Reducing Nevada’s Carbon Footprint with Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Photo By

Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.

The easiest way for Nevadans to reduce their carbon footprint is simply to use less energy: Turn the furnace down to 68 degrees in winter; turn up the thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer; ditch the decades old fridge in the garage that’s cooling a single six pack of beer; turn off the lights when you leave the room; and replace your old incandescent lights with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights.

Those are a few of the suggestions offered by the energy efficiency experts at NV Energy, the electric utility for nearly all of northern Nevada and the natural gas distribution company for the Reno-Sparks area. NV Energy also provides electricity to Las Vegas and other parts of southern Nevada.

In 2008, the utility’s energy efficiency and conservation programs reduced Nevada’s electricity use by nearly 435 million kilowatt hours, or enough energy to power about 34,000 homes in Nevada for a year. That also represents a reduction of nearly 278,000 tons of carbon emissions.

“NV Energy has made energy efficiency and conservation a top priority and it’s the first part of our company’s three-part energy supply strategy for Nevada,” said Greg Kern, director of Customer Renewable Generation and Efficiency at the utility. “It’s the right thing to do, and we’re committed to helping our customers find ways to reduce energy consumption and reduce their monthly power bills.”

Added Kern, “NV Energy benefits by reducing the amount of fossil fuel or additional power plant capacity that the company would have to purchase or build to meet future demand.”

Kern said the biggest gains in energy efficiency in Nevada have come from the utility’s efforts to distribute compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Since 2003, NV Energy has distributed more than 7 million CFLs statewide through its rebate program at retailers and direct installations for nonprofit organizations. CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent lights.

NV Energy also pays $30 cash rebates to customers who recycle their old refrigerators that are still in working condition. About 95 percent of the materials from the old appliances – plastics, glass, metal and chemical coolants – are recycled at a facility in Las Vegas.

Financial incentives are also available for NV Energy customers who invest in renewable energy at their homes and businesses. Residential customers, small businesses, schools and public buildings can earn incentives for installing photovoltaic panels to generate a portion of their own electricity through the utility’s SolarGenerations program. Since 2003, more than 2 megawatts of solar energy have been installed statewide and about $7 million in incentives has been paid out. Due to the program’s success, it’s been expanded to include small wind turbines and micro hydroelectric systems.

Customers who set up an online account at NV Energy through MyAccount can analyze and graph their own energy use and conduct comprehensive energy audits of their homes that identify the best ways for them to save energy. For more details, visit

Special advertising supplement to the Reno News & Review.