Tri-State, Empire Electric rebate $32,000 to local schools

Tri-State, in partnership with member co-op Empire Electric Association (Cortez, Colo.), assisted in helping support an energy efficiency lighting upgrade project that will translate into big energy savings for the Montezuma-Cortez School District in southwestern Colorado.


From left: Alex Carter, Jamie Haukeness, Melissa Brunner, with the school district, accept a Tri-State rebate check from Bill Mollenkopf, Empire and Tri-State director and Doug Sparks, Empire’s member services manager.

Last month, the staff of Empire Electric presented a check to school officials from Tri-State in the amount of $32,439 for a series of retrofits to more energy efficient lighting in a total of seven buildings owned by the school district.

The commercial lighting rebate is part of Tri-State’s long standing Energy Efficiency Products (EEP) program that is available to all of Tri-State’s members that promote energy savings to their member-consumers through more efficient lighting, heating, cooling and production products that are a part of the EEP program.

“This project was primarily for the upgrading of the older, T-12 fluorescent lighting to the more efficient T-8 lighting fixtures, as well as some upgrades to LED lighting,” said Keith Emerson, Tri-State’s energy marketing and energy services coordinator. “The rebates, coupled with the long-term energy savings that the school district will see on its monthly bill, is another way Tri-State is bringing added value to its members through the EEP program,” added Emerson.

Annual energy savings to the school district from this lighting upgrade is estimated at $50,000 according to Doug Sparks, member services manager for Empire Electric.

The check rebate presentation by Empire personnel to the school officials was held in the Cortez Middle School gymnasium, where a large number of lighting installations took place. The gym is now equipped with about 30 large motion sensor-equipped lights that are only on when the facility is in use, thus reducing unnecessary energy consumption.

Said Sparks: “The school lighting retrofit will not only reduce the district’s use of electricity by about 130,000 kilowatt-hours a month, but it also results in brighter and more effective lighting in the school classrooms.”

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