Waikato District Council is making the switch from gas to electricity to heat swimming pools at Huntly Aquatic Centre, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
Council has received $158,000 of funding from EECA’s (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) Technology Demonstration fund, for local government to replace a gas boiler with a new electric heat pump system. The heat pump system will heat the indoor spaces, showers and other hot water, as well as the pool.
The change to electricity is expected to reduce the Council’s Corporate emissions by approximately 14% each year, or 153 tonnes of CO2-e emissions annually, taking effect in 2024.
This change aligns with Council’s Climate Resilience and Response Plan and commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Chief Executive, Gavin Ion is grateful for EECA‘s support on this project.
“The funding enables us to act on our commitments within our Climate Resilience and Response Plan and I want to acknowledge the efforts by staff and the region’s energy advisor Martin Lynch, who led the application process,” says Mr. Ion.
EECA CEO Andrew Caseley says, “Electrified heating of local government-owned swimming pools is an obvious decarbonisation opportunity. There is still significant use of fossil fuel boilers to heat pool water and space heating of indoor pools, all of which can be achieved with the use of high-efficiency industrial heat pumps.
“There is an opportunity to further deploy heat pump technology in aquatic centres around New Zealand, and this co-funding for local government decarbonisation projects will help address persisting barriers to uptake.”
The project is estimated to cost $395,000 and installation will begin in 2023.
Meanwhile, Council is developing a Climate Strategy and Roadmap to align projects with targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Immediate projects include increasing the number of hybrid vehicles in Council’s fleet and introducing fully electric vehicles and chargers, planned for late 2022.
Deputy Mayor, Aksel Bech says Council’s priority is to act on our biggest contributors to emissions, which includes fleet vehicles.
“Our Council is placing priority on the areas we control or can influence, and response to climate change requires actions immediately,” says Councillor Bech.
For more information on our Climate Action responses, visit our website.
Note to Editors:
EECA’s Technology Demonstration fund supports the early adoption of proven technology or an innovative process improvement opportunity that has yet to be widely deployed in New Zealand.
EECA will run a focussed promotion through our local government relationships targeting a minimum of four technically suitable and geographically distributed projects with local bodies to provide appropriate technology demonstration value.