Tom Polikalas is SWEEP's Nevada representative. Polikalas is a strong advocate of energy efficiency as a powerful tool to benefit our local, state and national economies, creating jobs and economic development while also conserving resources and improving the environment. He has extensive experience in the economics of residential energy efficiency programs ranging from geothermal heat pumps for home heating and cooling, domestic solar water heating, to home air-infiltration control and insulation.
Prior to joining SWEEP, Polikalas worked for rural electric cooperatives in Colorado and Nevada, promoting cost-effective energy efficiency programs over the past 15 years. The utilities for which Polikalas worked -- the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and Valley Electric Association, Inc. -- both won national community service awards from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for their energy efficiency programs during his tenure with each utility. While he was with DMEA, the cooperative also earned many other awards including recognition for "Excellence in ENERGY STAR Outreach" and "Achievement in Energy Services Award" from the Association of Energy Services Professionals International (AESP).
Polikalas previously served as the Nevada State Energy Office's public information officer from 1990-91 before becoming Nevada's first recycling coordinator in the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection. He also served as a contractor for the National Energy Management Institute, promoting the cost effective retrofit of commercial buildings and institutions in Nevada. While a graduate student in economics at the University of Nevada Reno in 1984, he interned in the Office of Advocate for Consumers of Public Utilities. His experience in government affairs includes service as a lobbyist for Nevadans Opposed to MX (NO MX) and as Executive Director and lobbyist for Citizens Against Nuclear Waste In Nevada (CANWIN).
Polikalas earned a BA in Economics from the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) in 1984 and undertook graduate studies in economics at Brigham Young University (BYU) and UNR.
Polikalas lives in Reno, his home town, and spends his free time with his eight year old son.