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Energy halved by turning off the gas

Jul 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News

MONEY SAVER: Steve Mercer, pool manager, shows off Stokes Valley's new pool covers.

HUTT City Council is aiming to cut energy use by 50% at Stokes Valley Pool by reducing the gas usage.

The savings will come from placing covers over the top of the pool, by using a heat recovery unit, and controlling the fan it uses.

The first savings for ratepayers should be known by September, says recreation facilities manager Stephen Keatley.

“It won’t reduce the cost to the users but will assist in the cost of the subsidy from the ratepayers and offset other increasing operating costs.”

Lower Hutt ratepayers will subsidise the city’s pools by $4.22 million this year, and operating costs are forecast at almost $2.9 million for the year.

Mr Keatley says the covers trap heat in overnight.

“We can use the free air to heat the pool and it is cheaper to heat air than water,” says Mr Keatley.

Huia, Wainuiomata and Stokes Valley pools had areas for improvement after an energy efficient audit was done three years ago.

“As part of the council’s substantiality strategy we are always looking at better options to reduce our energy and operating cost either through savings or different revenue streams.”

Huia Pool has already been through the process of reducing its energy and Wainuiomata Summer Pool is next.

Pool efficiencies are one of a number of projects, which have earned Hutt City international environmental management ISO 14001 accreditation, the first council in New Zealand to do so.

Announcing the accreditation last month, HCC chief executive Tony Stallinger said it ensures council complies with all the relevant environmental laws and regulations.

He says other projects that have helped include maintaining a minimum fuel efficiency rating for vehicles, museums reusing timber for exhibition displays, and formation of a staff green team to champion sustainable thinking across the organisation.

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