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Town of Truckee Urging Residents To Embrace the Night

Truckee launches rebate program 

Truckee, Calif. (April 2, 2024) –  As International Dark Skies Week begins in April, the Town of Truckee seeks to spread awareness about the importance of reducing light pollution and maintaining dark skies in our region. The Town is launching a $50,000 dollar rebate program to encourage responsible outdoor lighting and to facilitate a switch to new fixtures for homeowners and business owners.

“People in Truckee appreciate the outdoors and natural beauty of our region,” says Truckee Town Manager Jen Callaway, “we’re hoping to remind people that night-time is also a good time to celebrate the wonders of nature, with the magic of the night sky.”  

Why Dark Skies Are Important

Dark Skies are about more than just enjoying a beautiful celestial display. Light pollution disrupts the natural ecosystems of plants, animals and insects. Birds need starry skies to navigate during their migration. Animals need the dark to hide from predators at night. Insect populations can be heavily impacted by artificial light. Their fatal attraction to nighttime light can impact the entire ecosystem. Humans also need darkness at night to stay healthy. Artificial light exposure at night disrupts sleep patterns, can lead to impaired daytime function and obesity.   

How You Can Embrace the Night 

The first and most simple step – turn off your lights at night. Outdoor lighting is the primary cause of light pollution. Make sure your outdoor lights are off by 10 p.m., and turn off any unnecessary indoor lights. You can also make your outdoor lighting more dark skies friendly by positioning the light beam downward and adding motion sensors. You will not only be helping your own health and the health of the environment, but you’ll also be saving some money. Researchers estimate that 30% of outdoor lighting in the U.S. is wasted by lights that aren’t shielded, costing consumers $3.3 billion in excess energy charges.  

Dark Skies Lighting Rebate Program

The Town of Truckee, in conjunction with the Climate Transformation Alliance and the Sierra Business Council, is launching a rebate program for local residents and business owners who want to swap out their old exterior lighting for newer lights that are downward facing and energy efficient. These types of lights significantly reduce light pollution and can also be put on a motion sensor so they are not constantly on. 

The rebate program offers $75 per fixture for up to 8 fixtures for residential and small multi-family homes, and a $50 rebate for up to 50 fixtures for commercial buildings and larger multi-family homes. Rebates will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis until the $50,000 program allotment runs out. 

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