The new technology has helped reduce carbon emissions at the council-run swimming pool in Banbury.
The energy used to heat its swimming pool has historically been one of Cherwell District Council’s largest sources of carbon emissions, but now recent upgrades mean that the leisure center generates 785 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. (tCO2e) is ready to be saved.
The outdoor pool at the Woodgreen Leisure Center is being kept balmy for swimmers by one of the largest solar thermal installations of its kind in the UK. Cherwell District Council’s three other public pools, including the Spiceball Leisure Center, are being kept warm by new air source heat pumps as part of the council’s goal to reach net zero.
Air source heat pumps draw energy from the wider atmosphere, meaning there’s no need to burn fossil fuels, while WoodGreen’s solar technology heats the pool using free power from the sun. Other leisure centers where air source heat pumps have been installed are Spiceball, Bicester; Kidlington and Gosford.
Dan Sams, Portfolio Holder Counselor for Clean and Green Communities, said: “Reducing carbon emissions from our leisure centers has been a high priority in this Council’s campaign to combat climate change. Now, when you dive in the pool , go to the gym, or play a game of badminton, you can take comfort in the knowledge that your carbon footprint is reduced.
“Councils need to lead by example in pursuing the changes needed to address the climate emergency, and we are very much ahead in making these ambitious plans a daily part of people’s visits to our leisure centres.
“We have been active in applying to the government for funding to carry out these improvements, and this comprehensive overhaul of our swimming pools is part of a program that will eliminate approximately 25 percent of our emissions by the end of 2022.
The total budget for decarbonization work in council buildings is £5.2 million, funded by the Public Sector Decarbonization Grant of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.