As some pool facilities across the state look to lower water temperatures to save on rising energy costs, Warrnambool's investment in cost saving measures has paid off.
Not only are energy costs taking a dive at AquaZone, the council's overall electricity bill will drop by about six per cent.
The soaring cost of gas and electricity has seen some facilities in Victoria lower swimming pool temperatures by as much as 1.5 degrees.
But Warrnambool City Council says AquaZone's energy costs are expected to decrease in 2023-24 mainly due to the installation of solar panels which have brought big savings and offset the increase in gas costs.
The city council had allocated $155,000 for electricity costs at AquaZone this financial year and $175,000 for gas. And while in 2023-24 gas is projected to rise to about $184,000, electricity is likely to be adjusted to $105,000.
The council currently runs the pool at 26 degrees - one degree higher than the minimum standard required for FINA to conduct competitions in the facility.
The council installed pool blankets last year which were designed to keep costs down.
"The pool blankets have had a positive impact on reducing gas consumption although quantifying this precisely is difficult because the gas bills for heating the indoor and outdoor pools at the centre are aggregated and there are other variables such as outdoor weather temperatures," a council spokesman said.
"So far this financial year, gas consumption at AquaZone is down however the data for January to March this year are not yet available and Warrnambool has experienced a relatively cool summer and start to autumn."
Data shows the gas bill for July to December last year was almost $48,000 while the previous year it was more than $97,000 after usage in the first half of summer halved.
The installation of solar panels on municipal buildings and replacement of streetlights with LEDs is expected to drive electricity costs down by about six per cent.
"Street lighting is council's single biggest consumer of electricity," the spokesman said.
In 2020, the council voted to spend another $1.4 million switching over almost 1000 of Warrnambool's street lighting to cheaper and more energy efficient LED technology.
The move came after the city led a consortium of south-west municipalities on the pilot project to replace mercury globes with LED.
Between 2013 and 2015, 2000 globes were replaced in Warrnambool and 7000 across the region resulting in a 75 per cent energy efficiency.
While the new library is expected to come with a $60,000 a year power bill, the council spokesman said the costs would be offset by the 26kW solar installation on the library roof.
A cost-saving, zero-emissions Power Purchase Agreement which expires in 2030 covers 40 per cent of the council's electricity load.
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