Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sierra Pacific Assists Elko Non-Profits

ELKO, Nev. - Sierra Pacific Power awarded energy efficiency grants totaling $7,200 to two Elko non-profit organizations, the Western Folklife Center (WFC) and BrightPath, an adult daycare center. An energy efficiency grant for $4,876 was also awarded on Friday to the Golconda Fire Protection Community Hall in Golconda.

The purpose of the grant program is to help nonprofit groups better manage their utility costs and to help reduce the total amount of energy Sierra Pacific needs to produce at its power plants or purchase from other energy suppliers, said Larry Rackley, project manager for energy efficiency at Sierra Pacific. With the energy efficiency improvements, BrightPath, the WFC and the Golconda Community Hall should each be able to save hundreds of dollars annually on their energy bills.

Rackley said The Western Folklife Center plans to use its $5,000 grant to install new, energy efficient fluorescent lights and occupancy sensor switches that automatically turn lights on or off depending on whether a room is occupied.

Located in the former Pioneer Hotel building, the WFC works to make people more aware of folk arts and is best known for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering every January. The WFC also produces national programming for public radio and television and maintains a year-round cultural center in Elko.

Teddi Baer, operations manager for the WFC, said the lighting upgrades planned for the center should result in a substantial energy savings for the organization. “We’re just trying to do our part to save energy, and we appreciate the fact these grants are offered to the nonprofit sector,” she explained.

BrightPath will use its $2,200 grant to replace existing single pane windows with energy efficient dual pane windows. BrightPath offers adult daycare programs for people who need care, but who are not in need of full-time nursing home care. The program also gives family members a respite from their responsibilities as caregivers.

In 2004, Sierra Pacific Power awarded more than $75,000 in grants to 16 nonprofit organizations in northern Nevada to fund energy efficiency improvements. Approximately $100,000 in grant funding is expected to be awarded in 2005.

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