The Council-run centre has seen a considerable reduction in both its carbon footprint and monthly energy bills since a combined heat and power unit (CHP), new boilers and a new energy control system were installed last year.
Since the CHP and other improvements were commissioned, Dwyfor Leisure Centre has seen a 40% reduction in energy consumption. This translates as an annual saving of 281 tonnes of carbon, enough to fill 1,986 double deck buses, and over £20,000 savings in energy bills.
The CHP unit generates electricity from gas and any heat created as a result of the process is captured and used for heating the centre and pool. Since the more efficient equipment was installed, gas consumption at the centre is down by 37% and electricity use is down by 49%. Greater savings are expected next year as the CHP unit has only been operating since November 2011- current monitoring data indicates a 60% reduction in energy consumption.
Carys Ferris, Manager of the Dwyfor Leisure Centre, said: “We are delighted that the new CHP system and other improvements have been installed and are amazed by the reduction in energy use – and heating bills – that we have seen. I believe that our efforts to reduce our environmental impact are very important to our staff, customers and the wider community in Pwllheli and Llŷn.
“In addition to the new equipment, we have put a real effort into being energy efficient. Little things like making sure lights are turned off when a room is not in use can make a big difference, and we have also installed a cover over the swimming pool to ensure it retains its heat over night.
“I am grateful to our staff and customers for their commitment and support in our quest to become Gwynedd’s greenest leisure centre. I hope people can take the message home and be just as conscientious with their own energy use.”
Local energy consultant Roy Milnes, commissioned by Gwynedd Council’s Energy Conservation team, was involved in the scheme and his expertise was essential in the project’s success.
The investment in new smart technology at Dwyfor Leisure Centre is part of Gwynedd Council’s Carbon Management Plan. The programme aims to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint by 30% by 2015 and has already achieved a nine per cent reduction since 2005/06.
Dilwyn Williams, Gwynedd Council’s Strategic Director is responsible for the implementation Gwynedd’s Carbon Management Plan. He said: “People tell us that ensuring the wellbeing of our natural environment and curbing climate change wherever possible is a priority for them, so the Council sees carbon reduction as a key strategy.
“These improvements at Dwyfor Leisure Centre are examples of how the Council can invest in innovative capital projects which can lead to significant carbon and financial savings which deliver value for money for Gwynedd residents, whilst helping us protect other services from the effects of the budgetary reductions we must make.”
The Council is also investing in projects to improve energy and carbon savings at all other Council owned leisure centres.