News Releases

CHANGE 5 Challenges Washoe County 4th Graders to Save Energy With Compact Fluorescent Lights

Apr 17, 2007

Media Contacts:
Sierra Pacific Powerâ€" Karl Walquist (775) 834-3891
Washoe County School Districtâ€" Steve Mulvenon (775) 348-0371

Sierra Pacific Power, the Washoe County School District, and the greenUP! environmental coalition are partnering to sponsor CHANGE 5, a campaign to encourage families to save energy with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Sierra Pacific Power is currently distributing one free CFL to each of the 4,800 fourth grade students in the school district. They can get additional free lights by attending Earth Day on April 22 at Idlewild Park in Reno. 

CHANGE 5 challenges the fourth graders to replace at least five of the incandescent lights in their homes with energy saving CFLs, according to program Director Lisa Moore. She said the program's goal is to educate students about energy conservation and how simple individual changes, such as changing a few lights, can make a positive impact on the environment.

The schools that replace the most incandescent lights with CFLs will be eligible for awards when the CHANGE 5 challenge concludes on April 27. Awards include trees donated by the Nevada Division of Forestry that can be planted in school playgrounds, and energy conservation presentations by Sierra Pacific's energy efficiency experts for the fourth grade classes at the schools that change the most lights.

"This program is one more example of the ongoing partnership we have enjoyed with Sierra Pacific Power. We're excited because it directly involves students and their families in learning the benefits of energy conservation,"said Bruce Deetken, energy manager for the school district.“Our thanks go out to Lisa Moore, too, for her leadership."

At the conclusion of the program, the school district and Sierra Pacific Power will calculate the total energy savings from the CFLs installed. They'll also determine the impact of the lights on carbon dioxide emissions, and share this data with the students.

"We see this as another way to work with the Washoe County School District and to tap into a new source of energyâ€" the energy of the students who want to save energy and help improve the environment,"said John Hargrove, senior program manager for Sierra Pacific Power's energy efficiency and conservation department.

According to ENERGY STAR, an energy efficiency program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use one-third the energy of traditional models and last up to 10 times longer. Plus consumers can save more than $30 in utility costs over the lifetime of one bulb. 

CFLs are available at retail outlets throughout Reno-Sparks, and they're available for discounted prices at local Costco and Home Depot stores.