium with funds from a program created to encourage energy conservation at Nevada schools.

Sierra Pacific Power Company President Jeff Ceccarelli is presenting an $11,600 check to the school on July 13 to cover costs of retrofitting the gym's energy guzzling metal halide lights with energy sipping fluorescent lights. (The presentation will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Tonopah Middle School, 409 Utah St., in Tonopah.)

The Nye County School District applied for the funds offered through Sierra Pacific's Nevada Sure Bet for Schools program, which will provide northern Nevada schools with $320,000 for energy conservation upgrades and technical studies during 2005.

“The Sure Bet for Schools program offers great opportunities for northern Nevada's 13 school districts to save money on their energy bills, and in some cases the energy efficiency projects may be incorporated into the curriculum,” said Bob Balzar, director of energy efficiency and customer strategy for Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power, its sister company in southern Nevada.

“Another advantage of the program is that it will help reduce the total amount of energy Sierra Pacific needs to produce at its power plants or purchase from other energy suppliers,” Balzar added.

According to Bob Whimpey, maintenance and operations supervisor for the Nye County School District, the lighting retrofit project should be completed by mid-August.“It's awesome to see the commitment by the utility,” Whimpey said. “The district wouldn't have the money for a project like this. It takes all of our funds to meet the basic needs of the district.”

At the Tonopah Middle School gym, existing metal halide lights will be replaced by more energy efficient T5 fluorescent lights that are brighter and last longer. The instant-on lights will reduce the gym's energy requirement for lighting by 5,330 watts or approximately 47 percent. On an annual basis, the new lights will reduce the gym's energy consumption by 13,200 kilowatt hours per year or approximately $1,600.

 In 2004, energy efficient T5 fluorescent lights were installed in gymnasiums in Tonopah, Round Mountain and Gabbs through a separate program offered by Sierra Pacific.